Instant Pot Recipes from a Chef's Wife and IP Enthusiast

Instant Pot Chili Cook-Off Champion Recipe

Start to finish cook time: 37 minutes (1 prep, 9 suate + 12 pressurize + 15 high pressure)
Effort Level: Low 
Servings: 4 bowls

My husband would compete in a chili cook off each year and after he won, I decided to challenge him and enter myself the following year... And I won!! Trust me, there was no help from him- competition is fierce in our household. He still won't admit my recipe was better, but the judges and attendees agreed I was the winner. There are few greater feats for a chef's wife, than outlooking them at a dish. The year I won I cooked in a crockpot, this was before the days of Instant Pots, so I have adapted this recipe to be IP friendly. This batch is sized for our household for a couple bowls of chili or chili dogs, but if you were cooking for an event/cook-off or large family then I recommend doubling the recipe (do note this may change pressurization time).

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

Source: Loosely inspired by Hillbilly Housewife.

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb hot sausage
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced fine
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced fine
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced fine
  • 3 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp ground paprika
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning 
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 (6 oz) can of Hunts tomato paste
  • 1 (9 oz) can Hunts tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can Hunts petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup water

Optional Garnish/Serving Ingredients
    • Shredded cheddar cheese
    • Chopped green onions
    • Mini oyster crackers
    • Sour cream
    • Hot dog in a poppy seed bun (if doing chili dogs)
    • Bread bowl

    1. Set your Instant Pot to high saute for 12 minutes. 
    2. While it's warming, fine chop the onion and bell peppers. Add chopped vegetables and ground beef to pot and cook until beef is brown. Turn off pot and drain excess fat. 
    3. Add seasoning, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes, and beans to your meat. Mix until blended.
    4. Add water and scrape the bottom of your pot with a wooden spoon to get any remnants off the bottom of the pot that could cause burning. 
    5. Add tomato sauce and then tomato paste, but DO NOT MIX (to prevent burn notice).
    6. Seal and set to 15 minutes high pressure, making sure the valve is in the sealed position. Allow for 12 minutes to reach pressure. 
    7. Once it's beeped it's done, quick release pressure. 
    8. Mix with a wooden spoon. 
    9. Garnish with shredded cheese, oyster crackers, and or green onions if serving as chili bowl. Or top on hot dogs or fries to make chili dogs or chili fries.

    Fine chop onions, green pepper, and red pepper.
    Set on high saute and add onions, peppers, and ground beef.
    Cook until beef is brown and onions translucent. Turn off
    and drain excess fat.
    Add all seasoning, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and
    undrained diced tomatoes, and kidney beans. Mix.
    Add water and use wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of pot.
    Add tomato sauce and then tomato paste. DON'T STIR.
    Seal and set to 15 minutes high pressure, allow 12 minutes
    to reach pressure.
    Quick release pressure once done and mix.
    Plate to your liking. Bowl of chili can be topped with many
    different garnishes (sour cream, cheese, green onions, and or
    oyster crackers). Or pour on top of a hot dog or french fries.

    Fresh Instant Pot Pink Lemonade

    Start to finish cook time: 21 (8 prep, 6 pressurize + 5 high pressure + 2 post prep) *prepare 2 hours ahead of serving so you can chill in fridge*
    Effort Level: Low - Med 
    Servings: 1/2 pitcher

    There is nothing more summer time than a glass of ice cold fresh lemonade. I personally prefer pink and strawberry lemonades. I will rely on just crystal light for a quick fix, but when you are having a gathering or bbq there is no substitute for the real deal. I recommend doubling the recipe for a full pitcher, depending on the size of your group.

    You can get as creative as you want with fruit to add- sliced lemons, strawberries, raspberries ect. Be sure to make a few hours ahead so you can really let it chill and serve with cups full of ice.

    Do note you will need a lemon zester (looks like a small grater) and net strainer for this recipe. If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

    • 5 lemons 
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup water (for syrup base)
    • 4 cups water (for juice)
    • 3/4 cup cranberry fruit juice cocktail
    • 1/8 tsp Crystal Light Liquid Strawberry Lemonade
    • Optional: sliced fruit


    1. Add 3/4 cup of water and 3/4 cup sugar to your Instant Pot.
    2. Using your lemon zester, grate off the outside layer from your lemons (just the shiny parts so the light yellow skin underneath shows). Put the shredded lemon zest in your pot (feel free to zest over your pot to make this easier).
    3. Once all lemons are zested, cut lemons in half and squeeze the juice out of each lemon side into your pot. IMPORTANT squeeze 4 1/2 lemons, the last 1/2 lemon is to slice up and put in your lemonade. 
    4. Mix contents of your pot. Set to 5 minutes high pressure, allow 6 minutes to reach pressure and be sure the vent valve is sealed.
    5. Once done, quick release pressure. 
    6. Using a strainer, strain liquid into a pitcher so that the seeds and zest are filtered out.
    7. Mix with your sugar lemon mix your water, cranberry juice, and crystal light. Add sliced fruits. 
    8. Allow to sit for 1-2 hours in the fridge, until chilled. This will let the flavors bloom.
    9. Serve with lots of ice and enjoy!
    Zest the outsides of your lemons into your pot. 
    Once completed your lemons should look like this, the shiny part
    Cut lemons in half. You will slice just one half of lemon into strips, to add to your
    pitcher for looks/flavor. The remaining halves you will want to squeeze into your pot. 

    Once squeezed, your lemons should look like this. 
    Add 3/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup of water. Stir. Set to High
    pressure for 5 minutes, allowing 6 minutes to reach pressure.
    Once completed, quick release steam.
    Strain liquid into your pitcher through mesh strainer, so seeds
    and zest don't make it into your pitcher. Add to your pitcher
    the 4 cups of water,  3/4 cup of cranberry juice, and 1/8
    tsp Crystal Light Liquid Strawberry Lemonade mix. Add any
    sliced fruit into pitcher, store in fridge for 1-2 hours.
    Serve in chilled glasses with lots of ice and straw. Enjoy!