Easy Chili Recipe – 8 Minutes in Your Pressure Cooker

“Hot as hell’s brimstone” or “soup of the Devil”, the more priests warned against it, the more people wanted it.

From the first chili cook-off in the abandoned mining town of Terlingua, Texas in 1967 to your kitchen next Tuesday night, this easy chili recipe cooked in your pressure cooker is yours to tweak to your heart’s content.  Cooked in about 35 minutes start to finish. Make it, tweak it, share it, and make it again.

easy chili recipe finished product

Easy Chili Recipe

“Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili.” – Last words of Kit Carson, American frontiersman (1809-1868)

Pressure Cooker Recipe: Chili (video)

Easy Pressure Cooker Chili Recipe


1 lb ground beef
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 sweet onion
1 green bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups of diced tomatoes, 2 cans un-drained
2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
1 1/2 cup water


Brown the ground beef in the pressure cooker on medium heat, ~8 minutes.  Remove the meat from the pan and drain some of the grease if you want.

Easy chili recipe - cooking the beef

Brown the beef in the pressure cooker

Put the pressure cooker back on the stove and add the olive oil, onions, green pepper, and jalapeno pepper.  Cook on medium heat until the onions are clear, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Next throw in the garlic and give it a few quick stirs. Finally, add everything else into the mix: the meat, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, cocoa powder, red pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin, salt, and water.

easy chili recipe - add ingredients

Add the rest of the ingredients

Stir well and lock the lid.  Bring the pressure cooker to pressure (15 psi) on high heat, then immediately lower the heat to maintain this level.  Cook for 8 minutes.

pressure cooker steady steam

The pressure cooker indicated 15psi by releasing a small steady amount of steam.

When the time is up, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and use the natural release method to cool.

When the pressure cooker has equalized, carefully open the lid.  Stir and serve.  If you find it needs to be thicker just boil it on the stove for a few extra minutes.

Cheese and Oyster crackers are the traditional garnish.

pressure cooker easy chili

Easy chili on the table

While few have died, many a chili war has been fought.  If this isn’t the best chili recipe for you, keep looking. It’s out there.  Here are a few suggestions on where to start:

….or look for the next chili competition near you.  Our last was the 2010 Chilly Chili competition in Rochester, New York.

Recipe adapted from Spyce on AllRecipes.com

Thanks for reading.

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." ~Julia Child  
Why learn pressure cooking?
It's 7 pm. The end of the work day stomach rumbles...

In one hand, a take out menu. In the other hand, the refrigerator door...its contents staring back almost as blankly as we are towards them. We want a homemade meal, but also want something quick and simple to make.
1. Simple and quick recipes requiring basic skills to become proficient in the kitchen.
2. Quality ingredients, not necessarily 100% organic, but meals without artificials and chemistry class additives.
3. To understand more of the story of our food and take small steps towards self-reliance.

It's true, there are many benefits to pressure cooking: the time savings, the taste, a small step towards self-reliance, sustainability... but the real benefit is in what we learn as we redefine our relationship with food. Good food can be fast. Good food can be easy.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen February 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm

This chili was great! I made it last night for the Super Bowl and everyone loved it. I used 96% lean ground beef and brown sugar Splenda. Excellent!

Mark September 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Just made your Chili recipe exactly as presented on your site. Fantastic! I was just finishing my first bowl when my daughter and her boyfriend came home and said, “What smells soooo goood?” They each had two bowls. Cannot thank you enough for your work and offering these recipes. Please keep at it. Well done.
Mark in Falcon, CO

Karen November 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm

This recipe is a HIT in my house. We all love that it comes out so perfectly seasoned the first day! Chili always tastes SO much better on day 2, but with this recipe? No need to wait to get that awesome yummy taste. Thank you so much!!! It’s become a staple in our house!

Jerry December 15, 2013 at 6:19 pm

A great recipe. A wonderful blend of flavor and heat. Thanks for the work you’ve done in creating your website and videos. I’m glad to have discovered them.

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