Award Winning Instant Pot Chili Recipe


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We recently attended a chili cook-off which kicked my obsession with finding an Award Winning Instant Pot Chili Recipe into high gear.


We recently attended a chili cook-off which kicked my obsession with finding an Award Winning Instant Pot Chili Recipe into high gear.


It’s all about chili today, our award winning instant pot chili recipe. It took us 10 years to discover an award winning chili recipe and this is finally it, plus it’s an instant pot chili!!


We will talk about how to make chili in a slow cooker or crock pot or of course, how to make chili in our new obsession, an instant pot. Oh, and who could forget, can you freeze chili. So much to talk about, so let’s get going!


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!


First, 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 a pretty unhealthy soup, but I heard a rumor that if you don’t eat it alone the calories don’t count.


Pretty sure that’s true.


Oh! And listen to this, a couple of people brought muffin tins and then a sample scoop of chili was placed in each 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 recipe, right?!

We hurried and made you all a video to help with the questions. Thank you for all of your love and support with this recipe!



How to Make Chili in an Instant Pot

Making chili in an instant pot is really easy because there’s an actual setting for chili and beans. That pretty much takes all of the thinking out of this award winning instant pot chili recipe, doesn’t it. Because of this awesome setting there isn’t much you need to do other than dump everything in the pot, but because we  don’t want to dirty any other dishes I’m also going to show you how to brown your beef and cook your bacon right in the instant pot.


18 minutes is all it took to cook the chili but you could push to 30 minutes for even more flavor, and I have no reason for rushing, it was purely because instant pot is in my head so I want it instantly done.


Only some of the bacon gets added to the pot, while the rest we will use as a garnish. If you don’t care for garnishes, just add it in, but there is something really yummy about the different textures with the bacon on top.


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!


Why Make Soup and Chili in an Instant Pot


When you pressure cook something not only does it make it super tender but oh how it enhances flavor!! Our award winning instant pot chili recipe totally proves that a little pressure can be a really good thing!


How to Brown Meat in an Instant Pot

Alright, start with your bacon.




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.)


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!


Award Winning Instant Pot Chili

There’s nothing crazy about this award winning instant pot chili. It’s the real deal. It’s the best classic chili recipe we’ve ever had. It’s easy to add more heat to, red chili flakes, minced habaneros, whatever you want to add and later die from. Ha, kidding, you won’t die, but  I would because I HATE spicy. 🙂


The bacon adds fantastic flavor without tasting like bacon. The three beans add heartiness, texture and a great variety of flavor as well while the remaining spices all work together beautifully for a chili that’s full of flavor and aromas.


This chili might not be the one that we entered into the competition but it certainly is the one we will enter next time and it’s definitely and award winning chili recipe after hunting for the past 10 years. 10 years! That took forever!


There’s nothing like a favorite, classic chili recipe to keep us warm through these bitter cold months, especially this award winning instant pot chili!


We recently attended a chili cook-off which kicked my obsession with finding an Instant Pot Award Winning Chili Recipe into high gear.


How to Freeze Chili

Chili is really easy to freeze as there isn’t any dairy or fibrous vegetables to mess with texture and flavor. Cool your chili completely and store in ziplocs with all the air pressed out, or we prefer to use our Food Saver as the chili tastes as fresh as the day it was made.


How to Make Chili 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. Before snagging the recipe, check out this cheesy ground beef enchilada chili recipe!


Cheesy Ground Beef Enchilada Chili

The absolute best cheesy chili ever!! You are going to go nuts for it!


This is the most amazing cheesy ground beef enchilada soup, full of potatoes, beans, corn and ohhhh that cheesy goodness!


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!

Award Winning Instant Pot Chili Recipe

Instant Pot Award Winning Chili Recipe

We recently attended a chili-cook which kicked my obsession with finding an Instant Pot Award Winning Chili Recipe into high gear.


  • 1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 6 Strips of Bacon, 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



  1. Turn your instant pot to sauté and add the bacon.
  2. Cook until crisp, stirring often to cook evenly.
  3. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
  4. Add the onions and peppers and cook until tender.
  5. Add the meat and cook until browned.
  6. Drain off any excess grease, we just tilt the pot and use a large spoon.
  7. Add all of the remaining ingredients and 3/4 of the bacon and stir to combine.
  8. Turn the instant pot to chili and cook for 18-20 minutes*. Allow pressure to release for 10-15 minutes or quick release with the vent.
  9. Serve with limes, sour cream, cheese, and a little bacon!

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 Information

Yield: 8 servings, Serving Size: 1 bowl

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 505 Calories
  • Total Fat: 27.3g
  • Cholesterol: 74mg
  • Fiber: 12.3g
  • Sugar: 8.1g
  • Protein: 29.3g
All images and text ©Carrian Cheney for Oh Sweet Basil.

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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457 comments on “Award Winning Instant Pot Chili Recipe”

  1. CAUTION!! If you make this recipe and use the slow cooker method, do not do high for 3 hours like it says!! I used this option and my chili was dry and burned! I would not recommend high on 3 hours. All the work putting the chili together and it wasn’t edible!!

