Classic Beef Chili in a Pressure Cooker

close up view of beef chili

Chili is so good when it’s good, and so MEH when it’s not. And so many of the “best” chili recipes out there are very strange and time consuming.

This one is what you’re looking for when you just want to use some normal ingredients and get a chili that is way better than “normal”. (If you’re looking for a slightly more adventurous chili, try my Terlingua Chili which uses smoked peppers and meatloaf mix!)

The pressure cooker is the perfect way to cook this recipe (or really any soup or chili). It seals in flavor and gives you the taste of something that has simmered forever without taking all day.

What you’ll need

concrete surface with ingredients measured out

Ingredients

  • 3 pieces of soft bread, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 (28 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of whole pinto beans or kidney beans, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 oz of beer (half a bottle)

Helpful tools

  • A pressure cooker! (I prefer a stovetop pressure cooker any day of the week, but you can absolutely make this in an Instant Pot, simply see the notes at the bottom of the recipe.)

???? Frugal tip

I have always been happy with the ground beef at Aldi or Lidl. But most grocery stores run regular sales on ground beef, and since it freezes so well, it’s a great thing to stock up on!

?? Let’s make it together

Mixing and cooking the meat

grid of 4 images- mashing bread and milk, adding ground beef, cooking onions, and adding beef mixture to pressure cooker

Okay, I know there are a million ingredients, but once you have them all out, this chili comes together very quickly.

Get out large mixing bowl, pour the milk over the bread and allow to sit for ten minutes.  Mash with a fork into a smooth paste.  Using your hands, mix in the meat along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

In the pressure cooker, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, chili powder, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, and cayenne until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 4 minutes more, until the garlic is softened and lightly browned.

Add the meat mixture to the Dutch oven, 1 pound at a time, breaking up with a spatula.  Cook until the meat is browned.  Pour in half a can of the crushed tomatoes and scrape the pan to get any browned bits.

Adding liquids and pressure cooking

Add the remaining crushed tomatoes, beans, soy sauce, sugar, and beer. Place pressure cooker lid on and set for HIGH pressure. Bring up to pressure and cook for 15 minutes. After the time is up, turn off the heat and manually release any pressure.

Check for seasonings and add salt if desired.  Serve in bowls with sour cream, cheese, and jalapeños.

grid of 3 images-showing beans and tomatoes added to chili, pressure cooker on stove, and finished chili

What to serve on the side?

  • Everyone loves chili and cornbread.
  • We love to have an appetizer night and serve this with deep fried wings and deviled eggs.
  • You can always whip some homemade fries and have chili cheese fries!

???? Print the recipe here

Classic Beef Chili in a Pressure Cooker

Print Recipe
Made with basic ingredients and plenty of flavor, this pressure cooker beef chili is simple but perfect.
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
Click here to grab a free mini-cookbook with my best seasonal recipes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 4 garlic cloves pressed
  • 2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz cans of whole pinto beans or kidney beans, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 oz of beer half a bottle

Instructions

  • In large mixing bowl, pour the milk over the bread and allow to sit for ten minutes.  Mash with a fork into a smooth paste.  Using your hands, mix in the meat along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the bacon grease over medium heat.  Add the onion, chili powder, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, and cayenne until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 4 minutes more, until the garlic is softened and lightly browned.
  • Add the meat mixture to the Dutch oven, 1 pound at a time, breaking up with a spatula.  Cook until the meat is browned.  Pour in half a can of the crushed tomatoes and scrape the pan to get any browned bits.
  • Add the remaining crushed tomatoes, beans, soy sauce, sugar, canned chiles, and beer.  Place the lid on your pressure cooker and cook under HIGH pressure for 15 minutes.  Manually release any remaining pressure. 
  • Check for seasonings and add salt if desired.  Serve in bowls with sour cream, cheese, and crushed tortilla chips.

Notes

To make in your Instant Pot, cook the onions and meat on saute.  Then cook under pressure for 20 minutes and manually release any pressure.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 730mg | Potassium: 513mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2340IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ground beef chili in pressure cooker, how to make chili in the pressure cooker, stovetop pressure cooker chili recipe
Servings: 8 large bows
Calories: 380kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @heartscontentfarmhouse so I can see!

Keep cooking!

signature with strawberries

Click here to subscribe By on May 13th, 2020

2 thoughts on “Classic Beef Chili in a Pressure Cooker”

    • Cathy I think ginger ale would be too sweet. I would substitute beef broth as the best substitute, and after that chicken broth or water 🙂

      Reply

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