This dish is essentially a hearty ground beef stew that has hints of southwestern flair to it while remaining completely subjective based on the geography in which it’s created (beans vs. no beans; spicy vs. mild and so on). So, basically, there is no right (or wrong) way to make this classic Americana dish.
That said, there’s Chili…and then there’s CHILI.
This here Chili is going to satisfy ANY Chili lover – guaranteed. Why? Because I load it up with some of the simplest and tastiest ingredients that packs a classic and premium flavor punch so rewarding, you’d better clear the mantle for that Chili cook-off trophy to proudly display!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Start out with an onion…
…and dice it up.
Now we have a trinity of peppers at three different spice levels we’re gonna add in (if you choose to use all three). We’ll take a poblano pepper, which is mild…
…finely diced with the seeds removed.
Then we’ll graduate to the next level and take a jalapeño pepper, which is medium in terms of heat…
…and, like the poblano, dice it up and de-seed.
Now we’re getting a little serious. For a pretty intense heat factor to complete the pepper trifecta, take a habanero pepper…
…and slice it in half, also removing the seeds. (Note: you can leave it out if you aren’t into spice, but it’s not going to be spice overkill – especially since we’ll be removing it)
Now go to the Instant Pot and toss in some butter and oil.
Once melted and sizzlin’, add in the onion…
…including that halved habanero (if you dare).
Coat everything with the butter and let cook for a few minutes.
After sautéing and letting the flavors come out, remove the habanero pepper and discard (or, if you choose to make this a super spicy chili, dice it up and return it to the pot).
Add in some garlic…
…and let cook for another moment.
Now we’ll take some ground beef (or ground turkey or ground chicken)…
…and add it to the pot. Stir and allow it to cook for a few minutes until crumbly, mixed with the veggies and lightly browned.
Next we’ll add in a little beer (I don’t mess around. And not to worry – your kids won’t get drunk. The heat will remove any alcohol)…
…some diced tomatoes (there are many varieties so use any of your choice)…
…a can of Rotel…
…and a can of tomato sauce.
Stir everything together very well, deglazing (scraping) the bottom of the pot.
Now let’s add some sauces to the mix! Take some hoisin sauce (secret ingredient! – it’s awesome)…
…some taco sauce…
…and some Worcestershire sauce.
Then season with kosher salt…
…and Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (if you can get at your local market. If not, the link is here).
Stir everything together super well until nice and combined, deglazing the bottom of the pot once more (nothing should stick anyway).
Some people hate beans in their chili. I’m not one of those people. Take some red kidney beans and rinse ’em and drain ’em.
Add them on top of the chili…
…but DON’T STIR THEM INTO THE CHILI. Just use a spatula/spoon to smooth them out along the top so they’re resting there (they don’t need to be submerged). Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, it’s gonna look and smell AWESOME so give it a stir.
Now, my secret and final touch to really send this chili home. Some CHILI Better Than Bouillon (I know, right?!) This stuff is hard to find in stores, but easy to find online. You can buy it here or here! It’s not 100% necessary to use but it REALLY sends this chili home.
Add some into the chili…
…and stir it up nice and good. Allow the chili to cool down for a few minutes before serving.
When ready to serve, take a bowl (I love using these crocks)…
…add in the chili…
…and top with whatever you want (be it sour cream, cheese, oyster crackers or whatever else makes you happy!)
Now admire how gorgeous, full and perfect that chili is…
…bring it to your mouth…
…and be prepared to earn some pats on the back and some respect. This chili is BLUE RIBBON caliber!
Instant Pot Best Blue Ribbon Chili
This chili has won my readers more contests than I can count at this point. It is the role model for all chilis around and I wouldn't dare state such a thing unless it was completely true. Oh, and if you to leave out the beans, go for it (but it's most definitely chili with OR without beans).
- 1.5 lbs of ground beef (or ground turkey or ground chicken)
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) of salted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1-2 poblano peppers, finely diced with seeds removed (this is a mild pepper and if you can’t find one, you can use a green bell pepper)
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, finely diced with seeds removed (optional as this is a medium hot pepper)
- 1 small habanero pepper, sliced in half with seeds removed (totally optional as this is a very hot pepper)
- 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
- 1/2 cup of beer (I used Budweiser, but you can really use any – and don’t worry, the beer will burn off and the kids won’t get drunk)
- 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 10 oz can of Rotel
- 1 tbsp of hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup of taco sauce
- 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
- 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp of dried cilantro
- 2 tbsp of cumin
- 1/2 tbsp of chili powder
- 1 tsp of seasoned salt
- 1 tsp of celery salt
- 1 tsp of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (optional)
- Two 15.5 oz cans of red kidney beans, drained & rinsed (leave this out if you want it “Texas” style)
- 4 tbsp of Chili Better Than Bouillon (hard to find in stores, but easy to find online. If it’s sold out, just keep searching online but DO NOT pay more than $8 for an 8 oz jar. It’s not 100% necessary to use but it REALLY sends this chili home!)
