Instant Pot Chili {Easy + Healthy Chili Recipe} – WellPlated.com


Gather round all, and grab yourself a bowl of Instant Pot Chili. This filling, healthy pressure cooker chili recipe is made with wholesome ingredients, packs just the right amount of spice, and saves and reheats like a champ.

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What is the best thing to cook in an Instant Pot?

Whether I’m cooking for a crowd or looking for a yummy meal to last us all week long, this easy Instant Pot chili is one of my favorite recipes to make (along with this Instant Pot French Onion Soup).

Made with simple, nutritious ingredients like ground turkey (or ground beef if you prefer), canned beans, and sweet potatoes, it’s healthy, hearty, and will warm you to your core.

Whether you’re new to Instant Pot cooking or trying to reconnect with the neglected pressure cooker in your cabinet, a healthy Instant Pot chili like this one is a great place to begin.

You’ll love how quickly the recipe comes together, cuts down on dishes, and tastes like it’s been simmering away on the stove all day.

A white soup crock filled with the best Instant Pot chili with ground turkey and beans

5 Star Review

“This chili was wonderful! I followed the recipe exactly and loved it so much. The spice was perfect.”

— Dylan —

How to Make Healthy Instant Pot Chili

This Instant Pot turkey chili recipe with beans is inspired by my favorite Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili.

I used a similar blend of spices but omitted the quinoa in favor of a second type of canned beans.

I like the variety of textures between the two, and the added bonus of extra fiber and protein.


The Ingredients

  • Ground Turkey. Turkey is rich in filling protein and vitamins, making it the perfect healthy meat option for this chili (and this Healthy Turkey Chili).

Substitution Tip

Ground chicken would also work well here, as would lean ground beef. If you’re looking for a vegetarian Instant Pot chili, try my Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili.

  • Veggies. I LOVE packing nutrient-dense vegetables into my chili (and this Instant Pot Carrot Soup); this recipe is no exception. A tasty combination of sweet potatoes and bell peppers helps make this chili extra hearty and nutritious. The veggies’ natural sweetness balances the smoky spices too.

Market Swap

Cubed butternut squash or chopped carrots are great alternatives if you don’t enjoy sweet potatoes. They have a similar flavor profile and will cook in a similar amount of time as the sweet potatoes.

  • Canned Beans. It’s chef’s choice here! You can use black beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas, or a mixture. The beans give the chili body and help keep you full for hours.

Substitution Tip

For an Instant Pot chili without beans (more like a Texas chili con carne), check out my Instant Pot Paleo Chili.

  • Chipotle Chile Powder. The secret, smoky somethin’ somethin’ that sets this chili apart from other recipes you’ve tried.
  • Chili Powder + Cumin + Garlic Powder. A little heat from the chili powder and a lot of flavor from all three. These spices help give the chili that simmered-all-day flavor. (This Whole30 Chili is also bursting with spices.)

TIP!

For an extra spicy Instant Pot chili, try one of these spicy additions:

  • Cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (start with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes).
  • One or two diced chipotle chili peppers in adobo.
  • Crushed Tomatoes. The tomatoes help provide both liquid and richness to the chili. Do not substitute for tomato sauce or tomato paste as they will not provide the quite same flavor, texture, or moisture.

Favorite Chili Toppings

Customize your Instant Pot chili with your own blend of tasty toppings. The more, the merrier, in my opinion!

  • Avocado. Cool, creamy, and scrumptious with this chili (and this Chicken Tortilla Soup). This is a house favorite!
  • Plain Greek Yogurt. My favorite healthy substitute for sour cream. We usually purchase nonfat, though low fat works well here too.
  • Cilantro or Green Onions. Fresh and flavorful toppings that add a burst of color to and chili recipe (like this Crockpot White Chicken Chili).
  • Cheese. For added indulgence, sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese or a Mexican cheese blend on top of your bowl.
  • Jalapeño. Turn up the heat with some diced jalapeño.
  • Bacon. Instant Pot chili with bacon would be delicious! Add some cooked and crumbled pieces of Oven Baked Bacon over the top of your bowl. You could also start this recipe by sautéing chopped bacon directly in the Instant Pot until crispy, then remove it to a paper towel-lined plate, finish the recipe as directed, and sprinkle the bacon on before serving.
  • Tortilla Chips or Oyster Crackers. Offer some contrasting crunch.
  • Lime Wedges. A squeeze of fresh lime juice is great for adding some acidity to balance the flavors in the chili.
A wooden spoon stirring an electric pressure cooker full of ground turkey and vegetables for Instant Pot chili with sweet potatoes

The Directions

  1. Using sauté mode, cook the turkey and onion in the Instant Pot. Once the meat is browned, stir in the spices, then the remaining ingredients.

TIP!

Be sure to scrape up any stuck-on brown bits of food on the bottom of the pot to keep the chili from registering a “burn error” in the Instant Pot.

  1. Cover, seal, and cook chili on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Serve with desired toppings, and DIG IN!

