Instant Pot Mini Chili is a quick and easy dinner for cold winter nights. It’s been on my list of recipes to try once the cooler weather came around.
Maybe it’s just me, but with all the chili recipes available, it feels like there are a lot of passions around what to include in your chili. Beans or no beans. Spice combinations. Oh my! For my Instant Pot Mini Chili recipe I adapted one from an old favorite in the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Chili also freezes really well so you can have a few dinners to eat later too!
How to make Instant Pot Mini Chili
One of the challenges with a 3 quart Instant Pot Mini is figuring out if a recipe will fit the smaller electric pressure cooker, or if it needs to be adjusted. I started to put together a bunch of Instant Pot Mini recipes so I don’t need to remember what needs to be adjusted or not. I bought my Instant Pot Mini because I am generally cooking for one and while I like leftovers, I don’t have that much freezer space to pack leftovers for 6. That’s why I started with the Betty Crocker version because it was one I cooked in smaller stove-top pots.
This particular chili came out a little thinner and soupier than others. So if that’s not your preference, you may not love this one as much. You could also thicken this up with a little cornstarch (hint that’s in those chili seasoning packs), or even quickly blend a little bit of the chili itself. You can also saute it a little after it’s done pressure cooking to remove some of the extra moisture.
Chili’s and other thick dishes can be challenging to make in an Instant Pot. Ideally you need to avoid the dreaded BURN message.
For this particular recipe, I somewhat winged it to convert it for cooking in an Instant Pot. Overall it was completely quickly and easy, given I decided late in the day to even try this. Start off by sautéing the meat, garlic, bell pepper, and onion. Deglaze the pan with stock or broth (or water) to ensure no food bits are stuck to the bottom of the inner pot. Mix in a can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed) along with seasonings. Pour in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Avoid mixing in these last two because the tomato products reaching the bottom could result in scorching and that dreaded burn message!
Ultimately I wanted a flavorful, no fuss chili that I could make in my Instant Pot Mini. If you like your chili hotter, definitely play around with the seasoning. This one worked for me, because I wanted mild flavor, not crying heat.
Instant Pot Mini Chili
A simple chili recipe sized for the 3 quart Instant Pot Mini
- 1 lbs ground beef extra lean or you'll need to drain the extra fat
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 memium bell pepper diced
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth, beef both, or water
- 15 oz can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes fire roasted, suggested
Turn your Instant Pot to saute, hot. Allow to preheat until hot. Spray with canola spray.
Saute ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic until no pink remains.
Pour in chicken broth and clear bottom of the inner pot of any stuck food
Add kidney beans, chili powder, and cumin to the pot and stir.
Pour diced tomatoes and tomato sauce on top. Do not stir in.
Put on the Instant Pot lid, lock, and turn the knob to sealing. Press the "Bean/Chili" button and set to 20 minutes. If you don't have a Chili button, use the manual or pressure cook button set to high for the same amount of time.
Once the cooking cycle completes, allow to natural release for at least 10 minutes and then quick release the remaining.
Open and stir. Optionally top with your preferred chili additions such as grated cheese, sour cream, or green onions. Serve with corn bread if you have it.
I usually try to limit my salt so I buy low or no salt added tomatoes, broth, and beans.
Season as your prefer. If you prefer a hotter chili, increase the chili powder and cumin.
Over to you. How do you make your Instant Pot Mini Chili?
What do you like to have your your chili – hot versus mild spice? Do you prefer more or less beans? More vegetables or less?