Chili con Carne (with Chipotle, of course)

Chili con carne bowl

Chili con Carne

Chile con carne translates to "Meat with chilies".   With a vague name like that, it's no wonder there are scores of ways to make this versatile one dish meal.   I've created a chili powder spice blend using my Hot Smokey Chipotle combined with a blend of Mexican chilies and other spices.  You can purchase it from the store here or use your favourite store brand chili powder.   
This recipe is tailored for the Instant Pot, but you can make chili in any pot you like.  Because I prefer to make this with cubed beef, the pressure cooking ensures the meat is fall-apart tender and the flavour will make everyone think you simmered it for hours.  If you make chili with ground beef, you can use the Instant Pot for that too. 
I like to serve it with a helping of oven baked tortilla chips.   
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Bluewater Pepper Farm hot smokey chipotle, chili con carne, Instant Pot
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8


  • 1 1/2 tbsp Bluewater Pepper Farm Chipotle Chile powder Adjust to your taste
  • 1 lb beef or veal cut into small cubes You can use ground beef, turkey or chicken instead
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans + 1/2 cup liquid I like to cook mine from dried beans using the Instant Pot. Check out my post on cooking dried beans. You can sub in some black beans for variety and colour.
  • 1 lg onion, finely chopped
  • 1 med carrot, finely chopped this is optional – it adds more flavour imho
  • 1 lg can diced tomato
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp cooking oil


  • Set the Instant Pot to saute, medium and add 2 tsp of cooking oil.
    When it’s heated, toss in the chopped onion and carrot and saute for 2 or 3 minutes.   
    Instant Pot
  • Add the cubed beef (or ground) and mix in with the onions and carrots
  • Add the chile powder, salt and continue browning the meat for another 3 or 4 minutes. 
    Many people like to add the chili powder with the tomatoes, but I find the spices really benefit from a bit of saute just like the beef.
    Chili powder and beef sautee
  • Once the meat is browned, add the tomatoes and the crushed garlic and bring up to a boil
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot, be sure to set the vent to the ‘sealed’ (pressure cook) position.  The photo shows the correct position.  Hit Cancel, the press Pressure, set it to high for 20 minutes.  Go away until it beeps.
    Instant Pot lock
  • Once the pressure cycle is done, hit Cancel.  You can use the quick release method to open the lid. 
  • Hit the Saute button and add the tomato paste and kidney beans, giving it a good stir.
    (I plan to try cooking pre-soaked dried beans along with the meat – I’d be interested if anyone else has tried that.)
  • At this point, you just need to bring it up to simmer and it’s ready to enjoy!   If you have the time though, it benefits from a long, slow cook for a few more hours. 


If you have the luxury of 3 hours cooking time, you can use a dutch oven or any large pot on the stove.  Just let it simmer long enough for the flavours to build.  That’s why i like the Instant Pot pressure setting even when using ground beef for my chili.
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Chili con Carne recipe
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