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This 15 Bean Chili is as simple and hearty as it gets. Thanks to the Instant Pot, we can make a chili with dry beans without hours of simmering on the stovetop. Perfect for game day, family meals, or make it as a budget-friendly freezer meal! 

15 bean chili garnished with sour cream, sliced jalapeños, diced red onion, and chopped cilantro in serving bowl with spoon.

When you think of Instant Pot Beans, you likely think of basic recipes like Instant Pot Chickpeas or even Instant Pot Refried Beans. but Instant Pot Beans can mean a complete, delicious, easy weeknight meal, too! Like my Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice, this Instant Pot 15 Bean Chili is a comforting meal that can serve as a stand-alone meal. 

It's hearty, filled with protein, loaded with dietary fiber, and clocks in at just $1.64 per serving. It's one of my favorite pantry-staple recipes to make when I don't have time to babysit a pot on the stovetop and want something that will make a big pot of delicious leftovers for busy weeknights. Because chili ALWAYS tastes better the next day. 

Trust me, your family won't be upset when this $10 dinner shows up on the dinner table! 

Key Ingredients

Ingredients needed to make 15 bean chili measured and labeled in individual bowls on baking sheet.
  • Ground beef: I've made this recipe with both vegan beef and regular ground beef and both work great. I originally developed the recipe using Lightlife Smart Ground but have since made it with my Homemade Vegan Ground Beef and it works really well here. 
  • 15 bean soup mix: Any brand you can find will work. You can also use the 13 bean soup mix by Bob's Red Mill. I typically pick mine up at Walmart because it's the cheapest grocery store near me that carries it. Just discard the seasoning packet before adding to the Instant Pot.
  • Taco seasoning: I've made this chili recipe with chili seasoning, fajita seasoning, and taco seasoning and taco seasoning was the clear winner in terms of flavor and spice level. I used two 1 ounce packets of taco seasoning. If you are using a homemade taco seasoning use 4 tablespoons.
  • Broth: ​Vegetable broth, chicken broth, and beef broth all work. If you are making a vegetarian or vegan version, use vegetable broth or vegan beef broth. 
  • Diced tomatoes: ​Adds a rich tomato flavor and great body to the chili 
  • Green chilis: Adds a kick of heat and balances the spices well in the taco seasoning. 
  • Cacao powder: Adding cacao powder or cocoa powder to a pot of chili helps to add depth of flavor and contributes to a well balanced flavor.

How to Make Instant Pot 15 Bean Chili 

4 images showing step by step process of making Instant Pot bean chili.
  1. Sauté the onions and bell pepper. 
  2. Brown the beef or protein crumbles of choice. 
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients. 
  4. Pressure cook under manual high pressure for 45 minutes. 
  5. Serve! 

Serving Suggestions

First and foremost, decide whether you want to serve your chili as is in a bowl with a hunk of cornbread, in a bread bowl, or overtop baked potatoes for loaded chili potatoes!

Then ladle the bean chili into your vessel of choice and load up with your favorite toppings! Here are a few of our favorites:

If you're serving a crowd, leave a bunch of topping options out in small bowls and create a loaded chili bar.

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Instant Pot 15 Bean Chili Recipe

4.91 from 10 votes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Cost: $9.86 per recipe / $1.64 per serving
This 15 Bean Chili is as simple and hearty as it gets. Thanks to the Instant Pot, we can make a chili with dry beans without hours of simmering on the stovetop. Perfect for game day, family meals, or make it as a budget-friendly freezer meal!

Ingredients
 

Chili

  • 1 tablespoon oil ($0.03)
  • 1 large yellow onion diced ($0.60)
  • 1 green bell pepper deseeded and diced ($0.78)
  • 1 pound ground beef vegan or regular ($3.00)
  • 1 (20 ounce) bag 15 bean soup mix ($2.36)
  • 2 (1 ounce) packets taco seasoning equivalent to about 4 tablespoons. ($0.54)
  • 6 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth ($0.48)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes ($1.06)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can fire roasted diced green chilies ($0.92)
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder can substitute cocoa powder ($0.09)

Instructions

  • Turn on the sauté function on the Instant Pot and heat a tablespoon of avocado oil in the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the the diced onion and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  • Scoot the onion and bell pepper to one side of the pot, then add in the ground beef (vegan or regular). Sauté the ground beef, breaking it up into crumbles, for 3-4 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Once browned, press the off button on the Instant Pot to stop sauté function.
  • Discard the ham flavored seasoning packet that comes with the soup mix. In a fine mesh sieve, thoroughly rinse and drain the beans. Next, add bean mixture directly to the Instant Pot (no soaking) along with remaining chili ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Add Instant Pot lid, set the sealing valve on the lid to SEAL and cook on manual high pressure for 45 minutes.
  • Allow instant pot to de-pressurize naturally for 15 minutes before releasing rest of pressure.
  • Serve immediately while warm with desired chili toppings.

