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Recipe: Break in your Instant Pot with this smoky chicken chili

Lindsay Guentzel's latest recipe is a cinch.

So, you received an Instant Pot over the holidays but have no idea where to begin.

It’s a scenario I see all the time. People are intimidated by electric pressure cookers. Why? It’s something new. And depending on your level of comfort in the kitchen, it can be overwhelming.

This Smoky Chicken Chili is the perfect dish to whip up on a cold winter day. It is easy and quick which makes it the perfect test run for someone who is hesitant to test out their Instant Pot.

Note: Instant Pot is a brand name. They make electric pressure cookers. I own a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker but for uniformity reasons, I refer to it as an Instant Pot – much like all tissues are Kleenex.

The smoky flavor in this chili comes from the smoked paprika. Smoked paprika has a great outdoorsy taste; the chilies are smoked-dried with oak before being crushed into powder. 

Depending on where you shop, you might have a hard time finding this in your spice aisle. I buy mine in the bulk spice aisle (I’ve seen these set-ups at Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, Hyvee). The bulk spice aisle is also a great place to stop if you are looking to get creative in the kitchen.

If you are someone who deals with dietary restrictions, this recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free. Be sure to keep an eye on the ingredients in your chicken stock – I make my own at home, using the Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base. The company does not make any gluten-free claims (cross contamination between products can happen) but the majority of their products do not contain wheat/related grains.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil or ghee
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1.5 lbs of chicken breasts
  • 1 - 14.5oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 - 6oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 - 4oz. can of mild green chiles
  • 1 - 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 1 - 15 oz. can of pinto beans
  • 1 - 15 oz. can of red kidney beans
  • 8 oz. chicken stock*
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves

Find more recipes and writings from Lindsay Guentzel here


– Turn on your Instant Pot, utilizing the sauté setting. Add olive oil or ghee. Allow cooking oil to heat up for one minute before adding onion and garlic.

– Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions should be starting to turn translucent.

– While cooking the onions and garlic, chop chicken into 2 inch pieces (this will make it easier to shred after cooking).

– Combine seasonings into small bowl. Mix well.

– Turn off sauté setting and add chicken. Cover with seasoning and mix well.

– Pour beans, chiles, and tomatoes on top. Add tomato paste. Mix well.

– Add chicken stock and bay leaves, cover and lock lid.

– Set Instant Pot on high for 4 minutes. Allow pot to naturally release for 10 minutes before opening lid.

– Use two forks to gently shred chicken.

– Serve hot. Top with sour cream, shredded cheese, scallions, jalapeños, croutons if desired. 

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