At the risk of making a broad, sweeping, semi-dramatic statement that I may retract at a later time (broad? dramatic? MOI?), this easy Instant Pot Paleo Chili might just be the perfect fall and winter food. It’s hearty and healthy, freezes to feed two or scales to feed 20, is packed with hidden veggies (I won’t tell your kids if you won’t), and, best of all, is the kind of meal that leaves everyone full, happy, and asking for seconds.
I love asking people about their favorite chili recipes, because no two are exactly alike. On this website alone, I must have at least four different recipes for it (this Healthy Turkey Chili and this Crockpot White Chicken Chili being the two reader favorites; this Green Chili recipe and Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili being mine), and I’ll happily keep adding.
NOW, just because I’ve posted a litany of healthy chili recipes does not mean I’m not particular.
In fact, I’ve cooked and eaten so much chili over the years, I’ve become rather, erm, opinionated (dare I say maniacal?) about what makes a chili recipe the BEST chili recipe.
When it comes to chili, the recipe universe offers a plethora of options. Don’t settle.
Instant Pot Paleo Chili—A Winning Recipe
Here’s what makes a great pot of chili. (And you best believe this easy Paleo chili recipe meets them all!)
- Thick, Warming, and Hearty. This is not soup. This is Paleo chili. Chili should stick to your ribs, keep you full, and warm you to your core. It’s one of the reasons I love and make it so much in the colder months.
- Healthy. Chili is one of the easiest recipes to make both rich and satisfying AND healthy at the same time. For example, this beef Paleo chili is loaded with lean protein. I used 90% lean ground beef, and you can certainly swap a different meat if you prefer a Paleo turkey chili or chicken chili. It also packs some serious hidden veg (more on that momentarily).
- Easy. Chili should not be fussy. My general chili policy is that once the initial chopping and browning is done, I want to set the chili and forget it. Making this Paleo Chili in the Instant Pot keeps it totally hands free. (More hands-free Instant Pot recipes abound in this post, 15 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes!) No Instant Pot? I have tips for a Paleo chili slow cooker method and stovetop method listed in the recipe for you too.
- Bring on the Veg. I’m a sucker for all-in-one meals, and this Paleo Chili is the perfect contender. In addition to being a Paleo chili with sweet potato (one of my favorite veggies to add to any chili), the ingredients include an entire head of cauliflower (Yes! Really! Once you sauté it with the beef, you can’t tell the two apart), bell peppers, and…a can of pumpkin. Don’t run. Like the cauliflower, its flavor is completely neutralized once it cooks with the other ingredients (I also used it in this Pumpkin Chili). I sent this recipe to my sister, who was highly skeptical, and both she and my brother-in-law approved!
- Spiced So Nice. I like my chili with complex flavor and a bit of a kick. This Paleo Chili also has a bit of cinnamon, which gives it extra warmth. It doesn’t overpower the chili, and, I must say, it makes it especially addictive.
- Toppings. Choose your own adventure! Avocado and fresh cilantro are mandatory around here. Since this is a Paleo chili, I avoided dairy, but if you aren’t following a Paleo diet, you can add cheese (or plain Greek yogurt, my favorite swap for sour cream) if you’d like.
- Bean-Flexible. Like my Whole30 Chili, this recipe as written is for a Paleo beanless chili (and it is a compliant Whole30 chili recipe too). If you are not following a Paleo or Whole30 diet, you can go ahead and add beans if you’d like, or you can check out my recipe for classic Instant Pot Chili, which does include beans.
How to Store and Reheat This Chili
- To Store. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Gently reheat leftovers on the stove in a large pot over medium-low heat until hot. You can also rewarm this chili in the microwave until warmed through.
- To Freeze. Place chili in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What makes YOUR perfect chili? This Instant Pot Paleo Chili is my latest fave, and I’d love to hear about yours in the comments section below!
Recommended Tools to Make Instant Pot Paleo Chili
- Instant Pot (other electric pressure cooker brands with similar cooking functions should work too)
- Two-sided measuring spoons (I love that they stay organized in your drawer too)
- Nonslip cutting board
Instant Pot Paleo Chili
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 pound 90% to 93% lean ground beef ground turkey, or ground bison (I used 90% lean ground sirloin)
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper use more if you prefer your chili on the spicier side
- 1 large sweet potato cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 small head cauliflower stemmed and finely chopped
- 1 can pumpkin purée (15 ounces)
- 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
- 2-3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth or water
- Sliced jalapeno avocado, chopped cilantro, red onion, and/or nondairy plain yogurt, for serving
- Set an Instant Pot to sauté and add the coconut oil. When the oil is hot and melted, add the beef, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, breaking apart and browning the meat, until the beef is no longer pink and the onion is beginning to soften, about 7 minutes. Add the oregano, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, cinnamon, and cayenne. Let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the sweet potato, red and green bell peppers, cauliflower, pumpkin, diced tomatoes and 2 cups chicken broth. Stir well. Cover, seal, and set to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Quick release to vent the remaining pressure immediately. If the chili seems too thick, stir in additional broth to reach your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot with desired toppings.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- If your Instant Pot is 6 quarts (this is the standard size), do not try to multiply this recipe. As written, it will fill the Instant Pot almost to the max line.
- To make this recipe in a slow cooker: Sauté the meat, onions, and spices in a large nonstick skillet on the stovetop. Transfer to a lightly greased 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- To cook on the stove: Sauté the meat, onions, and spices as directed, and then add remaining ingredients. Let simmer, uncovered, until the sweet potatoes are soft and the chili is thickened, about 45 minutes.
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