According to my bio, I’m a writer, college professor, and pastor. I’ve been writing on and off for a few years now, and am usually focused on theology, church history, and the Christian life. A few weeks ago, however, I accidentally became a mom-blogger for a day. We had gotten an Instant Pot (highly recommended!) for Christmas, and have greatly enjoyed cooking with it. I published my first recipe, Pressure Cooker Bacon Lover’s Stew, and it quickly became the most popular article in the history of this website. Thousands of visitors, hundreds of shares on Pinterest, etc. It was a bit shocking, somewhat humorous…and a little bit puzzling. While I don’t think I’ll ever become a full time food blogger, I do love to cook, and will have some occasional recipes to share here – like today’s recipe: 30 Minute Southern Instant Pot Chili. This was a huge hit with our family – even our finicky eaters gobbled it up, and the leftovers lasted only about 24 hours. If you are efficient, you can make it start to finish in less than 30 minutes. Just imagine – you can be eating this delicious chili THIRTY MINUTES FROM RIGHT NOW. (if you’re quick!) It’s also chock full of vegetables and fiber and is actually fairly healthy. Here we go:

Chunky Alabama Instant Pot Chili (right before cooking)

Ingredients (be sure not to fill your Instant Pot, or other pressure cooker beyond the fill line!)

  • Two pounds of ground beef, or ground chuck.
  • 3-4 medium sized onions
  • One large (28 oz.) can of Rotel (pick your variety)
  • One large can of diced tomatoes OR 3-4 large fresh tomatoes, diced.
  • One can of chili beans (you may substitute kidney beans, or other varieties)
  • 3 pouches (3.75 ounces) of good quality chili powder. I used Pioneer brand. Almost 4 ounces might be a lot for you, but we tend to enjoy the flavor.  Avoid chili powder with a lot of filler.
  • One large bell pepper, or 2-3 smaller Anaheim/Poblano peppers. You can add higher-heat peppers here if that’s your thing.
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • Cayenne pepper to taste. (Be careful: even a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne will significantly increase the heat index of your chili for children and those with a sensitive palate. I prefer to add heat via fresh peppers, or just add extra cayenne to my own individual serving. Neither my wife, nor kids like the spicy life quite as much as I do.)


  1. To begin, set your pressure cooker to manual and brown the two pounds of meat in the pot itself, stirring occasionally so that all the meat is browned. This step could take 7 or so minutes, so while your beef is browning, continue veggie slicing and other prep. ADD 2/3 of your chili spices to the meat as it browns.  OPTIONAL – drain most of the fat off of the meet when done browning. (We leave the majority of it in, because it adds flavor and tenderness to the chili.)

  2. Add diced onions to the top of the meat, and stir

  3. Pour tomatoes and Rotel on top of the onion/beef mixture.

  4. Add diced pepper(s) and stir into the mixture.

  5. Add the remaining chili powder and other spices (cumin, garlic, cayenne.) If you want to include some oregano or any other of your favorite chili spices, then add them now. If you are really adventurous, you might want to add an angry red pepper here…but I wouldn’t recommend it for the children. Far too frightening.  😉

    Posted by Reddit User: Teddybear_

  6. Stir up the ingredients well, and seal the lid of your pressure cooker, ensuring that the valve is in the proper (sealed) position. Set your timer for 12-16 minutes, and cook on high pressure. The veggies will be a little snappier on the low end of that scale, and a little more tender on the higher end. We usually set our timer to 16 minutes – chili shouldn’t be crunchy.

  7. Stir the chili well and taste to ensure that no salt or extra heat (cayenne or red pepper flakes) is needed. Serve in bowls with cornbread on the side if you are in the South, and whatever it is that your people eat with chili if you are elsewhere.  We usually sprinkle some sharp cheddar cheese on top of the chili, but that is optional. ENJOY – and marvel at the fact that you can have delicious, fresh chili within about 30 minutes of beginning to cook.

Here’s the results: It might not be the prettiest food ever made, but almost nothing is better on a cold January day than a good bowl of chili!