Instant Pot Chili is the chili recipe every mom will want! The best part about this chili recipe? It’s like a classic chili recipe with major shortcuts because salsa is an all-in-one sauce to the beef and beans! It’s the secret to make homemade chili that looked like it took hours to make in a crockpot! 

instant pot chili recipe

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Chili Recipe

This is the only chili recipe with beans and beef that you’ll ever need! Living in a Southern state, I don’t even mind the hot bowl of chili on a warm fall day!

Today, I made the family this instant pot chili with a side of healthy cornbread from partly sprouted wheat flour, and let’s just say our family of 7 nearly devoured the chili in one sitting!

My chili recipe requires only 4-ingredients! However, when I needed to convert it to an instant pot chili recipe I thought it was only safe to add a little water to the bottom of the instant pot because nobody wants the burn signal to go off! So, 5-ingredient chili it is.

It’s super flavorful and mild enough for the children to enjoy! The best part? Busy moms will love this chili because it doesn’t get any easier to make dinner!

instant pot chili recipe


Instant Pot Chili

This recipe is so ideal for the busy cook because when you’re making this instant pot chili recipe you literally dump all the ingredients and set the pressure to high, then walk away. You can even use frozen beef and black beans! So, that means you don’t even saute the chili! How easy is that?

Now, if you’re wondering why would I freeze beans? I actually prepare my dried beans in my slow cooker and freeze them in almost 2 cup portions (which is equivalent to a 15 oz can of beans.) Here’s how to cook beans in the slow cooker. 

Classic Comfort Food

I have made this chili recipe in a slow cooker for crockpot chili (awesome over taco salads!) and my sister has made this easy chili recipe on the stove– we both agree it is the best chili recipe out there!

Besides, what’s not to love if the salsa has everything you need for a traditional chili sauce, like chili powder to green peppers, and if you want it spicy use hot salsa!



What is Instant Pot Chili?

An instant pot is a pressure cooker with a valve that locks in the air when cooking food. This creates super tender meat or dinners in a fraction of time. You can make many different recipes in an instant pot, including yogurt, rice (cooked over low pressure), and instant pot roast (cooked over high pressure.)

Chili is the comfort food classic served with good cast-iron cornbread! Once you make this recipe, you will know how to make chili with ground turkey, chicken, or beef–it remains equally delicious!

Many traditional homestyle chili recipes include some kind of tomato products like petite diced tomatoes, tomato paste, or tomato sauce. The meat is adaptable to chicken and turkey and different beans like pinto, kidney, or black beans can be used in combination.

Is Chili Healthy?

Instant pot chili is a healthy dinner option as it’s a hearty protein dish loaded with beans and beef. It is gluten-free and no sauteeing is required when making it in the instant pot. So, it’s like Keto chili if on a low-carb diet! Not only does the whole family love it but it’s a score when you don’t even need to use the stove!

What Ingredients go into Instant Pot Chili?

You don’t even need oil to make this chili! The beef I purchase is usually 73% lean and 27% fat (cheaper.) It comes together with 4 ingredients, plus water.

  • Salsa- is an all-in-one tomato sauce that’s perfectly seasoned with the right Mexican spices! I can my own salsa but any 24 oz of jarred salsa will work. If you like spicy chili use jalapenos, red hot peppers, or hot salsa. Most salsa jars come slightly sweet so this works perfectly!
  • Water- needed to make chili in the instant pot. My slow-cooker beef chili recipe didn’t call for it but I wanted to ensure my instant pot burn signal didn’t go on.
  • Tomato Juice- can use tomato sauce or additional water.
  • Beef- use any kind of protein such as chicken, turkey, or pork.
  • Beans- legumes such as pinto, pink, black, dark kidney, or light kidney can be used in any combination to make chili.

Can I Make Chili With Chicken or Turkey?

Any kind of meat or beans can be adaptable for making chili. Turkey and chicken are leaner meat options and any variety of cooked beans can be used.

What Beans Go Best?

Any legumes such as kidney beans (light or dark), pink beans, pinto beans, black beans, red beans, or navy beans will work for making chili!

If you wish you can season the beef and beans with additional cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper for bold flavor!

How To Make Chili In The Instant Pot?

This recipe is adaptable by adding ingredients that you have on hand. Use turkey, your favorite jar of salsa, or any tomato products that you have on hand! To make chili spicy use hot salsa or add jalapenos.

You do not need to saute the beef first! Since there are likely onions and garlic already in a jar of salsa you do not need those, either!

how to make instant pot chili recipe

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on. Select the pressure cook button and set the time to 38 minutes over high pressure if using frozen meat and beans or (22 minutes over high pressure if using thawed beef and canned beans.)
  2. Meanwhile, pour 1 cup of water into the pot. Add the salsa and tomato juice (DO NOT STIR.) Place the beef and beans atop and cover the instant pot with the lid. Seal the valve.
  3. Release the pressure manually or let it depressurize for 10 minutes on its own.
  4. Remove the beef with tongs and using a potato masher, mash it up. Place it back into the pot and stir the chili together.
  5. Serve with your favorite chili toppings!