- Shredded cheddar/taco cheese
- Sour cream
- Oyster crackers
- Add the butter and vegetable oil to the Instant Pot and hit “Sauté” on the “More” or “High” setting. Once the butter’s melted and the oil’s sizzling, add in the onions, poblano, jalapeño and habanero peppers and stir & set for 5 minutes until softened and then add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove only the habanero pepper when done and discard
- Next, add the ground beef and stir until it cooks down and crumbles and becomes a slightly browned in color (about 3 minutes – it doesn’t need to be fully cooked yet). Its juices will be released while cooking and this is a good thing – keep them in the pot and do not drain
- Add in the beer, diced tomatoes, Rotel, tomato sauce, taco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hoisin sauce. Stir well and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot
- Now, add the kosher salt, Italian seasoning, cumin, chili powder, dried cilantro, seasoned salt, celery salt and Tony’s Creole seasoning (if using). Stir again until well combined
- Lastly, add the drained and rinsed kidney beans but DO NOT stir them in with the rest. Just lightly smooth them out as they rest on the top of the chili (see video for visual guidance)
- Secure the lid and select “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” High Pressure for 5 minutes (it may take up to 15 minutes to come to pressure so be patient). When done, do a quick release and allow the pot to sty on the “Keep Warm” setting
- When the lid comes off, give everything a good stir, add in the Chili Better Than Bouillon and stir again. Allow it to cool down to a warmish-hot, but not scalding temperature (about 10-15 minutes, as chili tastes even BETTER once it cools down a bit and the flavors have a chance to meld!)
- Ladle into bowls and top with some optional shredded cheese, sour cream or even my awesome refried beans. Serve it with my acclaimed Mexican Street Corn and/or my raved-about Creamy Chicken Enchiladas as terrific companions!
The Chili Better Than Bouillon is hard to find in stores, but easy to find online. You can buy it here or here! If it’s sold out, just keep searching online but DO NOT pay more than $8 for an 8 oz jar. You’ll be getting ripped off otherwise! It’s not 100% necessary to use but it REALLY sends this chili home.
The reason we add the Chili Better Than Bouillon at the end and not before pressure cooking is because it’s a bit different from the other bases. It’s a less potent concentrate and therefore I feel the maximum flavor result occurs when you slather it on and mix it together with the chili at the end just before serving.
Like my crocks to use for your bowls? (which are also perfect for my famed French Onion Soup?) Buy them here!
Hate beans and think it’s not a “real chili” if it has them? Well, fine then – LEAVE ‘EM OUT! 😉
If you have the time and feel like it, before adding them to the Instant Pot, feel free to roast the diced poblano peppers in the oven at 450 for about 5-10 minutes with some olive oil and sea salt drizzled on them. It will create an even richer flavor!
While this chili is absolutely top-notch, it is a known fact that the flavor of chili always REALLY comes out the next day when its had a chance to cool down in the fridge. The cold temperature makes all of the flavors meld so that when reheated, they come out in ways that are even more extraordinary than before! So you can DEFINITELY make this ahead of time and even freeze the leftovers!
Best chili I’ve ever had!!!
Fantastic! So thrilled you enjoyed it!
I am making this today!!! I can’t wait!
I’ve found I really prefer to use an extra dark stout for the beer.
Nice! You do you, Darth!
I used Guinness the second time and I liked it even better!
We like coffee stout – really gives nice depth!
Jeffrey, in Texas, you can be forced to move if you put beans in chili. Ive been making chili since dirt was in diapers and I keep the peace by using 2 cans of retried beans. Gives great taste and texture….so if your readers see this. Be sure and hide the cans. Kidding, but JUST ONLY….😂. Love your Chili!
Oh I’m well aware of that. But many would also argue that chili without beans is no more than meat sauce. 🤷🏻♂️ Either way, it’s great!
Everyone loved it. Left out the habenero. The fun was watching the dares to eat the pepper. Sweat, requests for more drinks and a second bowl of chili.. Laughed and had a great family dinner
Can you use chuck roast or stew meat instead of gr. Beef? If so does that change the cooking time?