Prefer a Thick Chili?

If you want to thicken chili in the Instant Pot, let it simmer with the lid off for about 10 additional minutes. It will also thicken more as it cools.

White soup bowl full of easy Instant Pot chili with sweet potatoes, garnished with cubes of avocado and tortilla chips

Alternate Cooking Methods

In case you don’t have an Instant Pot, I’ve also included directions to make this chili on the stove and in the slow cooker.

  • Stovetop Method. Sauté the turkey, onions, pepper, and spices as directed, then add the remaining ingredients. Let simmer, uncovered, until the sweet potatoes are soft and the chili is thickened, about 45 minutes.
  • Slow Cooker Method. For Instant Pot chili slow cooker style, sauté the meat, onions, and spices in a large nonstick skillet on the stovetop. Transfer to a lightly greased 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Leftover chili can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm chili in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding splashes of broth as needed to thin the chili. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Place leftover chili in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Meal Plan Tip

Chop all vegetables up to 1 day in advance, and store them in the refrigerator.

What to Serve with Chili

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Instant Pot. Other electric pressure cooker brands with similar cooking functions should work too. This is a great tool for making any of my Healthy Instant Pot Recipes.
  • Ladle. I use this to transfer the chili to bowls and storage containers.
  • Chef’s Knife. Perfect for chopping the vegetables in this recipe.

6-Quart Instant Pot

This useful kitchen appliance saves oodles of time on so many recipes. Plus, there’s only one pot to wash at the end!

white soup crock filled with Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Love your Instant Pot? Once you try this chili, be sure to check out Instant Pot Mac and Cheese (and Chili Mac for the best of both worlds).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Make Instant Pot Chili With Frozen Meat?

I do not recommend making this Instant Pot chili with frozen beef (or any other frozen ground meat) since meat needs to fully brown and cook through to ensure it is safe and gives it great flavor.

Can You Make Instant Pot Chili With Dried Beans?

I have not tried making this Instant Pot chili recipe with dried beans before, so it would be an experiment. Dried beans take much longer to cook than canned beans and require much more cooking liquid, so I fear by the time the beans cook, the other ingredients would be cooked to smithereens. See Instant Pot Black Beans and Instant Refried Beans to use dry beans in your Instant Pot.

How Do I Make Chili In My Instant Pot Without Burning It?

Stir, scrape, and stir some more. Getting the dreaded burn notice on an Instant Pot is easier than you think. The appliance will issue a burn error if anything settles or sticks to the bottom, which is frustrating. However, I’ve found that being diligent about scraping up anything stuck on the bottom before sealing usually solves the issue of getting a burn error while cooking.

What Is The Chili Setting On The Instant Pot?

Some brands and models of pressure cookers have a chili setting. This setting is intended to be set to the best temperature and pressure settings for making chili in an Instant Pot. Honestly, I think it’s a bit gimmicky. For best results, following the cooking time (10 minutes on high pressure) suggested in this recipe.

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 2 cans beans of your choice* (15-ounce cans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2-2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or beef broth
  • For serving: cilantro avocado, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

  • Set an Instant Pot** to saute and drizzle in the olive oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the turkey, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, breaking apart and browning the meat until the turkey is no longer pink and the onion begins to soften, about 7 minutes.

  • Add 1 tablespoon of chili powder, chipotle chili, cumin, and garlic powder. Let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  • Add the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, crushed tomatoes, beans, and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Stir well.

  • Cover, seal, and set to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

  • Quick release to vent the remaining pressure immediately. If the chili seems too thick, stir in additional chicken or beef broth to reach your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot with desired toppings.

  • *INGREDIENT NOTE: Choose any mix of black beans, dark red kidney beans, light red kidney beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas. I used 1 can of black and 1 can of light red kidney.
  • **TIP: If your Instant Pot is 6 quarts (this is the standard size), do not try to multiply this recipe. As written, it will fill the Instant Pot almost to the max line.
  • TO STORE: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm chili in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding splashes of broth as needed to thin the chili. You can also reheat this recipe in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Instant pot chili can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before warming.
  • TO MAKE IN A SLOW COOKER: Sauté the meat, onions, and spices in a large nonstick skillet on the stovetop. Transfer to a lightly greased 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or low for 3 to 4 hours, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  • TO COOK ON THE STOVETOP: Sauté the turkey, onions, pepper, and spices as directed, then add the remaining ingredients. Let simmer, uncovered, until the sweet potatoes are soft and the chili is thickened, about 45 minutes.

Serving: 1(of 6), about 2 cups, without toppingsCalories: 359kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 31gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 42mgPotassium: 1318mgFiber: 15gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 12083IUVitamin C: 39mgCalcium: 122mgIron: 6mg

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More Delicious Chili Recipes

In addition to my Blue Ribbon Chili (my favorite chili ever!) that can be found in The Well Plated Cookbook, I also have a plethora of other chili recipes on my site.



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About the Author: AZ