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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Instant Pot Chili for a Busy Homeschool Day

Yesterday was the first day of the Virtual Curriculum Fair, and the opening day of this event is one of my busiest days of the year. I think my family wondered if we would be eating pizza for dinner.  But, no, we had yummy, home-cooked chili. I have my new Instant Pot to thank for that---I’m happy I took the plunge on Black Friday and bought one with some money I had saved up.

I’m still getting the hang of cooking with a pressure cooker, but so far we’ve had some amazing soups and chili. I’m also loving that I can pre-cook my ground beef from frozen and then pop it into the freezer for easy future meal prep, which is what I did here. The cooked meat was still a bit frozen when I put it in the pot, but it didn’t matter.

Here is the bowl of leftovers I had for lunch today, mixed with rice and topped with shredded cheddar and a dollup of plain yogurt.

Instant Pot Chili for a Busy Day at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Easy Instant Pot Chili

serves 8+(we served it over rice with bread and fed 6, including a teenager, with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day)


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 small or 1 large onion, chopped (I used 2 small red onions, which is what I had)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2-1 tsp garlic powder (you could chop fresh cloves, but I was out)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 lbs browned and crumbled ground beef (mine was half frozen)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans salsa or chili style diced tomatoes (I used Great Value’s Fire-Roasted Salsa Style Diced tomatoes)


  1. Turn your Instant Pot onto “saute.”  When it says “hot,” add your oil and your chopped onion and celery. If you are using fresh garlic, also add it at this time. Saute, stirring, until the vegetables are limp and starting to brown.
  2. Add your spices/seasonings and give it all a stir.
  3. Deglaze your inner pot by pouring in the water and scrapping the bottom to make sure little bits aren’t stuck there. Turn “off” the Instant Pot.
  4. Add your remaining ingredients and stir it all together.
  5. Put on your lid and lock it. Make sure the vent is turned to “sealed.” Press the “manual” button and adjust it to “10”.
  6. How long it takes to get to pressure will vary depending on the temperature of your ingredients, etc. After the countdown, allowing it to NPR (natural pressure release), which may take awhile. Mine counted to about 35 minutes and then I turned the vent and almost no steam came out, so I tapped the pin and it went down.

We served ours over rice (which I cooked separately in a rice cooker), but you could skip that if you wanted it to be more like a thick chili soup. Top with cheese and sour cream if desired.

Do you have a favorite busy homeschool day meal?


  1. I got an Instant Pot for Christmas (I bought it during Black Friday, lol, and told dh to wrap it for me) and I've been trying things out in it. I'm really loving making beans with it! We have fresh cilantro growing on the porch, which helps. I'm not much of a cook, but I hope this helps inspire me more.

    1. I'm having fun, too. We had a pork tenderloin from it last night that the whole family yummed up (event eh super picky kid had 2nds). Have you boiled eggs in it? I boiled eggs and they peeled soooo easily. I was amazed.

  2. I received an IP as a gift last summer, and it has become my favorite kitchen tool. We use ours most often for yogurt, "boiled" eggs, and chicken broth. I'll have to try your chili recipe. It sounds perfect for this icy weather.


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