Instant Pot Classic Beef Chili

For years, my Crock Pot was my go-to kitchen appliance. I would use it multiple times a week for different recipes. So of course any time we made soup or chili, I used my slow cooker to make it happen. Now, my Instant Pot is how I make delicious food happen in my kitchen, and soups and chilis are probably one of my favorite things to make in my IP!

Back in those Crock Pot days, I shared my Crock Pot Taco Soup Recipe


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Crock Pot Taco Soup by This Little Home of Mine

..but more recently, I shared this delicious Instant Pot Chicken Chili Recipe.

Simple Instant Pot Chicken Chili Recipe

My friends tease me about my willingness to eat soup anytime of year! Spring, summer, fall, or winter, you don’t have to twist my arm to enjoy a hot bowl of soup – especially if there are yummy toppings involved!

My argument is that, no matter the time of year, the temperature inside my house is always the same, so pass me a bowl of chili anytime! ha!

In this post, I’m sharing our family’s favorite way to make classic beef chili, and if you enjoy chili recipes the way we do, I think you’ll love making up a batch of this.

Instant Pot Classic Beef Chili Recipe

Bowl of Chili Sitting on the Kitchen Table

Classic Chili Ingredients:

Some families prefer a meatless chili option or to use ground turkey instead, but for this classic chili recipe, I typically start by browning at least one pound of lean ground beef. For our family, I usually prepare two pounds of ground meat.

It took me a few months to break the habit of browning the beef in a skillet to then add to my chili. Now I know can I use the sauté mode on my Instant Pot to brown my beef.

Instant Pot and Chili Ingredients

Next up, the tomato sauce and tomatoes.

Honestly, I use whatever I have on hand, which is typically:

  • two cans of Rotel (one original and one mild)
  • a large can of tomato sauce (or two smaller cans)
  • a tiny can of tomato paste – This adds a nice rich flavor to your bean chili.
  • jarred salsa – I typically dump in the entire jar. This is a great way to add some heat if you like a spicy chili!

It is at this step I’ve even been known to add a jar of traditional spaghetti sauce. This may sound weird, but there have been many times when it’s done the job!

If you like a soupier chili, you may want to add a bit of chicken broth or beef broth. My family likes a thicker chili, so for this recipe, I usually skip this option.

Now for the beans!

Here’s another chance for you to use whatever you have a hand. You may be thinking, Liz, I want your exact recipe.

This is where I should admit to you that my soups and chilis are a smidge different each time because I truly do use what I have on hand when I’m tossing them together. A variety of different types of beans will work!

  • dark red kidney beans
  • light red kidney beans
  • pinto beans
  • black beans
Canned Beans Sitting on the Counter
  • white beans: White Kidney Beans, Cannellini Beans, Great Northern Beans, etc. Do you have a favorite white bean your family would enjoy in this recipe?

You truly can use whatever you have on hand to make a delicious Instant Pot Chili. I’ve even, at times, added a pouch of these Indian Madras Lentils to my chili, and they work great. These are one of the items we share on our list of Costco favorites.

Canned Beans Sitting on the Counter

For more of our top picks from one of our favorite bulk food stores, check out this post:

Another option is any high-quality boxed or canned chili you might already have in your pantry. Sometimes these can add a nice flavor to a homemade chili recipe.

Canned Chili in the Pantry

Now, for a few more additions that will make your chili extra yummy.

First up, the onions!

Sure, you could dice up a large onion, but we love these chopped frozen onions we shared as part of our favorite Chicken Chili Recipe. They make soup recipes extra easy to toss together. These freeze-dried red onions are also a good option.

Next up, your favorite seasonings to taste:

  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic – A garlic clove tossed into the pot adds great flavor, but garlic powder works well, too.
  • chili powder
  • hot sauce – We usually skip this idea, because we’re wimps.

After you’ve added your chili ingredients into your Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for 20-25 minutes.

When your IP has finished doing it’s job, it’s time to serve! Give your chili a good stir and ladle it in to your favorite soup bowls.

Bowl of Chili Sitting on the Kitchen Table

Or take things to the next level by trying this fun bread bowl idea!

Chili in a Bread Bowl

We love our chili served with yummy toppings. You, too?

  • shredded cheese – Cheddar cheese is a common favorite, but pepper jack cheese also tastes delicious atop a bowl of chili.
  • green onions
  • freshly diced red onion
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips or corn chips
  • fresh lime juice

This is an easy recipe you truly can make your own! Sure you can make chili on your stove top, but this Instant Pot Chili Recipe has made it possible for us to enjoy chili that tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day – in a fraction of the time.

From our family to yours, we hope you enjoy this tasty chili, and dare I say this recipe tastes even better the next day – as leftovers.

This delicious chili also freezes well, so don’t be afraid to make a little extra to toss in your freezer for another time. It’s also a great recipe to deliver to a family who may need a little extra encouragement right now.

Printable Food Gift Tags
Bowl of Chili Sitting on the Kitchen Table

Instant Pot Classic Beef Chili

A traditional chili recipe quickly cooked to perfection in the Instant Pot!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1 Instant Pot


  • 2 lbs. Ground Beef
  • 2 cans Rotel
  • 1 large can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 small can Tomato Paste
  • 1 jar Salsa
  • 3 cans Beans
  • 1 bag Frozen Onions
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 dash Salt and Pepper
  • 1 dash Chili


  • Sauté your meat in the Instant Pot.
  • Add your other ingredients to the Instant Pot.
  • Cook on high pressure for 20-25 minutes.
  • Stir and serve topped with your favorite chili toppings.
Keyword Beef Chili, Chili Recipe, Classic Chili, Instant Pot, Traditional Chili
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