My family loves chili, anytime of the year. It is so flavorful and so comforting and makes for great leftovers. Chili con carne is one of our favorite versions to make. It is a meat based chili, so there are no beans in it (at least in our house). I made this in the Instant Pot and I love how fast it cooks, yet it keeps the meat so very tender. It’s perfectly spiced and oh so delicious, it’s always a hit with my family.
A lot of chili con carne recipes use cornmeal as a thickener, but I prefer to use tapioca or arrowroot starch. I use it to coat the beef to help it get nice and brown when I sear it and I also use it in the spice mixture. This helps thicken the chili just enough. Both the tapioca and arrowroot are Whole30 compliant.
I always brown the beef before I add the rest of the ingredients, it builds more layers of flavor. I love that the Instant Pot has the sauté function so that I don’t have to do it in a separate pan. Avocado oil is my cooking oil of choice for this because it has a high smoke point and doesn’t change the flavor at all. I let the IP get nice and hot and then brown the meat in two batches for 2-3 minutes. The beef then gets set aside and I add in the aromatics.
Once the meat is nice and browned, it is time to add in the onions, peppers and garlic. Again, we are building flavor with each step. I sauté the veggies just enough to let them get a little tender and translucent. Then I turn the IP off for a minute while I make the spice mixture.
The spice mixture is what brings the chili to life! It is loaded with flavor and helps thicken the chili. The base that makes it more like a paste is the chipotles in adobo. These are jalapeños that have been dried and smoked and then put in a smokey red sauce. They are delicious and add some heat and loads of flavor. They are in a small can that can be found in the latin section of any grocery store. It can be difficult to find a brand that is Whole30 compliant, so you can also use 2 Tbls of tomato paste instead and an extra jalapeño if you can’t find a compliant version.
Once the spices are mixed together, I add the beef back into the pot with the veggies and then add in the spice mixture. Stir to combine it all together and then add in the liquids. This recipe calls for tomato sauce which I know can sound like marinara, but it is different. You can find the 14oz cans of tomato sauce by the other canned tomato products.
You can top the chili with whatever you like, but I prefer to keep it pretty simple. Diced white onion, lime wedges and cilantro are perfect! If it is a little spicy for you, avocado is a nice addition to cool it down.
Used in this Recipe:
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Instant Pot Chili Con Carne
- 3 Tbls Chipotle Peppers in Adobo* chopped
- 3 Tbls Ancho Chili Powder
- 2 Tbls Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tbls Cumin
- 1/2 Tbls Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Tbls Mexican Oregano
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 1 tsp Tapioca Starch
- 2 Tbls Cilantro chopped
- 2 Limes cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup White Onion diced
- Toss the stew beef with 2 Tbls tapioca starch (flour) and 1 tsp salt until the meat is coated evenly
- Add the oil to your Instant Pot and turn to 'saute' mode. Let it heat up and then brown the meat in batches (2-3 minutes for each batch) then set the beef aside
- Add in a little more oil if needed and add the diced onions, diced poblanos, diced jalapeno, and garlic to the Instant Pot. Let saute for 2-3 minutes while stirring and the turn the Instant Pot off
- In a small bowl add the chopped chipotles in adobo*, 1 tsp of tapioca starch and the remaining spices. Mix it all together until it forms a paste
- Add the beef to the veggies in the Instant Pot and the add in the spice mixture. Stir it to combine and then pour in the tomato sauce and beef broth and stir. Close the lid and move steam valve to seal. Set to manual/pressure mode and time for 25 minutes
- Once the timer goes off, do a quick release of the steam. Serve with toppings of choice