This Instant Pot chili with dried beans is the perfect way to cook a traditional red kidney bean and beef chili. It takes advantage of using dried kidney beans that are power soaked, so no need to pre-soak the beans.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Does Chili Have Red Kidney Beans?
I know there are chili traditionalists out there who have one definition of chili. Our friend Drew is one. He says that anything other than a beef chili should be called a bean stew or a Texas stew.
We are not so strict. We think with a lot of dishes that if it tastes good who cares what you use and how you make it! That’s how we came up with this beef, black bean, and pumpkin chili. I am sure Drew would be rolling his eyes, but it’s tasty!
I still think of this as a traditional chili recipe with dry beans instead of canned. We can’t get food like this where we live in Spain, so it’s up for us to cook all of our favorite American foods at home. This is certainly one of our favorites.
Check out our other recipes using kidney beans:
Why Use An Instant Pot For A Chili Recipe With Dry Beans
It’s not hard to make pressure cooker chili with dry beans. Of course, it’s not hard to make stovetop chili either, it just takes longer.
Traditionally, when Eric has made his “famous” chili, it would sit on the stovetop for hours and hours. This let’s all of the spices and seasoning infuse into the beans and the meat.
Using a pressure cooker skips this step. It’s one of the reasons why I love using my Instant Pot. The pressure and moisture in the pot infuses the ingredients with the seasoning and spices.
This makes any dish seem like it’s been cooked for hours. Instead, the Instant Pot means you can cook this chili in a fraction of time.
Check out our other Instant Pot bean recipes:
We have the Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1. It has a six-quart capacity, which is more than enough to cook for two people or for a small group. There is also an 8-quart option for families. For Instant Pot chili with dried beans recipe, use the bean function or the pressure cook function.
Tips For Cooking Chili With Dry Beans
There are a few options for this Instant Pot bean chili recipe. One is to soak the kidney beans overnight. In this case, place them in a large colander and rinse them well in cool water. Then, place the beans in a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold water. Let the beans soak overnight or at least 8 hours.
The second option is to power soak the beans in an Instant Pot. This in some way almost parboils or pre-cooks the beans. It skips the soaking step but prepares the beans to cook quicker in the Instant Pot.
Check out my detailed instructions on how to use an Instant Pot to cook kidney beans.
After power soaking the kidney beans, empty the Instant Pot and drain the beans. Clean the Instant Pot, dry it, and then start this recipe.
Ingredients For Instant Pot Chili With Dry Beans
Looking for a vegetarian chili recipe? Check out our Tortilla Lentil Soup, which messes with the mind and makes you think you are eating chili!
When it comes to making chili from dried beans, I often use fresh onion and garlic. But, I wanted to make this recipe as easy as possible with as many pantry staples as I could.
Spices And Seasoning
The seasoning and spices include garlic powder, onion, powder, chili powder, and ground cumin. It’s possible to substitute fresh diced onion (about ½ yellow onion) and minced garlic (5-6 cloves). If using fresh onion and garlic sautee them at the same time as the beef.
You can use some crushed red pepper to add a little spice. This step is optional. One of my “secret” ingredients is cocoa powder. Don’t use so much that it tastes chocolatey. In small amounts, cocoa powder can actually add a nice depth of flavor to the chili.
As with most of our bean recipes, use salt and pepper to taste. Don’t be afraid to use salt. It won’t make the recipe taste salty but will help all of the ingredients come together.
I also think it’s important to use salt to flavor any homemade chili with dry beans. The dried beans need to be seasoned in order to bring out the flavors.
The ground beef is cooked in olive oil with all of the spices. The moisture comes from low-sodium chicken broth but vegetable broth can also be used. Tomato paste is added to thicken the chili as well as to add a bit of acidity.
When it comes to cooking with ground meat, I’ve become a lot more particular about the type of ground meat I buy. This is particularly true after living in Spain and watching our butcher ground our meat while we waited.
I know not everyone has access to a great local butcher who prepares quality meat. As an alternative to the local butcher, there are a lot of options for ordering butcher boxes, where a selection of meat is mailed to you regularly. One such company is Butcher Box, which offers high-quality beef, pork, and chicken. This includes 100% grass-fed ground beef, perfect for this chili recipe!
How To Make This Instant Pot Chili With Beans And Beef
After power soaking the red kidney beans, rinse and dry the inner pot of the electric pressure cooker and place the pot back into the Instant Pot.
Add olive oil and the ground beef. Turn on the saute function and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the beef starts to brown. It’s okay if it is not cooked all the way through. That will happen. The beef will continue cooking when the chili is pressure cooked. Browing the beef ahead of time just adds texture and flavor to the chili.
Add one cup of chicken broth to the Instant Pot to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits of beef from the bottom of the pot. If there are bits of food stuck, some pressure cookers might show a burn error. This eliminates that problem.
After deglazing, add all of the seasonings and spices and stir well. Add the pre-soaked beans and the remaining chicken broth and stir well. Spoon the tomato paste on top but don’t stir it in. This will add the flavor and the acidity of the tomatoes without making the beans too mushy.
Close and seal the Instant Pot lid. Set the time to pressure cook for 15 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes.
Using an oven mitt or a kitchen towel manually release the rest of the pressure. Carefully remove the lid away from the face.
Give the chili a good stir. If there is still a good amount of liquid, add a tablespoon of cornstarch and continue to keep the chili warm as it thickens.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups dried beans, soaked and rinsed or power soaked
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (if needed)
- Add olive oil and ground beef to the Instant Pot. Turn on the saute function and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the beef starts to brown.
- Add one cup of chicken broth to the Instant Pot to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
- Add all of the seasonings and spices and stir well.
- Add the pre-soaked or power soaked beans (see above) and the remaining chicken broth and stir well.
- Add the tomato paste on top.
- Close and seal the Instant Pot lid. Set the time to pressure cook for 15 minutes.
- When the time is up, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes.
- Using an oven mitt or a kitchen towel manually release the rest of the pressure. Carefully remove the lid away from the face.
- Give the chili a good stir. If there is still a good amount of liquid, add a tablespoon of cornstarch and continue to keep the chili warm as it thickens.
The additional time includes the time for the electric pressure cooker to pressurize and then release the pressure. The actual cook time in the Instant Pot is 15 minutes on the pressure cooking setting.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 513Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 1121mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 8gSugar: 16gProtein: 40g
This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.
Modifications And Variations
There are a few ways to make this Instant Pot chili with dried beans even easier. I like to brown the meat ahead of time to add some nice texture and flavor to the chili.
If you don’t have the time or want to skip this step, it’s okay. Just add the olive oil and raw beef to the instant pot. Break it apart into chunks. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the raw beef and follow the same instructions as above.
Serve this chili with your favorite chili toppings, including shredded cheese, sour cream, or Tabasco.
Looking for ways to use leftover chili?
FAQs – Instant Pot Chili With Dried Beans
Yes. If making this chili with canned beans, set the pressure cooker for 4 minutes and release the pressure immediately. Be sure also to drain and rinse the beans in a colander before cooking them.
Yes. If you are cooking beans in an Instant Pot without power soaking, just soak them the traditional way, overnight in cool water. Then, instead of pressure cooking them for 15 minutes, set the timer for 30 minutes.