Chef’s note: if you wish to saute the beef first, select the saute button on the instant pot and fry the ground beef with onion (if desired.) Pour in 1 cup of water to deglaze the pot and add the remaining ingredients (DO NOT STIR.)

Stirring the chili before you seal the instant pot can scorch the bottom of the pot and when that happens the burn signal goes on.

Can I Make This Chili On The Stovetop?

Yes! You can make chili on the stove without an instant pot or slow cooker! Simply brown the beef first, then add the remaining ingredients in any order.

My sister seasons the beef with cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Then adds heavy whipping cream for superior flavor. She also likes her chili on the thicker side, so she’ll add an additional can of beans.

Can you Freeze Chili?

Shockingly, YES! For busy weeknight dinners freeze small batches in freezer gallon-sized bags. Then peel off the bag and pop it into a crockpot for an easy lunch or dinner.

To Freeze cool chili completely. Pour into freezer bags and seal airtight. Keep frozen for up to 3 months.

To Reheat Chili: thaw chili overnight in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a pot, slow cooker, or instant pot. Use the microwave if needed.

Storing: How long does chili last in the fridge? Chili can keep up to a week in the refrigerator. Freeze any leftovers.

How Long To Cook Chili In The Instant Pot?

Instant pot chili is done within 20 minutes if using thawed ingredients. When using frozen beef or beans, cook over high pressure for 38 minutes. Chili should always be cooked over high pressure, either set manually or on the chili bean button.

How To Thicken Chili?

If you like a thicker chili add an additional 15 oz can of beans (drained and rinsed.) Mashing part of the beans also makes for a thicker chili. This Chili recipe thickens as it sits.

Another way to thicken chili is by adding cheese or other toppings like sour cream to thicken it.

What to Serve With Beef Chili?

This chili goes awesome over a taco salad. Ladle it over tortilla chips or deep-fried dough! Chili isn’t just a soup or stew to enjoy during the cold winter days!

How To Store Chili?

Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Storing: Store chili covered in a pot.

Reheat leftovers in the microwave, pot, instant pot, or warm in the slow cooker until heated thoroughly.

Popular Chili Toppings:

  • Avocados (sliced or mashed guacamole.)
  • sour cream
  • Grated Cheese- (pepper jack, Mexican blend cheeses, mild cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, and Colby are best.)
  • Onions- green onions, scallions, chives, or a vibrant purple onion add beautiful color!
  • Herbs- cilantro or fresh parsley can be snipped over a bowl of hot chili for a beautiful presentation.
  • Sour Cream- makes a sweeter bowl of chili.
  • Hot Peppers- or ground cayenne pepper add a kick.


Since the salsa typically has bell peppers and spices it’s not necessary to add additional veggies or herbs. If you wish to make a spicy chili use hot salsa. For possible topping variations see my popular chili topping section.


Tools Needed:


Tips For The Best Instant Pot Chili:

  1. Pour the water first and do not stir the ingredients! Stirring the ingredients can scorch the bottom of the instant pot making the burn signal go on.
  2. You can make chili with frozen beef! Simply add additional time for the meat to cook.
  3. For thicker chili add an extra can of beans. Mashing part of the beans can thicken the chili too.
  4. Stir in the cheese and sour cream to make serving dinner a breeze and lightening up the dark red chili color.

More Beef Recipes:

How To Make Chili In The Instant Pot:

Instant Pot Chili Recipe

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 38 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
Instant Pot Chili is the chili recipe every mom will want! The best part about this chili recipe? It's like a classic chili recipe with major shortcuts because salsa is an all-in-one sauce to the beef and beans! It's the secret to make homemade chili that looked like it took hours to make in a crockpot! 


  • 6 quart Instant Pot



  • 1 lb beef (frozen)
  • 24 oz salsa
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 15 oz red kidney beans (with liquid)
  • 1 cup water



  • Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot.
  • Add the salsa and tomato juice (DO NOT STIR.)
  • how to make instant pot chili recipe
    Place the beef and beans atop and cover the instant pot with the lid. Seal the valve. Pressure cook over high pressure for 38 minutes (if frozen beef or 22 minutes if thawed.)
  • Release the pressure manually or let it depressurize for 10 minutes on its own.
  • Remove the beef with tongs and using a potato masher, break up the beef. Place it back into the pot and stir the chili together.
  • Serve with your favorite chili toppings!


  • Cooking instructions for thawed beef: pressure cook over high pressure for 22 minutes. Proceed with the recipe. 
  • For Thicker Chili: add an extra 15 oz can of pinto beans. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1servingCalories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 16gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 643mgPotassium: 679mgFiber: 6gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 545IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 3mg

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    • Matthew

    Great recipe. Easy and quick. I added some onion, corn, and the optional extra can of beans. You can not have chili without corn bread also. Would recommend.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Thank you for the feedback, Matthew! It sounds flavorful and hearty! I agree chili is best served with cornbread!

    • Al

    This is my best chili recipe! Thank you!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Thank you for the feedback!

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