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Award Winning Instant Pot Chili Recipe [+VIDEO]

381 Reviews

Instant Pot Chili that is award winning and bringing home cook-off victories across the country.  You don’t want to miss diving into a bowl of our best chili!

If you want from scratch, our traditional chili is your answer. It took us 10 years to discover an award winning recipe and this is finally it, plus it’s an instant pot recipe which means it’s all done in less than 1 hour (with instructions for cooking on the stove top or crock pot as well)!! It is full of bacon, ground beef, beans, and all the toppings you want!

Instant Pot Chili that is award winning and bringing home chili cook-off victories across the country.  You don't want to miss diving into a bowl of our best chili recipe!

Let’s talk about how to make this homemade chili step by step, and discuss what goes well with it, and how to freeze it to eat later. So much to talk about, so let’s get going!

We attended a chili cook-off and brought this awesome Cheesy Ground Beef Enchilada Chili. It was so good, but soooo many arteries were clogged that night. It’s pretty unhealthy, but I heard a rumor that if you don’t eat it alone the calories don’t count.

Pretty sure that’s true.

If you want a healthy chili recipe, you should definitely try our award winning healthy turkey instant pot version and all healthy or not so healthy, should be accompanied with a side of corn bread or our crazy easy 7-Up biscuits!

Want the best chili recipe for 2018? I got you covered with this instant pot award winning chili recipe and yes, there's bacon involved! ohsweetbasil.com

Chili Cook-Off Idea!

  • Muffin Tin Trick

Oh! And listen to this, at the chili cook-off a couple of people brought muffin tins and then placed a sample scoop of each kind in the well so they could try them all and vote without going back or over eating. GENIUS. That’s seriously the smartest thing ever.

Next to figuring out this award winning instant pot chili, right?! 😉

We hurried and made you all a video to help with the questions. Thank you for all of your love and support with making this the #1 chili out there!

 

How to Make Chili in an Instant Pot

Making this recipe in an instant pot is really easy because there’s an actual setting for chili and beans (if you don’t have that setting, you can totally use “manual”). That pretty much takes all of the thinking out of this, and everything can be done in the instant pot, which means only one dish to clean!!

Let’s go through it step by step:

  1. Turn your instant pot to “saute” and cook the bacon until crispy.
  2. Remove the bacon and saute the bell peppers and onions until tender.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until browned and drain any excess grease.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir everything together
  5. Place the lid on the instant pot and set to “chili” mode (“manual” can be used too).
  6. Cook for 18-20 minutes and allow a natural release for 10-15 minutes. If you get the burn notice, please see the section below.
  7. Once it is cooked, serve it up and top with all your favorite toppings.

Want the best chili recipe for 2018? I got you covered with this instant pot award winning chili recipe and yes, there's bacon involved! ohsweetbasil.com

What to Eat with Homemade Chili

Really any sort of bread will get the job done beautifully, but if you are making this in an instant pot, then you probably want dinner done in a hurry, so these 1 Hour Rolls are your answer! I often like something light and fresh with my chili like this garden balsamic avocado salad. I’ve also heard that people eat cinnamon rolls with chili, and I fully endorse this! Try our World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls!

Want the best chili recipe for 2018? I got you covered with this instant pot award winning chili recipe and yes, there's bacon involved! ohsweetbasil.com

How to Freeze our Chili

Classic Chili is really easy to freeze:

Cool your chili completely and store in ziplocs with all the air pressed out, or we prefer to use our Food Saver. 

You can store individual servings to eat for lunch or larger portions to feed the whole family later.

Instant pot chili but it can be made in a slow cooker too! Best chili recipe ever! ohsweetbasil.com

Burn Notice on Instant Pot

We’ve had a lot of questions, comments and concerns about the burn notice on the instant pot.

  • Cooking the Bacon Burn Notice- Is your bacon extra thin or lacking fat? Both of these can cause the bacon to stick to the bottom of the pot and cause a burn notice. Those browned bits stuck to the pot because of the lack of flat can make the instant pot think that you’ve walked away and left meat to burn.

