5 Ingredient Instant Pot Chili. Pressure cooker chili with only 5 ingredients? Yes! Here is my weeknight "meal in a hurry" chili. All you need is ground beef, beef broth, salsa, dry kidney beans, and chili powder. With soaked beans, all it takes is 15 minutes of pressure cooking and a quick pressure release and you have chili.
Here is my "I need a weeknight meal in a hurry and only have time to dump things from jars" easy chili recipe. I take every shortcut I can without compromising the taste of the recipe. What are the five ingredients? Ground beef, chili powder, beef broth, dry red kidney beans, and salsa.
I make this easy Instant Pot chili recipe work with minimal ingredients by making those ingredients do a lot of heavy lifting:
- I buy higher-fat ground beef than I usually do - no need for oil.
- I buy regular beef broth from the store, not the reduced sodium version I usually recommend. So, no need for salt.
- I buy salsa - combining the garlic, onions, hot peppers, and tomatoes into one jar.
- I use dried beans - yes, I need to soak them overnight, but they add a lot of flavor and body to the chili.
- I use chili powder. Of course, I always use chili powder, but its blend of spices is the key "chili" flavor.
Now, is this the best chili recipe I can make? No, but it's a hearty chili with minimal effort for busy days. If you're looking for delicious recipes that don't cut corners, check out my Instant Pot Steak Chili, Instant Pot White Turkey Chili Recipe, or Instant Pot Chorizo Chili? No, but it's still a darned good chili with a fraction of the effort.
And, yes, I know the One True Chili Texans are in the back of the room, shouting at me. "Beans? That's a nice soup you've got there, but it's not chili." I've learned to ignore them. I grew up with "wimpy chili," full of ground beef and beans. While I love Texas chili, I love this one too.
- Dry kidney beans
- Ground beef
- Chili powder
- Beef broth
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make Instant Pot 5-Ingredient Chili
Sort, rinse, and soak the beans
Sort the dried beans, discarding any dirt, stones, or broken beans. Rinse the beans, then soak them overnight in 8 cups water and 1 tablespoon of fine sea salt. (Or see the recipe card for quick soak instructions). Drain the beans.
Sauté the beef and chili powder
Set an Instant Pot to sauté mode and add the ground beef. Stir and break up the ground beef until it loses its pink color, about 5 minutes. Stir the chili powder into the beef and cook for 1 minute.
Everything in the pot
Pour in the beef broth; add the soaked kidney beans and the salsa, stirring to combine. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a flat-edged wooden spoon to ensure nothing is sticking.
Pressure cook for 15 minutes with a quick pressure release
Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes ("Manual" or "Pressure Cook" or "Pressure Cook - Custom" mode). Quick release the pressure in the pot. Serve and enjoy!
Where's the beef?
Switch out the beef for ground pork or ground turkey. (But don't get ground turkey breast - it is too lean). Or, use meatloaf mix - a combo of ground beef and ground pork. Or, want a more bean-heavy chili? Cut back to 1 pound of ground beef and leave the remaining ingredients the same.
You can switch to any dry bean that you like in a chili. Make sure you soak your beans, no matter what type you use. Soaked black beans and small red beans need to cook for 10 minutes at high pressure, and Pinto beans or Great Northern beans cook for 15 minutes at high pressure (just like the kidney beans.) I avoid cans of beans because the extra flavor you get from dried beans is essential to this recipe.
Cut the heat
I control the heat in this recipe with the salsa. Medium salsa is my default, giving me a low-heat chili. Cooking for people who can't stand the heat? Use mild salsa. Want medium heat? Use hot salsa. Want to rain fire down? Pass some hot sauce at the table. And yes, I have the amount of chili powder right - use ¼ cup of chili powder.
Chili makes excellent leftovers and, if anything, tastes better if it's reheated the next day. I store chili in 2-cup containers, which last for a few days in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. Then I can pull out a container for a lunch-size portion, to top chili dogs, or for a chili spaghetti or chili mac dinner.
Tips and Tricks
The key is the 5 ingredients. Use high-fat ground beef, not low-fat ground beef. Use regular sodium broth, not low sodium broth. Use salsa, not just cans of diced tomatoes. Use dried beans, not canned beans. I picked the ingredients to add extra body and flavor. Skipping them will result in wimpy chili. Now, sometimes you have to cook chili with the ingredients you have, not the ingredients you want. But if you're using more straightforward pantry ingredients, I would move on to a regular chili recipe with more ingredients.
What to Serve with 5 ingredient chili in the Instant Pot
When I'm in a hurry, I serve with pantry ingredients - stuff that comes out of cans, jars, and bags. Think tortilla chips, pickled jalapeños, sour cream, pre-shredded cheese, and bottles of hot sauce.
When I have more time, I slice a fresh jalapeno chili pepper, dice some green onions, or mince some cilantro to add to the mix. Of course, I also pull out everything above - chili night is a build-your-bowl adventure at my house.
5 Ingredient Instant Pot Chili. Pressure cooker chili with only 5 ingredients? Yes! Here is my weeknight meal in a hurry chili.
- 1 pound dry kidney beans, sorted, rinsed, and soaked
- 2 pounds ground beef (preferably 70/30 "ground beef" or 80/20 "ground chuck" lean-to-fat ratios)
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 4 cups store-bought beef broth or chicken broth (NOT low sodium)
- 32 ounces salsa (mild, medium, or hot, depending on how hot you want the chili)
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour Cream
- Minced green onions
- Diced red onion
- Pickled jalapeños
- A bottle of hot sauce
- Sort and rinse the kidney beans: Sort the kidney beans, discarding any stones, dirt, or broken beans. Rinse the beans, then do an overnight or a quick soak.
- Overnight soak: Cover the kidney beans with 8 cups of water, and sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons of salt. Leave the beans to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and discard the soaking liquid.
- OR: Pressure Quick Soak for 1 minute with a 30-minute rest: Put the kidney beans and 8 cups of water in an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker. Sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons of salt. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute ("Manual" or "Pressure Cook" mode in an Instant Pot for 1 minute), then quick release the pressure. Let the beans soak in the pot for 30 minutes, then drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid.
- Sauté the Ground beef and chili powder: Set an Instant Pot to sauté mode adjusted to high (medium-high heat for other pressure cookers) and add the ground beef. Cook the ground beef, stirring and breaking it up until it loses its pink color, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the beef with the chili powder and stir until all the beef is coated with chili. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. to toast the chili powder.
- Everything in the pot: Pour in the beef broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure no bits of browned beef are sticking. Stir in the soaked beans and the salsa.
- Pressure cook for 15 minutes with a quick release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes in an Instant Pot or another electric pressure cooker, or 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. (In an Instant Pot, use "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" or "Pressure Cook - Custom" mode set to high for 15 minutes). Quick release the pressure in the pot.
Serve: Remove the pressure cooker lid – open it away from you to protect yourself from the hot steam. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
If you want to use a natural release, pressure cook on high pressure for 12 minutes, with at least a 15-minute natural release. (You can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes.)
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Weeknight Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Instant Pot 5 Ingredient Chili, Pressure Cooker 5 Ingredient Chili
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