Simple Chili - Instant Pot or Dutch Oven

About this Recipe

A big pot of Chili is one of those very popular easy dinner ideas that you can make ahead and feed to a larger crowd. This recipe for making chili is done in the Instant Pot. We are so happy for the Saute Setting on the Instant Pot because it allows you to brown the meat, and saute those onions and celery in a bit of oil, so it gives a very similar result to oven baking. These two steps, of browning the meat and the onions, enhance and bring out the flavors. The best chili recipes are made with the right combination of spices and taking just a little bit of time to prepare everything. Although we made this batch in the Instant pot, we also give you instructions to do in a Dutch oven and bake.

Grandmother's Tips for Chili Made in the Instant Pot Recipe:

1. Don't leave the house when using the instant pot. It is a high pressure cooker and should not be left unattended.

2. Always use enough liquid in an Instant Pot. Instant Pots need 1 to 1.5 cups of liquid to get to and maintain pressure for cooking. You can use any kinds of liquid, but just be sure to use liquid.

3. Find the MAX FILL line on your Instant Pot and always keep your ingredients below this line.

4. Never put our face or skin above the lid when it is opening or the steam hole when it is being released.

5. NEVER force the lid open.

6. Locking the lid properly is important before any pressure cooking.

7. Refer your Instant Pot before cooking for more safety instructions.

8. Here is where we got our: Instant Pot

9. For this chili dish, when done let the pot steam vent on its own. It will take about 20 minutes and allows for a nice bit of extra time for the flavors to immerse into each other.

10. Once it has vented you will be able to remove the lid from the pot.

How do I bake the Chili in the oven instead of using an Instant Pot? Use a Dutch oven. Use canned OR thoroughly cooked rinsed red Kidney beans to add to the recipe. Add the beans at the same time as adding the tomato sauces bake covered, in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F. for One hour.See in the directions just below.

Try our Cornbread to go along with this pot of Chili. It is the perfect combo.



Makes 8 cups of chili

1 cup dried red kidney beans, soaked for 6 hours minimum OR you can use 2 (398ml) cans already cooked Kidney beans (if using canned rinse the beans first)

2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

1.5 pounds lean ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 medium sized onion, chopped

2 celery stocks, chopped

1 cup stewed tomatoes, pureed with hand immersion blender

1 398ml can tomato sauce, we use Hunts tomato sauce

12 mushroom, medium to large, washed and sliced

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon chili peppers


1. For dry uncooked kidney beans, measure one cup of dry red kidney beans into a container and add 4 times the water. Let soak for 6 hours.

2. Add the one tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Put instant pot to the saute setting. Add the hamburger meat and cook until all the meat is browned. Use a wooden spoon to break the hamburger into a crumble texture while it is cooking.

3. Add salt and pepper to the meat, stir in to combine.

4. Transfer the cooked meat out of the instant pot to a dish. Set aside.

5. Put one tablespoon olive oil into the pot, add the onion and celery and saute until soft. Shut off the pot.

6. Add the meat back into the instant pot. Stir to combine.

7. Add the stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir together. Stir in the kidney beans, and the sliced mushrooms.

8. Stir in the cumin, cayenne and chili peppers. We are using small portions of these spices so that even those that don't care for a chili that is too spicy will like this chili. Individuals can always season each dish personally and add more spices to suit their taste.

9. Put the lid on, set to medium pressure cook for 10 minutes.

10. Let the chili cool down and vent on its own rather than using the quick release. With a dish like chili, the extra time in the pot gives the flavors more opportunity to develop.

11. Serve when ready, or this is a dish you can make ahead and if doing so, let cool to room temperature, transfer to a container with a lid and refrigerate until you are ready to reheat.

12. Any food with meat in it, should only be kept 3 to 4 days refrigerated.

13. To keep refrigerated food lasting longer, always only reheat what you plan to eat at a meal.

14. If you want to OVEN BAKE, use a Dutch oven. Follow the directions the same but instead bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees F. for one hour.


Return to this Simple Chili - Instant Pot or Dutch Oven recipe or check out more recipes at Grandmother's Kitchen

Food safety is something that you should keep in mind. Chili with meat in it left out at room temperature for more that 2 hours should actually be discarded as bacteria starts to grown when food is left out. Getting into the habit of not leaving food sit out at room temperature is a good habit that will give you some peace of mind. You won't be left wondering how long food has actually been left out.

A good rule of thumb is to refrigerate your leftovers, right after the meal, before you go and relax as it can get forgotten about.

If you want to preserve your chili longer, put into portion size freezer bags and freeze while it is still fresh. If you do not want to use raw beans, you can substitute canned. Other popular beans used for chili are black beans and pinto beans.

Plan the spices in your chili for the crowd you are feeding. If you know you are feeding a crowd that wants a more intense flavor, you can increase the amount of seasonings. Some other spices to add are crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, and garlic powder. Other spices sometimes added are Mexican oregano, ground coriander and ground bay leaves.

It is fact that Chili tastes better second day, reheated. It is because all the flavors interact with each other and create a more full flavor.

So what do you do if you put too many spices in the chili and need to cool it down? There are a few things you can do. Add a spoonful of vinegar or lemon, the acid helps counteract the spice. Like acid you can also accomplish a change with adding a bit of brown sugar or honey and sweetening the chili a very tiny bit at a time. You don't want to ruin it by making it too sweet, so just add a teaspoon at a time and taste with each adding and stirring of the pot. A third method is adding a nut butter, like a peanut butter, again just do in very small additions. Lastly, sour cream or yogurt served with the dish also helps to cool it down.

Privacy | Contact