Storage

  • Broth: Use any reduced sodium vegetable broth of your choice in this chili. I use Better than Bouillon's Reduced Sodium Vegetable Base. If you have full sodium vegetable broth or want to use a vegan beef broth, I would use 3 cups full sodium vegetable broth and 3 cups of water to ensure it is not overly salty. 
  • Add-ins: Add in 1 cup of chopped spinach, kale, or corn. 

Notes

  • This recipe previously had a slow cooker option, however it has been removed because it is not recommended to cook kidney beans in a slow cooker for food safety reasons.

Nutrition

Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 936mg | Fiber: 32g | Sugar: 9g

Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Did You Love This Recipe?

Rate the recipe here and make sure to leave a comment below!

4.91 from 10 votes

Recipe FAQs

​Do I need to soak the beans ahead of time?

Nope! That's the beauty of a pressure cooker. It will cook the beans until perfectly tender with no soaking every time! Simply rinse them thoroughly in a fine mesh sieve under cool water, discard any debris or unfavorable beans and add them to the Instant Pot.

Can I soak the beans if I want to?

​The cook time in this tested recipe is for dry beans. If you soak the beans ahead of time, this will cause them to overcook in the Instant Pot and your chili won't have much texture (sort of like refried beans instead!). If you want to use soaked beans, you will need to shorten the cook time considerably. 

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

I do not recommend making this a 15 bean slow cooker chili. Similar to my Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice, 15 bean soup mixes typically contain kidney beans and/or small red beans.

I do not recommend cooking dried kidney beans in the slow cooker because these beans contain a natural toxin known as phytohaemagglutinin. This toxin can cause food poisoning if the beans are not boiled vigorously for at least 10 minutes.

Since the crock pot does not typically reach boiling, I do not recommend making this particular Instant Pot chili in the slow cooker. 

How do I make this a vegetarian chili?

Use a vegan ground beef (my homemade vegan beef is great!) or omit it entirely and make a bean chili. It will have a bit less texture and be a slightly thinner chili but is still fantastic! 

How much bean mix do I need?

This chili recipe uses 20 ounces of 15 bean mix. Most 15 bean mixes are sold in pre-portioned bags this size. If you find a larger bag, measure out 20 ounces or about 2.5 cups. 

Can I double the recipe?

A double recipe will not fit in a standard 6 qt. Instant Pot (it is over the max fill line). I am unsure if it will fit in an 8 qt. Instant Pot. Instead, if you want to make a double recipe and happen to own two Instant Pots like I do, I would suggest making 2 recipes in 2 separate pots. 

Storage and Freezing Instructions

Leftover chili will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. I always freeze leftover chili in 2-cup Souper Cubes to make a quick and easy meal I can defrost at a later date. 

Close up of 15 bean chili garnished with sour cream, sliced jalapeños, diced red onion, and chopped cilantro in serving bowl with spoon.
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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! It is so hearty and is a perfect meal prep recipe for a busy week since it is just as good reheated. The most exciting part is when you are rinsing the beans and you see how beautiful the beans are. I will never go back to the boring chili I used to make. 😍

  2. 4 stars
    This recipe was delicious. I made it for the first time last week. I cooked it in a Ninja pressure cooker and I added dark chocolate cacao powder which made it taste a little bit like mole. I did not have any taco seasoning on hand so I just googled it and doubled what the recipe said (because you said you used two packets). I am now making it again, and I also added some mushrooms I had on hand and some impossible burger meat instead of real chopped meat. I used “Better Than Bouillon” with water for my vegetable base. I added an additional cup of water as I figured the mushrooms will soak up some of the original 6 cups. My family loved it last week – there was none left, and there are only three of us! Served with corn chips/corn muffins and grated cheese. Yum yum, and so easy. This makes a great Friday night/weekend meal.

  3. 5 stars
    I have used the same vegetarian chili recipe for years. After making this one, everyone in my family said this was the best chili ever. I completely agree! Thanks so much.

    1. Thank you so much, Beth! You made my day. I’m so glad you enjoyed this family favorite recipe. Happy New Year!

  4. Hi are the non-beef crumbles supposed to be dethawed first or sautéed from frozen? Thank you

    1. Frozen is fine. I used a brand that comes refrigerated, so you may just need to saute 1-2 minutes longer to make crispy before pressure cooking. Hope that helps!

  5. 5 stars
    The chili tastes perfect! One question, what is the service no size, one cup? I would like to know the protein in one cup of the chili.

  6. 5 stars
    We have now made this recipe a few times now and it gets better and better each time. It’s hearty, cozy, and delicious and makes the house smell so good!

    1. Nicolette says:

      So happy to hear this!

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