This easy Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Beef and Bean Chili is a thick, hearty chili that’s packed with beans, meat, and tomatoes. It’s sure to be a big hit at your next chili cook-off!
Hi everyone, Jennifer here! The temperature’s dropped 20 degrees almost overnight, and it finally feels like fall outside. So we’ve been craving something warm and hearty.
The Chili Con Carne in Barbara’s Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook (page 89) is one of my family’s fall favorites! It has a little something for everyone—meat for the chili purists and beans for the chili rebels. 🙂
Barbara’s original recipe uses dried beans, which are awesome and so easy. However, we often opt to skip this step and use canned beans to save time. So this week, I thought I’d share how we make it, plus some of my favorite chili tips.
Make This Beef and Bean Instant Pot Chili in ANY Pressure Cooker
This Beef and Bean Instant Pot Chili recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, and Mealthy MultiPot. Pressure cookers are perfect for turning beef chuck into tender, juicy meals. (See more of my favorite Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Beef Recipes here.)
What Meat to Use to Make This Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Chili
While most classic chili recipes use ground beef, this pressure cooker chili recipe features tender, bite-size pieces of beef. And this small change makes all the difference!
I like to use chuck roast cut into bite-size pieces. Chuck roast is usually well marbled and cooks up juicy and tender in the pressure cooker. I also love it because it’s easy to find and often one of the cheaper cuts of beef.
To get the full flavor of the meat, be sure to brown the meat. Skipping this step may speed up your dinner prep slightly, but your missing out on the full rich flavors of this chili. Be sure to deglaze the pan with the onion and broth to flavor your chili and avoid a burn notice.
How to Thicken Chili
No thin, soupy chili for me! I prefer a thick, hearty chili that’s packed with beans, meat, and tomatoes.
This recipe uses crushed tortilla chips to thicken the chili. If you haven’t encountered chips as a thickener before, it might sound crazy! The chips break down nicely and add a great texture to the soup without a clashing flavor. Give it a try!
However, if you prefer not to use corn chips as a thickener, you can reserve a portion of the kidney beans and puree them with an immersion blender, then add them to the chili.
I’ve also seen recipes where people add fine-grain cornmeal to their chili. It changes the texture slightly, but thickens things up nicely.
While you could use cornstarch or flour as a thickener, you’ll need to use a light hand; too much cornstarch can introduce a gelatin-like texture.
Make Ahead Chili
While I like this chili fresh out of the pot, I absolutely love it the next day.
When soups and chilies sit overnight in the fridge, the flavors and spices seem to sink deeper into the beans and meat, and the sauce seems even richer.
I love this to make this dish the night before a party or when I know I won’t have any meal prep time the next day. Just remove the cooking pot from the housing until the chili has cooled, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator overnight.
To reheat the entire pot, I’ll return the cooking pot to the pressure cooker housing. Then I’ll reheat on saute mode, stirring regularly, to heat evenly and avoid burning on the cooking pot. Since the chili has been thickened, you wouldn’t want to pressure cook it because you may get the burn notice.
To reheat a small portion, you can use the pot in pot method to avoid the burn notice. Place a trivet and 1 cup water in the bottom of the cooking pot. Place the chili inside a cake pan or other oven-safe dish on top of the trivet.
If you’re in a hurry, you can also just use the microwave or a pot on the stove.
Do I Have to Use Canned Beans?
Nope! You can use dried beans that have been cooked your favorite way. To see how Barbara uses dried beans in a chili recipe, go to page 89 for her Chili con Carne recipe.
Can I Use Ground Beef?
Yes! While I really love the cubes of beef in this chili, ground beef is definitely cheaper. If you use ground beef, you can cut the cook time way down. Since I like the flavor of browning the beef, I’d still brown the beef in the bottom of the cooking pot, then I’d use a 3 minute cook time, like I do for my Cheeseburger Soup recipe on page 110.
Make This Instant Pot Chili Your Way
Do you love spicy chili? Do you have a sauce or seasoning that you love? This recipe is flexible, and you can make it your way!
I prefer to serve my chili fairly mild, then have hot sauces and jalapenos for everyone to spice it up their way. That way everyone can have bowl of Instant Pot chili just the way they like it.
You can always add more beans or meat to suit your preference and to stretch this recipe for a larger crowd.
What to Serve with Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Chili
This chili can be a meal in itself, just served with extra tortilla chips or small tortillas for dipping.
However, if you’d like to serve something alongside it, you can never go wrong with cornbread.
Did you know you can cook cornbread in the pressure cooker? It’s an easy recipe that starts with a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.
If you prefer from-scratch, there’s an awesome Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Buttermilk Corn Bread recipe on page 261 of the Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook.
Or, if you’d rather bake your cornbread in an oven, I love this Cheesy Green Chile Cornbread.
Do you like your chili mild or hot and spicy? Let me know in the comments!
- 2 pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced sodium beef broth
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 2 cans green chilies (my family prefers mild)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2/3 cup finely crushed tortilla chips, plus more for serving
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) red kidney beans, drained and well rinsed
- Shredded cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro, and sour cream, for serving
- Season the cubed beef generously with salt and pepper to taste. Select Saute. When hot, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the cooking pot. Saute the beef on one side in small batches, cooking for 3 to 5 minutes until brown. Add more oil as needed, and transfer to a plate when done. Continue until all the meat is browned on one side.
- Add more oil to the cooking pot, along with the onion. Saute for about 3 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
- Add beef broth to the cooking pot and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove all the browned bits. Add the tomatoes, green chilies, tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin. Stir in the browned beef and any juices that may have accumulated on the plate.
- Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 25 minutes cook time.
- When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- Stir in the tortilla chips and the kidney beans and let rest for 10 minutes, uncovered, to thicken.
- Serve topped with cheese, cilantro, sour cream, and more tortilla chips, as desired.
*Since canned beans are already cooked, you can add the kidney beans before OR after pressure cooking. If you add them before pressure cooking, they'll break down just a bit. I generally add them after because it's easier to make a double batch that way.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 415mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 52g
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