To counter this, please use a good quality bacon and stir often to keep it from sticking.

  • Prior browned bits on the pot- If your pot had previous food stuck to the bottom of the pot it will continue to cook and confuse the pot to thinking that something is burning. Clean your pot well after every use. Bar Keeper’s Friend is my go-to cleaner for browned bits in pots and pans.
  • Burn notice after the chili has been combined- If your chili has been combined and then you get the burn notice you probably didn’t thoroughly stir everything together or something is stuck to the bottom of the pot. This is why that bacon step is important. if you added those heavy ingredients and added the lid something will probably stick and burn. Stir well, make sure you measured properly.

We have not ever had a burn notice. If you’re getting quite a few, make sure that pot is clean, stir things well, adding oil while cooking the bacon if it appears that there isn’t much fat, and if none of that works, you should contact instant pot as you may have a model that needs to be replaced.

Instant Pot Chili that is award winning and bringing home chili cook-off victories across the country. You don't want to miss diving into a bowl of our best chili recipe!

 

FAQ

Can this Recipe be Doubled?

This recipe is too big to be doubled in both a 6 qt Instant Pot and an 8qt. It can be one and a halved in an 8qt Instant Pot. We also been told you can double it in an 8qt Instant Pot if you take out 1 or 2 cans of beans.

How to Brown Meat for our Chili in an Instant Pot

  1. Alright, start with your bacon. Always.
    • Whenever bacon is going in a dish we crisp it first, drain the fat and leave the browned bits in the pan. All it does is add extra flavor to whatever comes next
    • Start by pressing the saute button and once you can feel the heat, add the chopped bacon, stirring occasionally until crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and drain the fat
  2. Next, grab your ground beef. Any kind is fine for chili since other flavors are in there, but there’s more flavor in an 80/20 versus 90/10, though you will need to drain out the fat before continuing on.
    • Make sure you stir occasionally in order to crumble the meat instead of having big chunks. Chili shouldn’t be big and chunky. Leave that to the hippopotamuses.  (Totally had to spell check that one. Who knew hippos could be so difficult.)

How to Make our Best Chili Recipe in a Slow Cooker or Crock Pot

To make slow cooker chili (I linked up to the brand and model we prefer) or of course make chili in a crock pot if that’s what you have, you’ll need to cook the bacon and ground beef in a pan, then add the peppers and onions to saute them all nice and tender.

Then dump it all in a slow cooker and we prefer 5-6 hours on low or 3 hours on high, though I have probably only used the high function twice.

Low and slow really allows the spices to bloom, or in other words to open up and really do their thing.

Toppings for Homemade Chili

  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Sliced Jalapenos
  • Green Onions
  • Cilantro
  • Chips

Have you seen our Instant Pot cheat sheet? Head there are all our tips for cooking all the basics in your Instant Pot!

When it comes to classic chili, I want it to be full of flavor, bold and comforting! Friends, this recipe is the result of me making dozens of recipes in order to find the greatest of all time. So I tell you hands down this is the VERY BEST!  

Here are some more CHILI RECIPES that you’ll love:

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?

Want the best chili recipe for 2018? I got you covered with this instant pot award winning chili recipe and yes, there's bacon involved! ohsweetbasil.com

Instant Pot Award Winning Chili Recipe

4.28 from 381 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Instant Pot Chili that is award winning and bringing home chili cook-off victories across the country.  You don't want to miss our best chili recipe ever!

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 6 Strips of Bacon good quality, chopped
  • 1 Can 15 ounces Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1 Can 15 ounces  Pinto beans, drained
  • 1 Can 15 ounces Black beans, drained
  • 1 Can 15 ounces Fire Roasted diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 Can 6 ounce Tomato paste
  • 1 large Red onion chopped
  • 1 Red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 Jalapeño seeded and minced *optional
  • 2 Cups Beef stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced garlic

For Garnish

  • Sour Cream
  • Cilantro
  • Cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Turn your instant pot to sauté and add the bacon.
  • Cook until crisp, stirring often to cook evenly.
  • Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add the onions and peppers and cook until tender.
  • Add the meat and cook until browned.
  • Drain off any excess grease, we just tilt the pot and use a large spoon.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients and 3/4 of the bacon and stir to combine.
  • Turn the instant pot to chili (if you don't have a "chili" setting, use the "manual" setting) and cook for 18-20 minutes*. Allow pressure to release for 10-15 minutes or quick release with the vent.
  • Serve with limes, sour cream, cheese, and a little bacon!

