This Instant Pot Chili Colorado features fork-tender chunks of spicy beef in a flour tortilla smothered with enchilada sauce and melty, gooey cheese.
A few years ago, my husband and I drove through the tiny town of Battle Mountain, Nevada, and decided to stop for lunch at El Aguila Real, where I tried Chili Colorado for the first time.
It was served “enchilada style,” with the chili colorado wrapped in a burrito and smothered in enchilada sauce and melted cheese!
The rest of our drive home, I simply couldn’t stop thinking about our fantastic meal. I knew I had to give it a try in my Instant Pot.
Update: This delicious Chile Colorado Smothered Burrito is one of my favorite Instant Pot Beef recipes, so I updated the information and added a video to this post. If you haven’t tried it before, put it on your Cinco de Mayo menu! I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!
How to Make Chili Colorado Smothered Burritos in an Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker
This pressure cooker recipe is inspired by Chef In Training’s Chile Colorado, which calls for 8 hours in the slow cooker. My pressure cooker chile colorado cooks for 30 minutes at High Pressure, so you’ll have dinner on the table in about an hour!
Thanks to the enchilada sauce and beef bouillon you cook with the beef, this recipe pops with flavor. The enchilada sauce adds a nice kick and Mexican flare, while the beef bullion really amps up the meaty, savory flavors of the meat.
What Meat to Use in Chile Colorado?
What’s great about this Pressure Cooker Chili Colorado recipe is that you can pretty much use whatever cut of meat you have on hand.
💡 Tip: For even more beef flavor, you can also sear the meat in your pressure cooker. It takes a bit more time, it tastes great.
The recipe as written calls for cubed boneless beef rump roast. It’s a great option if you like large chunks of meat in your burritos.
However, if you don’t have rump roast on hand, you can use a number of other cuts to make Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Chili Colorado:
- Eye of Round Beef is a leaner cut, so use a 20-minute cook time followed by a 10-minute natural pressure release. Check the meat, and if you want it a bit more tender, cook it on High Pressure for a few more minutes.
- A Whole Roast is great to make shredded beef. Of course, large cuts of meat take longer to cook. I’d cook a whole roast for at least 90 minutes at High Pressure. Then the meat will shred up nicely for your chili colorado.
- A Roast cut into 1 pound pieces will take less time than the whole roast, but should also shred beautifully. You can cook this cut for about 50 minutes at High Pressure like we do for Root Beer Pulled Pork.
- Stew Meat that’s already cut can be used without any changes to the recipe.
🍗 Chicken is also an option for these burritos! Cubed chicken breasts will take just 4 minutes under High Pressure. Whole boneless chicken thighs should go in for 9 minutes.
It’s a different taste but a great option if you’re in a hurry or want to use what you have on hand!
What Kind of Enchilada Sauce Is Best for Smothered Burritos?
The Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce, which comes in 8-ounce packages, is my favorite enchilada sauce, and it really makes for this recipe.
Use your favorite enchilada sauce in this recipe. The enchilada sauce you choose has a big impact on flavor, so be sure to taste the sauce before you add it.
💡 Tip: Several readers also love making their own red enchilada sauce for Chili Colorado burritos, like this homemade enchilada sauce recipe from Cookie and Kate.
How to Wrap a Burrito
To assemble the smothered burritos, I like to use a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
- Start by laying one tortilla on the baking sheet. Add a dollop of Instant Pot chili colorado to the center of the tortilla, fold in the sides, and roll up to seal the burrito closed.
- Keep the filled burritos seam-side down on the baking dish while you assemble the rest.
- When you’re ready to serve Chile Colorado Smothered Burritos, pour another cup of red enchilada sauce over the top of the burritos.
- Sprinkle them generously with shredded cheese (I use Colby Jack).
- Lastly, pop the tray under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. (Remember that all broilers differ, so keep a close eye on the burritos while they’re in the oven.)
Can I Freeze Instant Pot Chili Colorado?
The beef filling freezes quite well. If you have leftovers, freeze the cooled chili in Ziploc bags in individual serving sizes. It can be easily defrosted for quick lunches too.
Mexican Sides to Serve With Chile Colorado
Turn this festive weeknight meal into a fiesta with these other popular Mexican side dishes:
- Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Cilantro-Lime Rice is a copycat version of Chipotle’s popular side dish and a perfect side for smothered burritos.
- Instant Pot Spanish Rice is flavored with zesty salsa and onions and cooks in no time.
- Cheesy Green Chile Cornbread, from Barbara Bakes, is flavored with green chiles and shredded cheese.
- Mexican Tortellini Salad from Two Peas and Their Pod is a fresh chilled pasta salad.
- Virgin Strawberry Margarita from Barbara Bakes is a kid-friendly way to celebrate.
No, Not that Colorado
Without fail, when I share this recipe, I get one or two comments saying “this doesn’t taste anything like the chili we eat in Colorado.”
In Spanish, colorado actually means “colored red.” Classic Chile Colorado is a deep red color (which I achieve in this recipe with my favorite Mexican enchilada sauce).
The only thing this has in common with Colorado the state is the name!
- 3 pounds boneless beef rump roast, cubed into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups enchilada sauce, divided
- 2 beef bouillon cubes OR 2 teaspoons beef base
- 1/2 cup water
- 10 burrito sized flour tortillas
- 2 cups shredded cheese (use your favorite, I used Colby Jack)
- Shredded lettuce, diced fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and tortilla chips, optional, for serving
- Add the cubed beef, 1 cup enchilada sauce, beef bouillon, and water to the cooking pot. Select High Pressure and 30 minutes cook time.
- When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- To make the burritos, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a tortilla on the tray and add approximately 1/2 cup of beef to the center of the tortilla. Fold in the edges and roll up like a burrito. Place the burritos seam-side down on the tray. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. Broil until the cheese is browned and bubbly, about 2 to 4 minutes.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 972Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 215mgSodium: 1838mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 10gSugar: 8gProtein: 64g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
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