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Instant Pot Chili Fiesta

35 minutes. Cook
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Chili, the hearty and soul-warming dish, has a rich history in the culinary world. With roots tracing back to indigenous Mexican cuisine, chili has evolved into countless variations over the years, each bursting with unique flavors and ingredients. One modern twist on this classic dish is the Instant Pot Chili Fiesta.

In this article, we’ll explore the exciting world of Instant Pot Chili Fiesta. This recipe combines the convenience of modern technology with the vibrant flavors of traditional chili, resulting in a delectable, time-saving dish that’s perfect for any season. From the prep to the final garnish, we’ll walk you through every step, ensuring you create a fiesta of flavors in your very own kitchen.

Historical Context

Chili, originally known as “chili con carne,” translates to “chili with meat” in Spanish. Its origins can be traced back to the indigenous peoples of what is now Texas and northern Mexico. These early chilis consisted of a combination of meat, chili peppers, and native spices. It was a hearty, nourishing stew that provided sustenance for cowboys and settlers in the American West during the 19th century.

Over time, chili recipes diversified as they spread across the United States. Ingredients such as beans, tomatoes, and various seasonings found their way into the pot. The result was a dish that could be customized to suit regional tastes, leading to the creation of chili cook-offs and passionate debates over the “correct” way to prepare it.

Now, in the 21st century, we have the Instant Pot—a kitchen appliance that has revolutionized home cooking. Its pressure-cooking capabilities make it the perfect tool for preparing chili quickly while maintaining those rich, complex flavors. With the Instant Pot Chili Fiesta, you can enjoy this iconic dish with a modern twist, all while saving valuable time in the kitchen.


1. Sauté the Aromatics:

  • Turn your Instant Pot to the “Sauté” setting. Once it’s hot, add the ground beef and cook until it starts to brown. Break it up with your wooden spoon as it cooks.
  • Add the chopped onions and garlic, and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the onions become translucent.

2. Add the Veggies and Spices:

  • Toss in the diced bell peppers and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes, allowing them to soften.
  • Sprinkle in the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to coat the meat and vegetables with the spices.

3. Build the Chili:

  • Stir in the tomato paste, making sure it’s well incorporated with the meat and spices.
  • Add the drained kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, and beef or vegetable broth. Give it all a good stir.

4. Pressure Cook:

  • Close the Instant Pot lid and set it to the “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” setting for 15 minutes.
  • Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes. Then, carefully perform a quick release to release any remaining pressure.

5. Add the Finishing Touches:

  • Open the Instant Pot and stir in the frozen corn kernels. Let the residual heat warm them through.
  • Taste the chili and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or spices.

6. Serve and Garnish:

  • Ladle the Instant Pot Chili Fiesta into serving bowls.
  • Optionally, top each bowl with shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro for a burst of flavor and color.


prep time
approximately 50 minutes.
cooking time
35 minutes.
6 servings
total time
around 50 minutes.


  • Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker

  • Wooden spoon or spatula

  • Cutting board and knife

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Can opener

  • Ladle

  • Serving bowls


  • 2 pounds ground beef (you can also use ground turkey or a plant-based alternative)

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 bell peppers, diced (use a mix of colors for visual appeal)

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your heat preference)

  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup beef or vegetable broth

  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels

  • Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)


Sauté aromatics: Cook beef, onions, garlic.
Add veggies and spices: Bell peppers, seasonings.
Build chili: Add beans, tomatoes, broth.
Pressure cook: Set to 15 minutes.
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