Skip to main content
Publish date:

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. 

Next Up

Chris Finch

Hawks bury Timberwolves in 3-point barrage

Without D'Angelo Russell, the Wolves couldn't keep up with the Hawks.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Kirk Ciarocca returning to Gophers as offensive coordinator

The architect of the 2019 offense will look to revive the Gophers.

Klobuchar - MTP - NBC screengrab

Klobuchar says Congress should pass law to protect abortion rights

Her comments came as the Supreme Court appears poised to weaken — or gut — Roe v. Wade

MPD missing Heard - crop 1_

Police ask for public's help finding Mpls. woman missing a week

The 36-year-old hasn't been seen or heard from recently.

unsplash cold winter breath dark

Hello, winter: List of the coldest wind chills in MN Monday morning

The state went from a relatively mild start of the season, to downright frigid wind chills.


1 CWD-positive deer in Brainerd Lakes area, so surveillance will continue

The CWD monitoring measures were supposed to end after this year.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

MN program will train, hire 1,000 nursing assistants for long-term care

The facilities are facing a severe staffing shortage.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

Minnesota State Fair reestablishes a police department

The fair had been contracting with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

teacher, covid, masks, school

Minnetonka to consider removing middle school mask requirement

The school board has been impressed by vaccination rates among middle school students.

snow, plow

Friday winter storm could hit Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is already monitoring the forecast.

Sauk Rapids Middle School street view, Minnesota - November 2018_

Teen student arrested for threats toward MN middle school

The Sauk Rapids middle school and high school were closed Monday.


Rally for trans child outed during Hastings school board race draws big crowd

Hastings has been in the spotlight since the child's family was featured in a CNN story.


buffalo chicken chili

Recipe: Break in your new Instant Pot with this buffalo chicken chili

Lindsay Guentzel has just the recipe for Black Friday shoppers.


Recipe: Loaded veggie chili with scratch black beans

Want a meatless meal option? Try this loaded chili recipe from Lindsay Guentzel.


Recipe: Forage through your fridge for this yummy egg bake

BMTN food writer Lindsay Guentzel has a quarantine concept everyone can use.


Recipe: Baked Banana Berry Oatmeal is a surefire winter warmer

Lindsay Guentzel's latest recipe gives you the motivation to get out of bed.

5 chili recipes

5 chili recipes from MN food bloggers to help beat the cold

These five chili recipes are perfect for the long winter ahead.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 10.27.38 AM

Recipe: Banana pancakes perfect for weekend brunch

BMTN's Lindsay Guentzel shares her gluten-free banana pancake recipe.

Lindsay Guentzel

For The Week: Your recipe and meal prep questions answered

BMTN food writer Lindsay Guentzel helps to make your home life easier.


Recipe: This Kansas City pulled pork is a Super Bowl winner

BMTN food writer Lindsay Guentzel prepares a dish to impress party-goers.