Notes

For the stove: Cook everything in the pot just like you do for the instant pot and then allow to simmer on low heat for 3 hours. For the slow cooker: Cook the bacon and set aside on a plate. Cook the onion and peppers and set aside on another plate. Drain any excess grease and add the meat, cooking until browned. Add everything into the pot, leaving out a little bacon for garnish and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3 hours. Most batches will be done after 18 minutes, however we've had a few times when the flavor just wasn't there yet, so feel free to pressure cook a little longer for more flavor or if your beans are not as tender as you'd like. To freeze, cool the chili completely. Place in a large ziploc bag or FoodSaver, removing all air and freeze by laying flat for up to 2 months. 
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Award Winning Chili Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 bowl)
Calories 459 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 89mg30%
Sodium 1110mg48%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 36g72%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you are still looking for another excellent chili recipe, this Old Fashioned Chili Recipe, this All Beef American chili recipe, and this 5 Ingredient Crockpot Chili Recipe have been some of our favorites!

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment






953 comments

  • This chili turned out great!

    I wonder if maybe some of the burn notices are from people draining the juice before adding the tomatoes? I simply open the can and dump everything in, juice and all. It definitely helps the liquid ratio. I also found that combining the tomato paste with the stock in a small mixing bowl first helps reduce clumps.

    • Reply
  • Nope, sorry. I was excited about this recipe. But add me to the list of “burn notices.” Never had that happen before. And yes, followed recipe exactly.
    I did salvage it. Definitely had a burnt flavour coming out of the Instant Pot. I put it in a large saucepan, not adding the burned part at the bottom. Added some brown sugar (quite a bit) and some nice bbq sauce to disguise the burnt flavour. That made it edible, but will not make this again.

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    • Honestly, I don’t know why some have burn messages and not others. It makes no sense. I’m sorry

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  • Been using this for a couple years now. It’s quick and tastes amazing. Thanks!

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    • Thank you!!!

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  • Wow, what a treat!
    So flavorful and delicious and purposefully without the jalapeño was mild yet very tasty.
    Thanks much….. our adjustments, use Italian tomatoes, smoked bacon and 1/2 the red pepper, came out wonderful.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much for the feedback Patrick!

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  • This is hands down THE BEST chili recipe, especially for instapot users. I use two cans of the diced roasted tomatoes instead of one and comes out just fine and not a single burn notice. I make sure to scrape up all bits of bacon after cooking and while browning beef. I have been making and experimenting with chili recipes for over 30 years and found my new addiction. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe that my family will enjoy for years to come. Oh, and this has just the right amount of heat for those who aren’t fans of fire-breathing chili.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Michele! I appreciate you taking time to leave us a review and comment! We are pretty obsessed with this recipe ourselves!

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  • It’s a flavorful chili, but it gives me a burn notice every time. Once again, I’m interrupted to correct a burn notice. I even ommited the bacon and 1/2 lb of the meat this time. I should have increased the liquid. Ingredients were sauteed on low and everything was thoroughly combined. I’m attributing this to the high volume of tomato paste in the recipe. Three stars because it is a flavorful chili, but this is not a burn-proof recipe by any means.

    • Reply
    • Hi Jim! Have you read our section in the post on the burn notice? Maybe something in that section could help!

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  • My family loved this, thank you for sharing!

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    • Yay! We love to hear that! Thank you for taking time to leave us a comment!

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  • Wow, so good especially with some cornbread! Just finished my leftovers, and I want to make it again! The whole bacon process added some time to the process, but I get to eat bacon while cooking, so really we’re all winners here. Left out the jalapeno, but didn’t miss it.

    got a burn notice at one point, but I think it was pretty early so easy to correct.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much for the feedback Jessica! And definitely with a side of cornbread!