You can but that would make it very different. Follow the beef stroganoff recipe for that guidance.
This recipe can’t be doubled in a 6 qt – won’t fit. Lesson Learned.
It will fit, just nearly. Still is great!
What about an 8 quart? I need double the amount of this fire f###### chili.
Should be fine!
Absolutely 2x fits in an 8qt. Done it MANY times since discovering this awesome recipe. Modified it in several areas after making it so much. Thanks!
I am planning to double the recipe in my 8 qt. Do you have any suggestions?
You can just leave out the beans until after it’s done cooking. Works for us.
I double mine in a 6 qt. I do everything except add the kidney beans. When it’s all done, I transfer the chili to my 8qt. stainless steel pot, on the stove, then add the kidney beans and the Better than Bouillon Chili, and heat it through if needed.
Great recipe. But I call BS on the 5 minute prep!
No magic snapping powers?
I am really enjoying how this turned out my first try, all the flavors, the spice, and the heat. I use 93% lean beef in my IP recipes, and I substituted anaheim peppers as the grocery store was out of poblanos that day. Still tasting great! However, I think I found this more salty than I prefer. I noticed several of the seasonings contain some kind of salt – but I don’t want to just skip them and lose the other flavors they provide. Any adjustment suggestions for less salty but still retaining flavor?
Thanks much for trying it! I think it’s the perfect salt factor as I can’t stand over salted foods, but a rule of thumb: if prone to salt sensitivity, always start out with less. You can always add more to taste later.
We reduce our salt intake whenever we cook. Here’s what we do:
1. Replace any salt you decide to use with Morton’s Lite Salt (50% less sodium).
2. Use no salt added tomato sauce.
3. Use no salt added diced tomatoes.
4. Use low sodium Worcestershire sauce (30% less sodium).
5. Omit the Kosher salt entirely as there’s still plenty of sodium everywhere else.
6. Make your own Seasoned Salt and Creole Seasoning using Morton’s Lite Salt. We used ones we found on Allrecipes.com and I think we even use less Morton’s than those recipes called for.
7. If that’s not enough, you could also make your own Taco Sauce, though even we haven’t gone that far.
Even after all these changes, it still tastes absolutely incredible and the best chili we’ve ever had/made.
Great suggestions for reducing the salt. I used no salt tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and it came out great!
Excellent suggestions. Thank you.
I agree with everybody else, best chili I ever had have made it several times. Having company so doubling the recipe, using the 8 qt, any suggestions or advise?
Thanks and keep going.
I just doubled the recipe and it turned out perfect in my 8qt.
If leaving beer out, just substitute that amount of water? Or would something else work instead? (We don’t drink so we don’t have any in the house, and are only curbsiding groceries right now and liquor stores don’t offer that service) Just didn’t know if something else might suffice in place of the beer. I do have cooking wine…
Beef broth, or garlic broth from better than bouillon
Try using the Hot Rotel. Really adds an extra layer of depth to the heat. We make a double recipe and use on regular and one hot.
Is it the same cooking time if u double the meat
I love the taste of this chili but also find it to be very salty – I think it’s the better than bouillon chili base. Any substitution ideas?
I replied to Matt, above (Jan 8), with all the changes I make to this recipe to reduce the sodium, but you absolutely CANNOT skip the Better than Bouillon. Trust me on this as we tried it both with and without, side-by-side.
I found it to be rather salty, too, and I didn’t add the kosher salt or celery salt. I might cut out the seasoned salt next time, but won’t eliminate the Chile base because it has such great flavor!
Made this last night. Used chuck roast cut into 1x1x1 cubes, because my husband doesn’t like ground beef. Added a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, and a 14 oz can of tomatoes with chilies (a major grocery chain in a big city didn’t have Rotel). Everything thing else was the same, except I pressure cooked for 6 minutes.
THIS WAS THE BEST CHILI EVER.
I’ve made this chili twice, once without and once with the chili base.I won first place at both cook offs. It truly is blue ribbon chili.
What can I use instead of taco sauce we don’t really have it here in the uk.
Salsa works 😉
Thanks for the reply Jeffrey can’t wait to make this in my duo evo plus. 👍🙏🙏
Is cook time really only 5 minutes on pressure?! I keep seeing other IP chili recipes that say to cook it for 30+ minutes, but I vastly prefer your recipes (family loved your beef stroganoff one). Also, would I cook ground buffalo for less time? Thanks, and thank you for sharing all your knowledge and recipes with us. Looking forward to your new book!
I wonder if this would fit in my mini IP as is?
Ehhh. I’d halve it.
