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!
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!
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:
- Turn your instant pot to “saute” and cook the bacon until crispy.
- Remove the bacon and saute the bell peppers and onions until tender.
- Add the ground beef and cook until browned and drain any excess grease.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and stir everything together
- Place the lid on the instant pot and set to “chili” mode (“manual” can be used too).
- 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.
- Once it is cooked, serve it up and top with all your favorite toppings.
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!
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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
- Sour Cream
- Sliced Jalapenos
- Green Onions
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:
- Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Ground Beef Enchilada Chili
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili
- Pumpkin Apple Cider Chili
- White Chicken Chili
- Surprise Chili
- White Bean Turkey Chili
- Dr Pepper and Chocolate Chili
- Healthy One Pot Chili Mac
- All our Chili, Soup, and Stew Recipes here!
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?
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Instant Pot Award Winning Chili Recipe
- 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
- Sour Cream
- Cheese shredded
- 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!
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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