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  • Best chili I ever had! I did exchange Mexican Oregano for regular Oregano and it adds a different flavor that is better than I hoped. My husband keeps asking for this chili regularly. Thank You!

    • Reply
    • You’ve made my day Sue! Thank you! I’ll have to try that Mexican oregano swap!

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  • I just made this chili for lunch today, and it tasted AMAZING!!! It’s a beautifully written recipe, too! I knew that it was worth the effort of the extra steps and I’m so glad I made it!
    I used venison because it’s what we had. I used white onion instead of red and regular paprika since I didn’t have smoked. I used 2 cans kidney beans and 1 can pinto beans. I cooked it for 18 minutes on high heat PRESSURE cook! I did not use the chili setting on my instant pot. I topped it off with sour cream and shredded cheese! Amazing recipe! I’ll definitely make it again and again!

    Also, for those getting the burn notice, that has only happened to me a couple of times throughout my learning phase of using the instant pot. One thing that I have learned is to make sure to NOT add your oil until the instant pot reads HOT. Also, be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot with a metal spoon or a metal spatula frequently, allowing NOTHING to stick to the bottom. Always scrape the pot right before you close the lid. It’s worth it to try it again! Blessings!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much for the feedback and tips on the burn notice! I’m so glad you enjoyed the chili!

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  • I found the chili recipe I have been looking for! So tasty, perfect. Thank you for sharing this award-winning recipe with us!

    • Reply
    • Yay! Thank you so much Suzanne!

      • Reply
  • can I use dried pinto beans and refried black beans

    • Reply
    • The dried beans would have to be soaked overnight and cooked before adding them to this recipe. I’ve never tried refried beans. I fear it might cause issues with the burn notice when cooking though.

      • Reply
  • New to instapot how do you alter the time or recipe to cook from frozen ground beef?

    • Reply
    • The ground beef will need to be completely thawed and browned before adding it to this recipe. To thaw frozen ground beef, add a cup of water to your instant pot and then a trivet. Place the ground beef on the trivet and cook on high for 25 minutes and allow a natural release. Then you can follow this recipe as written in the instructions.

      • Reply
  • Deelish!!! I added a little more beef broth when I got the burn notice and ran the chili cycle two more times. My family is thrilled with the results. It’s mild enough for those who don’t like spicy. If you like, add more chili to taste.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much for the feedback Susie!

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  • I love this chili. We make it all the time in our instant pot and have never had any burn notices. I am so happy my daughter found this recipe. I am not fond of peppers or onions, but this is so good I eat them. Thank you for this recipe ❤️❤️❤️.

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    • Thank you so much Kim! So glad you enjoy it!

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  • Love the flavor of this recipe but have gotten the burn notice multiple times both times I’ve made this. I didn’t use bacon 1st time. 2nd time I used extea thick bacon, plenty of fat and stirred frequently. Even. Rinsed and wiped out pot after browning mead fo be sure no browned bits on bottom. Stirred a ton and added extra broth. Still got the burn notice! Thanks for the delicious recipe, but not sure I can do in instant pot again wish the hassle of the burn notice. Maybe I will try crock pot or save for days I have time to summer on stove. Thanks for any tips and thanks again for posting yummy recipes!

    • Reply
    • I’m so sorry Sher! I am more and more convinced that certain instant pots are more susceptible to the burn notice than others. I would guess that even if you did the sauteing and browning on the stove top rather than the instant pot that it would still happen. The slow cooker works great for fitting with a schedule. Again, I’m so sorry for the frustration!

      • Reply
  • We have a favorite chili recipe we’ve been using for years but being stuck at home made me decide to try a new one. This is our new fave! My daughter can’t eat beans so I replaced them with an extra 1/2 pound of ground beef, two big carrots, two celery ribs, and an extra 13 oz of diced tomatoes. Absolutely delicious!! Topped with cheese and crushed tortilla chips.