  2. Love your chilli👍👍

  3. Great recipe! It won 2nd place in my workplace chili cook-off out of ~20 very delicious varieties.

    Made the chili the night before in the Instant Pot, covered and fridged, then transferred to a slow-cooker to transport and re-heat the following morning. Only the third time I have used my Instant Pot and everything has been great!

  4. Can you make this in a crock pot? I don’t have an instant pot.

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  6. First batch was way to ‘Tomatoey’ for our tastes. Second batch I left out the can of tomato paste, substituted a 40 oz. can of chili beans for the 3 cans & added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Now we LOVE it!

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  8. Just finished making this in my 6 Quart Lux and it turned out perfect. I followed the instructions exactly, outside of the meat. I used half ground sirloin and half lean ground beef. Everyone really loved it! Have this planned again for next weekend. Thanks!

  9. This recipe sounded great. However in actual fact it is a lot of prep and when you actually cook it in the instant pot it causes a burn based on following the instructions. Wasted time and meal. 

  10. HI, how do you prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom and burning. My instant pot give me that message, I removed the lid and sure enough it was sticking to the bottom.

    • Make sure it is stirred thoroughly. You can add more liquid if you need to. One of our readers suggested pouring the tomatoes and tomato paste on top at the end. I’m sorry the Instant Pot is giving you problems!

  11. Followed your recipe to the letter and the chili came out perfectly. This was my second time cooking with my new Instant Pot. Loved how everything was done in one pot. Loved how I could fry the bacon in the pot and didn’t have to worry about grease splattering everywhere. Delicious chili and very easy clean up!

  12. We’re making this now and although we’ve followed the directions carefully, we’ve gotten the “BURN” message on the display twice (even after removing the chili from the inner pot and deglazing it). Did you use high pressure or low? We used high (the default for chili/beans), but we’ll try low pressure now. Crossing our fingers because it looks and smells delicious. 

    • We’ve been told new Instant Pots are more sensitive to the Burn message. Make sure it is stirred thoroughly and you can always add more liquid if you need to! We use the chili setting or the manual setting for those that don’t have a chili setting.

  13. Family loved it, brother said it was the best chili he’s ever had. Only changes I used: 2.5 lbs venison, 3 peppers, 3 jalapeños, 2 cans of black beans, added extra chili and cayenne pepper seasonings. Making again today but with beef. Going to add corn also.

  14. Instant Pot was used, and this was excellent!  I used everything that was listed, and two additional ingredients were added to just make it smoother tasting.  I added about 1/2 -1 teaspoons each of cocoa powder and sugar. My family raved about how it had the heat, but still had the sweet smooth taste. It’s certainly a hit. Thanks for sharing. 

  15. Made this last night and it was incredibly delicious. For us, next time I will add one more jalapeño and a little cayenne pepper to make it slightly more spicy. We have leftovers for three more dinners. Can’t wait! Thank you for sharing this awesome instant pot recipe. 

  16. Made your chili tonight…very good! My family agrees…it makes delicious chili fries!

  17. This is the best Chili recipe I have ever made. I have made it 5 times already. I do lower carb…so I use 1 can of beans and 2 pounds ground beef. Soooo good. My husband loves it. Thanks so much!!

  18. I just made this for the first time, but the final result is WAY too soupy, not thick like chili. I cooked it for 20 minutes using the Manual setting on my Cosori pressure cooker. I was a bit reluctant at first to go with two cups of beef stock because that sounded like too much liquid. Any advice?

  19. This recipe only my 3rd for instant pot, previously sounded like I hated this chili well I love it. Waited for the steam release, lifted the lid chili looked cooked even when IP message burned can on the screen. Long story short had 2 bowls so delicious, next time I’ll adjust the amounts. Having a bowl for work than another for dinner. Thank you!!

  20. Very disappointed in following your chili advice.Before putting the lid on removed quite a bit to get the chili down to half way. Received “Burn” message on my instant pot 6 qrt. Checked manual states I should turn off instant pot. You should state proper measurements for instant pots to stay below 1/2 full. Thinking you should halve all your values.

    • The 6 qt Instant Pot is the size that we use and we’ve never had a problem with it cooking properly. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you! You’ll want to make sure it is all mixed thoroughly to avoid the burn message.

  21. Made this last night.. The only modification was I cubed some chuck roast rather than using ground beef. The texture of the chilli was really nice and the meat came out very tender. Best Chilli I’ve ever made.

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  23. oh my goodness! THE BEST CHILI ever! We are french/german and we do not like spicy food so I completely left out the chili powder and jalapeno. This was absolutely AMAZING. I did not use instant pot (whatever that is?) I used a regular Le creuset dutch oven. Thank you so much for this recipe

  24. Thank you for the recipe.How should I cook this if I’m using regular bean and not canned bean? Thank you

  25. This looks so good.  And perfect weather right now here in Florida for Chile (it’s 34 degrees this am)!   I’m making this tonight.  

  26. This is our easy go to recipe for a cold day that we love. This is my 3rd time making it and the kids even like it so that is a bigger plus for picky eaters.