Easy Instant Pot Chili Colorado Smothered Burritos

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This Instant Pot Chili Colorado features fork-tender chunks of spicy beef in a flour tortilla smothered with enchilada sauce and melty, gooey cheese. 

Close up on a white dinner plate with a freshly made Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Chile Colorado Burrito smothered in red enchilada sauce, melted Colby jack cheese, fresh salsa, and lime, served with tortilla chips and romaine lettuce.

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!

Pinterest collage describing instant Pot Colorado Chile smothered burritos

How to Make Chili Colorado Smothered Burritos in an Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

This Chili Colorado Burrito recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

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. 

Overhead of an Instant Pot with red Colorado Chile made from cubed beef rump roast, enchilada sauce and beef bouillion.

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!

Close up on a baking sheet lined with tin foil holding Instant Pot Colorado Chili Burritos smothered with red enchilada sauce and shredded Colby jack cheese.

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.

Step-by-step photo of how to assemble burritos. 1. Tortilla open on a foil-lined baking sheet. 2. Wrap the ends in, then fold the sides down and lay seam-side down on the baking sheet. 3. Repeat for all tortillas and cover in red enchilada sauce

How to Wrap a Burrito

To assemble the smothered burritos, I like to use a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

  1. 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. 
  2. Keep the filled burritos seam-side down on the baking dish while you assemble the rest. 
  3. When you’re ready to serve Chile Colorado Smothered Burritos, pour another cup of red enchilada sauce over the top of the burritos.
  4. Sprinkle them generously with shredded cheese (I use Colby Jack). 
  5. 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.)
Close up on a white dinner plate with a freshly made Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Chile Colorado Burrito smothered in red enchilada sauce, melted Colby jack cheese, fresh salsa and lime, served with tortilla chips and romaine lettuce.

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:

Close up on a freshly made Instant Pot / pressure cooker Chile Colorado smothered burrito with red echnilada sauce, melted Colby jack cheese, fresh salsa, cilantro, a lime wedge served with tortilla chips and crunchy romaine lettuce.

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!

White dinner plate filled with tortilla chips, romaine lettuce and an Instant Pot Chili Colorado Smothered Burrito topped with melty cheese, lime wedge, fresh salsa and more enchilada sauce on a white background with a blue and white napkin and a silver fork.

Easy Pressure Cooker Chile Colorado Smothered Burritos

Servings: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Beef
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: instant pot burritos, instant pot chile colorado, instant pot chili colorado, instant pot mexican, instant pot recipe, meat, Mexican, pressure cooker chile colorado, pressure cooker chili colorado, Pressure cooking
Savory Chile Colorado Burritos are smothered with enchilada sauce and topped with melted cheese to make this easy Instant Pot Mexican meal. 
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  • 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.



Serving: 1g | Calories: 972kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 1838mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 8g


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Pinterest collage displaying an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker and a dish of instant pot Chile Colorado smothered burritos
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originally published May 2, 2020 — last updated June 1, 2024
Categories: Beef