Recipe: Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Recipe: Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Elizabeth Barbone
Feb 22, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Simmering a pot of chili for hours on a cold winter day is one of my favorite things to do — or at least it used to be.

Last winter I planned on making a batch of chili, got all my ingredients together, and ... life happened. After spending all day running around, I thought that chili was no longer an option. Then I eyed my Instant Pot. To be honest, even though I love pressure cooking, I was skeptical. Would the fast cooking time rob the chili of the deep flavor that I love?

Answer: Nope!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Pressure-cooked chili, to my surprise, turns out as flavorful as chili that's cooked on the stove for hours. The first time I made it I kept saying to my husband, "I can't believe how good this turned out! This turned out good, didn't it?" I think he agreed but his mouth was full of chili, so who knows what he said. (Probably something like, "For the fifth time, yes! It's great.")

Not only do I now cook my chili in the pressure cooker, but I've also started using ground turkey in place of ground beef. I know, I know. For many die-hard chili fans, this is insane because chili = long simmering beef, tomatoes, beans, and chili powder. And nothing else.

I understand. Chili is one of those dishes that you like how you like. Personally, I've yet to meet a version of chili I don't like. Traditional chili, veggie chili, turkey chili — I like 'em all.

This particular recipe is one of my favorites. The combination of turkey, lots of vegetables, and spices creates a hearty chili that isn't heavy. Since the flavor and heat driver of this chili comes from the chili powder, use one with a heat level that you love. For a mild chili, use an ancho pepper-based chili powder. If you're in the mood for a chili with a bit of a kick, go for one that includes chipotle and a little cayenne pepper.

From start to finish, the chili takes about 20 minutes to cook. While the chili does its thing in the pressure cooker, prepare the toppings. Grated cheese, chopped red onions, sour cream, and sliced onions are especially nice.

Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 pound

    ground turkey

  • 1

    medium onion, finely diced

  • 1

    medium green bell pepper, cored and finely diced

  • 3

    medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 3

    stalks celery, thinly sliced

  • 3

    cloves garlic, minced

  • 1

    (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1

    (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1

    (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

  • 1/2 cup


  • 3 tablespoons

    chili powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    tamari or soy sauce (optional)

  • Toppings for serving: shredded cheddar cheese, sliced scallions, diced avocado, sour cream

Place the oil in an electric pressure cooker. Turn the sauté setting on and heat the oil until shimmering. Add the turkey and cook, stirring constantly to break up the meat into small pieces, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

Add the onion, bell pepper, carrots, celery, and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, black beans, green chiles, water, chili powder, cumin, salt, and tamari or soy sauce if using. Stir to combine.

Secure the lid and close the vent. Set the cook time for 20 minutes at high pressure. When the cooking time completes, open the valve to release the pressure. Open the lid away from your face. Stir the chili. Taste and add salt, soy sauce or tamari, and other seasonings as needed. Serve the chili with your desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

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