    • Reply
    • I love all your substitutes to make it work for your family! So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking time to leave a comment!

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  • Burned multiple times, had to cook on the stove top. Total waste – I even added extra water, knowing that no recipe with tomatoes and tomato paste works in the instant pot. Skip this recipe, it sucks.

    • Reply
    • I’m sorry you had troubles with this recipe. We’ve made it dozens of times and have never had a problem with it. There is a section in the post on how to avoid the burn notice. Again I apologize for the frustration!

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  • Made this Chili last week, seriously it might be the best chili I have ever eaten. I had no canned beans (empty shelves because of COVID-19) but I had 1 lb bag of dried pintos. I cooked those in the instant pot first (gotta love that instant pot for beans!) and proceeded with the recipe and added them as if they were canned. I also had no Worcestershire and so I added 1 TBS soy sauce and 2TBS white vinegar. I also added a green bell pepper as well. Other than that I followed the recipe to the tee. I am making it again tonight (a week later).

    • Reply
    • Yay!! So glad you enjoyed this recipe! And way to improvise on all the changes!

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  • Made this tonight and I sort of halved the recipe (whole can of diced tomatoes, one can of kidney beans and half a can of diced jalapeños…half of everything else) and it worked out great. Just enough for a bowl each for my husband and I and one left over! It’s definitely going in our instant pot rotation!

    • Reply
    • Yay! Love to hear this! Thank you so much for taking time to leave a comment!

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      • I found your recipe on Pinterest and i couldn’t wait to try it this week! I just finished making it and it’s amazing. A little spicy for my husband and i. Not sure if it was the chili powder or paprika but i will probably do 1/2 the amount next time. The bacon in the chili is such a nice touch! Thank you for the recipe.

      • Thank you so much Rosanna! Yes, but back on the chili powder and that will bring down the heat a little for you.

  • Hello! The first time I made this it was fantastic and I had no issues! This second time I got the burn notice. I didn’t use the bacon either time. If I am getting the burn notice, can it be salvaged? Do I stop and stir and try to restart?? Thanks for any tips!

    • Reply
    • Ugh! I’m so sorry, Sher! I can’t stand the burn notice! There’s a whole section in the post about dealing with the burn notice. I hope it helps!

      • Reply
    • I’ve been able to salvage a couple recipes that gave me a burn notice, but stirring was not enough. I had to transfer everything into another pot, scrub the burnt bits off the bottom of the Instant Pot insert, and than transfer the food back to retry the pressure-cooking cycle. It worked, but it’s a pain. I generally just do my saute steps in the separate skillet now, just to avoid this problem. The 8-quart model seems to have a more sensitive burn sensor.

      • Reply
  • This is hands down the best chili I have ate!

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    • Woop woop! Thank you Bobbi!

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    • I don’t ever comment on recipes I find online and I love my moms recipe but I was looking for an instant pot recipe and this was AMAZING.

      • Reply
      • Yahoo! Thank you so much for taking time to leave a comment, and I’m so happy you loved this recipe!

  • Can it be doubled?

    • Reply
    • It can be doubled if you cook it on the stove top or the slow cooker, but it does not quite fit if you are using an 8oz Instant Pot. We’ve been told if you leave out a can of beans that it just fits, but we haven’t tried it.

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  • I forgot to post last year but I used this last year and won. I am using it this year too. Judging is fixing to happen so I hope I win again!

    • Reply
    • Good luck!! Let us know how it goes!

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      • Officially done with this recipe. While my family does love the flavor, I need a recipe that works every time. We’re hovering around 50% burn rate, sometimes getting different results ON THE SAME NIGHT. The simplicity of the Instant Pot is lost when I have to shovel boiling chili to an enormous bowl so I can scrub the inner pot with no guarantee it will work the next time.

        I’ll check back every once in awhile to see if this is ever corrected.

      • I’m so sorry for the frustration, Jon! You can always go with the slow cooker or stove top method. It seems that some Instant Pots are more sensitive to the burn message than other. We have yet to have this issue with ours when making this recipe. Again, I’m so sorry!

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