This easy Instant Pot Chili Recipe with ground beef and canned beans is mild enough for kids and takes minutes make. You can use frozen or fresh beef!
Chili is super quick and easy to make in the pressure cooker but tastes like it's been simmering on the stove all day. You'll love this classic, mild ground beef chili that tastes just like mom used to make!
This is one of our favorite cold weather Instant Pot recipes. It's a pressure cooker version of my mom's best chili recipe that I grew up with.
When my mom used to make this chili, she would start early in the day and let it simmer on the stove all afternoon. I'm usually not that organized, but the best thing about making chili in the Instant Pot is that it tastes like it was simmering all day.
Basically I used the same ingredients in the original recipe as I did for the Instant Pot chili version. I just changed the amount of seasoning and, of course, the cook time and method.
How to Make the BEST Easy Chili in the Instant Pot
Start off by browning the ground beef using the Sauté function. I use lean beef so I don't have to drain any fat, and what little there is adds flavor.
Next, season the beef, and add beef broth or water to deglaze the bottom of the pot. This helps prevent food from sticking to the pot and giving you the burn notice.
Stir in your onions and chopped bell pepper. Then, you just layer the remaining ingredients and let the Instant Pot do its job. Do not stir everything together -- you can do that after pressure cooking!
I cooked the chili for 10 minutes and let it release naturally for another 10 minutes before opening the valve all the way. You could definitely let it go longer and keep warm if you want. But, I couldn't wait!
How to Thicken Chili
We like our chili on the soupy side, with plenty of liquid. If you like thicker chili, you can sauté it for a little bit after pressure cooking.
It does thicken up as it sits, and it's definitely thicker the next day. Tastes even better, too!
Or, you can add a cornstarch slurry. Just stir 1 tablespoon of cold water with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir it into the chili while it's on sauté mode.
Make with Frozen Ground Beef
To make this Instant Pot chili recipe with frozen ground beef, just place the beef in the pressure cooker. This method works best if your beef is frozen flat. Add 1 cup of water for the 8 quart or ½ cup for the 6 quart.
Pressure cook for 10 minutes, then quick release. It should be defrosted and easy to break apart. Next, sauté the beef, then make the recipe as directed.
Easy Instant Pot Chili Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup water or beef broth
- 2 14-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- Hit SAUTE on the Instant Pot, and when display reads HOT, add the olive oil and ground beef
- Break up beef with a spatula, and cook until no longer pink.
- Stir in salt, pepper and chili powder
- Add onions and peppers, and stir until slightly soft, then hit CANCEL
- Add water or beef broth, and stir to deglaze bottom of pot. Add kidney beans, diced tomatoes, then the tomato sauce, but do not stir
- Cover, turn vent to SEALING, and hit PRESSURE COOK, or manual, for 10 minutes
- When pot beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then hit CANCEL, and quick release remaining pressure
- Stir, and serve with your favorite toppings!
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
Looking for More Easy Instant Pot Ground Beef Recipes?
- Reader favorite Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef
- Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni
- Simple Instant Pot Korean Ground Beef
Recipe was published in 2018 and updated in 2020.
Have made this before and it's finally cold enough to enjoy it again. A real crowd pleaser, and you can add what ever toppings you like!
I'm so glad to hear this, James! Thanks!
Scott MacDonald says
If I wanted to make it less-mild what would you recommend?
You could add chipotle chili or ancho chili powder instead of regular. I sometimes add chopped jalapeno peppers for extra spice.
I love this recipe! It's so easy! We've made it several times but the last couple of times my instant pot has stopped during the pressuring stage and stated "burn" on the front. I've just let the steam out and opened the pot and stirred it around and it seemed to be fine (though somewhat stuck to the bottom). Have you run into this before? How would you suggest preventing it?
So glad you like it, Tracie! I can't say for sure, but I think maybe there is a slight residue on the bottom of your pot. I notice it sometimes on mine, and I have to give it a good scrubbing to remove it completely. Some models are super sensitive, and anything left on the bottom may trigger a burn notice.