I’ve made this once with and once without the chili base. I won first place at both cook offs. This is truly Blue Ribbon Chili!!
Just got your cookbook yesterday (SO excited) and this is the first recipe I tried. It turned out PERFECT! My husband doesn’t like chilli and he went back for seconds. Best chilli, HANDS DOWN!
Very great recipe, I added mushrooms and corn because I like them in my chili. No adjustments on cook time and it turned out perfectly.
Outstanding! My husband likes soupy soups and chili, but this sounded too good not to try. This is so delicious that he decided thick is good when it comes to chili, and it’s our new go-to chili! Thank you!!
This is one damn tasty chili! My husband, son, and I all loved it. I do, however, agree with the reviews that say it is too salty, which is surprising because I LOVE salt. (We were drinking lots of water later that evening.) I definitely will make this again, as it was very, very good. But I will use a few of George’s suggestions to reduce the sodium and still keep the flavors. I’m hoping they work, as I’d love this to be my go-to chili recipe.
I’m going to make this next week for my family, I also purchased on all the canned tomatoes either a no salt added or low sodium, I’d rather be under salted and we can always add extra salt later if needed, I can’t wait to try this.
Jeffrey, is it necessary to add the vegetable oil and the butter to brown the veggies? Can I just brown them with a mist of my olive oil sprayer? Will it make a difference in the taste if I leave the butter and vegetable oil out? Thanks for all your amazing recipes!
It just adds more flavor but you can try! Just make sure you have enough so the veggies don’t burn.
Do you think this could be done following these directions in a regular pot on the stove?
Yes! I do it all the time!
Once again, you make me look like a cooking genius. This was amazing!
I was a dummy and read the “Don’t stir the beans!!” Disclaimer…..then when I got to that part, promptly forgot and stirred. 🤦♀️ Fingers crossed it’s still okay!
Won’t be the end of the world. Let me know what happens.
I just made this on a cold rainy day in the mountains of NC. I tasted before and after adding the chili base out of curiosity. That chili base is money! Appreciate your recipes as always. I also made avocado chicken last week and there want enough leftovers to have another meal so I put over tortilla chips and it was amazing!
I followed your recipe to a T and it came out perfect! Best chili I have ever tasted!
Question: next time if I want to make it paleo and remove the beans, should I adjust with less liquid? And if so, what should I reduce? Thanks!
This chili is absolutely delicious. Cooked some today for lunch, and it was a big hit. Added some carrots and celery as well (love my veg). Definitely my new favourite. I’m so glad I bought your book at the same time I got my Instant Pot, it changed my life!
Would it be a waste to use a different kind of Bouillon to add additional flavor?
And, is there any other ingredient that could be added to approximate the flavor of the chili bullion?
I have made this several times. This is the BEST chili EVER. I did omit the hot hot pepper. Everyone I have shared this with loves it. It freezes so well too. Unless I screwed up the recipe, I didn’t think it tasted as well doubled. Thank goodness I have two IP’s 😉 I like corn in my chili has this been tried?
Trying to calculate calories. How many servings?
Can I substitute the beer with something else?
I actually used wine instead of beer. It turned out great.
I have a mini but want to make the full recipe or double the recipe–do you have an idea of how long I would have to cook it on the stove in a le creuset?
Better than Bullion Chili Base added that tweak to my previous recipe. It cost me $10.99 at Amz so I’ll need to find a better supplier before I make it again. I also cut down on the salt, but added 3 strips of crispy, crumbled bacon. It is now a keeper Jeffrey just as all of your recipes are! Latest was Cockadoodle Noodle lol and I’m rushing through my pot of chili so I can make that again. Thank you sir, from an older (age 74) IP semi-newbie who is very grateful for the videos you make to ease anxiety.
Found 2/$11.99 on Amazon
My storage unit was broken into and they stole my 8qt IP and fryer lid. All i have for the time being is a 3qt. Is there anyway you can break this down. Thank you!
Could one substitute Slap yo Mama for Tony Chachere?
I can’t seem to find the better than bouillon chili, can I use the roasted beef instead? Or will it turn out terrible?
We don’t have the Chili better than bouillon in Canada. What can you use instead?
You can leave it out!
I made it without and it was delicious.
I use half a packet of Williams chili seasoning. I tried the Better than Bouillon chili base. It didn’t taste any different to me. And the seasoning packet is WAY cheaper.
Hands down the best chili I’ve ever had! Of all of my Instant Pot recipes, this is easily the one I make most often. I can’t thank you enough for posting the PERFECT chili recipe. 5 stars!
