Instant Pot Cowboy Chili Recipe is thick and delicious for hearty appetites. It has the best flavor combination full of ground beef, tomatoes, beans and more. Get dinner on the table fast with this easy pressure cooker recipe.

Bowl of cowboy chili topped with sour cream and cheese.

Instant pot cowboy chili

Sometimes you just want a hearty bowl of chili. This recipe satisfies that craving in minutes. Family and friends can enjoy delicious comfort food in less than 20 minutes thanks to the instant pot.

Pressure cooking is so convenient for busy weeknights.

What is cowboy chili?

It is a delicious recipe that combines ground beef, crushed and stewed tomatoes, kidney beans, veggies and more. This comes together for a delicious chili.

If you are wondering how Cowboy chili got this name, it originates from all the hearty ground beef in the chili. Due to this, the original recipe did not have beans but only extra meat. Cowboys like hearty food.

However, meat became limited back then so cowboys started to combine chili with beans together to stretch the chili. Now you have Cowboy chili.

Ingredients for recipe: ground beef, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, seasoning.

Ingredients

  • ground beef
  • onion
  • large red bell pepper 
  • minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • beef broth
  • crushed tomatoes
  • stewed tomatoes
  • kidney beans
  • chili powder
  • cayenne optional (omit this if you do not like spicy or check out Best Cayenne Pepper Substitute)
  • cumin
  • cheddar cheese for toppings
  • Red onion diced for topping

How to make instant pot cowboy chili:

  • First, turn the pressure cooker to the sauté setting.  Then brown the ground beef in the Instant Pot until brown.  Drain the grease after the meat has browned.
Browned ground beef in the instant pot.
  • Next, add all the other ingredients to the Instant Pot except for the cheddar cheese and red onion. You won’t use those until later.
  • Then stir all of the ingredients together.
  • Finally, seal and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes with a quick release to release the pressure. The cooking time is minimum and gets dinner on the table fast.
  • It is that quick and easy. Serve topped with the shredded cheese and red onion. 
Cowboy chili in the pressure cooker ready to serve.

What to sere with chili:

  • Cornbread. I like to crumble it right into the bowl of chili.
  • Baked Potatoes. Pour chili on top of the potato. Top with cheese and you have the best meal.
  • Grilled Cheese. This is always a hit and a popular choice with the kids.

For even more ideas, learn what to serve with chili for a delicious meal. 

Ladle of cowboy chili over the instant pot.

Topping ideas for chili:

  • sour cream. Add a dollop of sour cream for creaminess. I always add extra.
  • green onion. Chop green onion to garnish. It looks pretty and adds more flavor.
  • hot sauce. This is a great way to add extra heat for those that like it spicy.
  • diced jalapeno peppers. Top chili with jalapeno peppers for even more heat.
  • saltine crackers. You can’t go wrong with simple saltine crackers. Crush them and put into chili.
  • corn chips. This is a favorite with the kids.
  • tortilla chips. You can use these for dipping or crumble them into your bowl.
  • onion. The more onion the better in my opinion. I love to add diced onion on top.
  • cheese. Use your favorite type of shredded cheese. It is so tasty.

How to store leftovers:

Refrigerate the leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5 to 7 days.  

How to freeze:

Allow the chili to cool completely.

Then place in freezer bags or containers. I prefer to use bags because they can lay flat and stack together.

If you have plenty of freezer space, containers would be just fine. You might want to freeze a few individual portions for quick lunches. This is also handy when you need dinner and the entire family isn’t eating.

Store in the freezer up to 3 months.

Bowl of cowboy chili topped with sour cream and cheese.

How to reheat cowboy chili:

Reheat on the stove top using a dutch oven for 15 to 20 minutes until heated through. I use medium high heat stirring occasionally.

If frozen, allow to thaw in the fridge and then reheat as normal.

Finally, reheat for 30 minutes on medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer. Also see Leftover Chili Recipes.

Bowl of cowboy chili topped with sour cream and cheese.

Variation ideas:

  • Ground turkey. Substitute ground turkey for ground beef. Turkey takes on the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Beans. Try using pinto beans instead of kidney beans or mix them together.
  • Veggies. Instead of red bell peppers, try using green or yellow. You can also mix of all 3 and it would be yummy and look pretty too.
  • Tomatoes. Add tomato sauce with the diced tomatoes. You can also add a can of cream of mushroom with the tomato sauce.
Bowl of cowboy chili topped with sour cream and cheese.

Crockpot version:

  • First, brown your ground beef before you put it in the crock pot.
  • Next, add everything else to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

However, if you don’t have an instant pot or prefer to slow cook this recipe, try Crockpot Chili. You can get full recipe details.

Either way, you will love this recipe.

Bowl of cowboy chili topped with sour cream and cheese.

Give this a try.

This recipe is a family favorite. It is quick and easy to prepare while being budget friendly.

You can feed a crowd with this hearty and filling recipe. Feel free to adjust the ingredients based on what you have on hand.

Anyone can make this. Just toss and go. I think everyone will realy enjoy it.

The flavor is amazing. Friends and family will love a warm bowl of chili.

Print instant pot cowboy chili recipe:

Instant Pot Cowboy Chili Recipe 

5 from 2 votes
Instant Pot Cowboy Chili Recipe is thick and tasty for hearty appetites. It has the best flavor full of ground beef, tomatoes, beans and more.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 10
Cuisine American
Course Chilis, Main Course
Calories 391
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
  • 2 cans of drained kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne optional
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese for toppings
  • Red onion diced for topping

Instructions

  • Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté.  Brown the ground beef in the Instant Pot on the sauté setting until brown.  Drain off the excess grease.
  • Add all the other ingredients to the Instant Pot except for the cheddar cheese and red onion. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Seal and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes with a quick release.
  • Serve topped with the shredded cheese and red onion.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 391kcal, Carbohydrates 14g, Protein 25g, Fat 27g, Saturated Fat 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 88mg, Sodium 1143mg, Potassium 790mg, Fiber 5g, Sugar 7g, Vitamin A 2607IU, Vitamin C 27mg, Calcium 256mg, Iron 5mg

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Bowl of cowboy chili topped with sour cream and cheese.

More Instant pot chili recipes:

Instant Pot Cowboy Chili is loaded with hearty beef, beans, tomatoes and more. Each bite is flavorful in this family friendly meal. This cowboy chili is easy to make in a pressure cooker and is packed with flavor too.  #eatingonadime #chilirecipes #instantpotrecipes
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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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