Almost Texas Instant Pot Chili Recipe

Want flavorful chili but don’t have a day to commit to slow cooking? Our popular Almost Texas Instant Pot Chili recipe below gives you the best of both worlds — flavorful food that’s fast!

  • By Taylor Isaac
  • February 28, 2018

Chili and the Instant Pot are practically made for each other. Instead of lengthy slow cooking, this recipe uses the “Chili / Bean” function on the Instant Pot to cook this chili in 30 minutes using high pressure. That’s right, you get a full-flavored chili in 30 minutes!

Our Almost Texas Chili is made with a blend of spices (including a bit of cinnamon for depth) and uses only meat — no beans! We call this “Almost” Texas Chili because traditional Texas Chili uses dried peppers as its base, not tomatoes, but we’ve made our version workable for all spice preferences. If you want an extra kick, turn up the heat with hot sauce or red pepper flakes.

“I was hesitant on this one, but it turned out amazing! A bit meaty, making it a hefty chili to eat, but filling and perfect on a chilly winter night.”

– Kristin T.

This chili was featured in January as part of our meal plan service and it was a hit, especially with our member-run Cook Smarts Instant Pot community (who love sharing their Instant Pot recipe smarts by the way). You can join them here.

Make this Instant Pot chili for a quick weeknight meal or for your game day gatherings. Serve with chopped green onions and a dollop of sour cream. Any leftovers make delicious nachos later in the week!

What better way to enjoy this chili than with something to dip in it? Get access to our full meal plan recipe for Jalapeno-Honey Cornbread Muffins plus 9 other Instant Pot recipes in our Free 10 Instant Pot Recipes download!

Instant Pot Tip:

When making this Instant Pot chili, keep in mind that evaporation is pretty much nonexistent in the Instant Pot and without beans, there’s nothing to soak up extra moisture. So reduce the stock amount by half if you like a thicker chili.

(For more Instant Pot tips, check out our article here.)

Prepping Smarts

  • The chili spice mix, which is a combination of cornmeal, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, oregano, salt, black pepper and cinnamon, takes minimal time to prep and can be done 5 days ahead.
  • The onions, bell peppers and garlic can be chopped 5 days ahead of time. Store the prepped veggies in the same container to cut down on the number of dishes you have to clean later. Our videos below show you how to prep each veggie!
  • The beef can be seasoned with salt and pepper and tenderized with a fork a day ahead. Our video below shows you how!

How to Chop and Dice Peppers

Learn how to chop and dice red peppers to use for sautes, stir-fries, salads, and more.


How to Chop & Dice an Onion

Learning how to dice an onion correctly will save you so much time in the kitchen.


How to Mince or Crush Garlic

Garlic adds great flavor and aroma to any dish. Learn how to impart the flavors of garlic to any dish with this short video.


How to Season & Tenderize Proteins with a Fork

Maximize flavor and tenderize proteins with this little trick.

Equipment Smarts

  • Instant Pot — this multicooker is the only equipment you need thanks to its “Sauté” function that lets you brown your beef in the pot before cooking the chili

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools

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Almost Texas Instant Pot Chili

Savory, sweet and with a little bit of heat, this Almost Texas Instant Pot Chili is a quick-cooking staple.

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 45 min

Total time: 1 hr

Serves: 8


  • Onions, medium - 1, chopped
  • Bell peppers, green - 1, chopped
  • Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
  • Cornmeal, finely ground - 3 Tbsp
  • Chili powder - 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin - 2 tsp
  • Brown sugar - 2 tsp
  • Oregano - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
  • Beef stew meat, cubed - 2 lbs (sub beef sirloin or chuck)
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Stock, low-sodium beef - 3 cups
  • Beer - 1 cup (lager or other light-flavored beer; sub stock)
  • Tomatoes, crushed (15 oz) - 1 can
  • Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts combined
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
  • Hot sauce (opt) - to taste
  • Sour cream - for serving (sub plain or Greek yogurt)



  1. Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic – Prep as directed. Combine onions, bell peppers and garlic in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make chili spice mix – Combine cornmeal, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, oregano, salt, black pepper and cinnamon. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Beef – If beef is not pre-sliced into cubes, slice into 1” cubes. Season with some salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)


  1. Add oil to Instant Pot and set to saute function. Add beef and saute until golden brown on the outside (don’t worry if it isn’t cooked all the way through), ~5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. To pan drippings, add onions, bell peppers and garlic and saute until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add spice mix and saute until fragrant, ~1 minute more.
  3. Add stock, beer and tomatoes to Instant Pot and bring to a simmer. Add beef back to Instant Pot. Place lid on and press chili button which defaults to high pressure for 30 minutes.
  4. When chili is finished, do a natural release.
  5. Just before serving, chop green onions.
  6. Stir vinegar into chili. Season with some salt and pepper (and some hot sauce if you’d like).
  7. Serve chili with green onions and sour cream on top.

A little note: Some of the above links are Amazon affiliate links, which means we earn a small percentage from those sales. We use this affiliate revenue to support the continued growth of Cook Smarts. Thank you!

If you love this recipe and want more ways to use your Instant Pot, get our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet eBook for all the IP cooking times, as well as how to convert your favorite recipes for the Instant Pot – all for just $9.99. Also, consider joining our meal plan members who love getting exciting, healthy, and smart menus delivered to their inbox every week!

Instant Pot Chili Recipe: Almost Texas Chili via @cooksmartsInstant Pot Chili Recipe: Almost Texas Chili via @cooksmartsInstant Pot Chili Recipe: Almost Texas Chili via @cooksmartsInstant Pot Chili Recipe: Almost Texas Chili via @cooksmarts


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