I love every Better Than Bouillon Chili recipe I’ve tried, but I can only find it for $11 on Amazon. It’s just not worth that.
Doubling recipe of this great chili for a large group Do I need to adjust cooking time
Andrea L Barber
I make this over and over again. My husband has a sensitive tummy so I leave out the three peppers. Everyone loves it and it is always requested at family get togethers. NEVER disappoints.
Jeffrey – this was outstanding. Really hit the spot for Sunday dinner. There’s a little leftover and I cannot wait to taste it after it sits for a day.
Last two times making this, I received burn. I definitely deglazed. The meat stuck to the pan. Finished off on stove. Lol. Thank you
I love this recipe but got crazy yesterday and tried to make this in a crockpot. Big mistake. Wont do that again still tasted ok but not as awesome as the ip
Chili got rave reviews from my family. The first time I have made this recipe and am an IP newbie. I did get a burn notice although it was not burning. I have an 8 quart and made a double batch but I guess the pot got too hot. Took the inner pot out and put it back in and it was great from then out! I did use ‘no salt’ tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and 6 tablespoons of the Better Than Bouillon Chili Base. Also used only one jalapeño instead of two and the heat was perfect! Thanks so much! Will make again! Just got my orange cookbook so looking forward to more great dishes!
Hey hey! We love this recipe, deliciousness everytime. I have stubbornly for years stuck to my own recipe but now use this recipe with some variations. I use Allegro instead of Worcestershire and then at then end, add a can of corn for texture and a bit of sweet. Topped off with cheese and corn chips and it’s heaven. I make this entirely to often. Thanks for everything
Yum!!!!! This is delicious without the chili base . I can’t even imagine it with it ! My favorite chili recipe by far! Is this recipe in any of your cookbooks ?
So so good! My picky teenager said please use this recipe from now on! I didn’t have beer on hand- so I used red wine and it was still very very good!
This was my first time trying this recipe and I really like it! I might omit the salt next time and use the habanero pepper (I thought it might be too spicy as is, but I think that would have been the perfect addition!). I got the dreaded burn notice, my first time ever using my IP, but stopping the pot and giving it a gentle scrape on the bottom worked!
I will definitely make this again!
The Better Than Bouillon Chili Base is currently out of my league for price, so I was wondering if there was another Better Than Bouillon that you’d suggest?
Was going to make the day before a dinner party to allow the flavors to meld better but what is best way to reheat?? Should I dump it all in a crockpot on low and heat slowly?
I made this for a fall festival and entered it into the chili cook off. Well, your chili won 1st out of 10 contestants! I was so stoked! it came out great. thank you!
I’m a native Texan, so we are critical of chili, especially if it has beans in it, a Texas no no. I confess, I’ve added the kidney beans to it and love it, but leave them out most of the time. I have one thing to say, this is the BESTest Chili I’ve ever had, I can see why it’s called Blue Ribbon Chili. Making it today for no telling how many times, and hoping it brings good luck to the Houston Astros in the World Series. I made it for the Astros-Yankees playoffs and it worked. Maybe it will reverse the effects from last nights loss to the Phillies!!! Go ‘Stros!!!
Can’t wait to try this. I have some leftover ground sausage. Could I add that? What about black beans instead?
Great recipe, I’ll make again and again! Followed the instructions but added my dry spices to the peppers and onions once they had softened just to wake them up a bit.
Fran Van Hoven
I just won 3rd place with this chili. It was delicious! I’ve never used so many ingredients but the flavors were amazing. Thanks so much for your creativity.
Jeffrey tells no lies! This is truly award winning- I won my work’s chili cook off contest.
I have all of Jeffrey’s books and all the recipes are winners. It’s so fun to cook with the Instapot-
I’m so happy you loved it and won! Congrats!
Hi! Love this recipe. Is the nutritional information available anywhere?
Following the entire recipe mine came out painfully salty. Is it the 4 Tbsp of Better Then Bouillion chili blend that’s causing this?
I definitely don’t find this to be oversalted as I cannot stand such dishes. That said, everyone’s palate is different. If you’re sensitive to salt, make sure you always start with less and add more to taste.
I saw the video for this recipe on YouTube over a year ago and have been meaning to make it for a long time. I finally tried it recently. I do not recall enjoying chili this much. I ate the whole pot myself over two days. Thanks Jeffrey!
So glad to have another satisfied reader!
OMG, this recipe sounds so good it almost made me eat my laptop while I was reading it. I make some prize-winning chili, but this is so different from mine I can’t wait to try it!