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This super Basic Instant Pot Chili recipe is the best. This is a go to recipe in my toolbox for those days when I “have no food” or need something warm, comforting and delicious in under an hour. The Instant Pot really will save your life.
Keeping a well stocked pantry and freezer is key to being able to throw together quick and easy hearty meals. I always have a few cans of different beans on hand and 2-3 one pound packages of ground beef, bison or turkey in the freezer at all times. The only thing that needs chopping in this recipe is an onion and a few cloves of garlic.
There are a thousand ways to make chili and I’ve probably tried 200 different variations. People get serious about their chili and everyone has their signature recipe or secret ingredient. I’m all for it, but this recipe is for when you don’t have time to go to the grocery store and you need it now. Plus, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything because it’s absolutely delicious!
Tips for making great basic chili
Add spices in with the onion and cook for a few minutes to allow the spices to toast and flower. This step really lets the flavors come together.
Go easy on breaking up your meat. I use a wooden spoon to gently break up the block of ground meat. Let it brown a bit then break it up a little more, you want some nice, meaty bites and not just bits.
Allow the pressure in the Instant Pot to fully release naturally, giving it time to rest.
I like to use bone broth in my chili to give it an extra boost of nutrients and flavor. I love Thrive Market for ordering organic pantry staples at a discount to make sure I always have a few cartons on hand.
Get creative with the toppings! One of the best parts about having chili is all of the things you can have on top or for dipping. Some of my favorite toppings are corn chips, tortilla chips, crackers, cheese, avocado, cilantro, sour cream or greek yogurt, and scallions! Sometimes I need a hearty accompaniment and serve it with toast, cornbread, grilled cheese or my favorite, some cheese quesadillas!
Basic Instant Pot Chili
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large onion diced - sweet, yellow or white
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 15 oz cans of beans - I like to use one can of black beans and one can of red kidney beans
- 1 cup beef chicken or veggie broth
- 1 15 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with or without green chilis
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp oregano
- ¾ tsp cayenne pepper optional
- ½ tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- Turn instant pot onto sauté mode and heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil. Add in diced onion and cook about 2 minutes.
- Add garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin and cayenne. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until very fragrant.
- Add in ground beef and lightly break it up with a spoon. Let it brown a bit before breaking it up more and stirring, keeping a chunky texture. Cook until beef is browned and done all the way through.
- Stir in tomatoes, beans, broth and tomato paste and ¼ tsp of salt.
- Turn off sauté function, seal lid and manually set to 15 minutes.
- Allow the Instant Pot to natural release before opening lid. Stir and check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with favorite toppings.