Instant Pot Habanero Chili


Instant Pot Habanero Chili by Ashley of My Heart Beets.

I like to pretend that I can handle heat… but really, my spicy food tolerance level is like a 3 on a scale of 1-10. This my friends, is not a level 3. It’s a level habanero.

I make this hearty habanero chili all the time for my husband, Roby, who prefers his food at a level 7-9 on the spicy food tolerance level scale.

Oh and um, just so you know – I’m totally making up this “spicy food tolerance level scale” thing.

(If you want to talk about legit numbers – a habanero ranges anywhere from 100k-580k units on the scoville scale. But who really knows what the heck that means?).

What I can tell you about this habanero chili: it’s spicy and it’s delicious. Even though it’s a little spicier than the food I’m used to eating, I still really enjoy the heat and the flavor that the habanero adds to the chili.

If you don’t think you can handle the heat, you can always use a jalapeño instead. No shame, you guys. You can work your way up… maybe try half a habanero?

Instant Pot Habanero Chili by Ashley of My Heart Beets.

When you make this recipe, I suggest sticking to 1 habanero. I once made this with 2 habaneros and I started sweating after a single bite. Roby had to eat all of it. I’m pretty sure that was his plan to begin with, since the whole adding 2 habaneros to the chili was his idea. He loved it.

If you eat dairy, top this with some cheddar cheese and sour cream. If not, it’ll still be delicious.

These days, I love making chili in my Instant Pot, an electronic pressure cooker. Don’t have an Instant Pot? Here are directions for making it in the slow cooker.

Just curious, how many habaneros do you think you can handle?

Instant Pot Habanero Chili by Ashley of My Heart Beets.

Instant Pot Habanero Chili

Instant Pot Habanero Chili by Ashley of My Heart Beets.

Instant Pot Habanero Chili

5 from 6 reviews
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Servings 4


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 habanero minced (use 2 if you like your food insanely spicy)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 5 medium carrots chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Bacon cooked and crumbed (optional)


  • Press the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot, and add the oil, onions and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the ground beef to the pot and cook until brown.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 35 minutes at high pressure.
  • Once the chili is done, you can either naturally release pressure or use the quick release if you're in a rush.
  • Top with crumbled bacon if desired and serve.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? Try these:

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Instant Pot Saag
Instant Pot Carne Guisada
Instant Pot Dal Makhani
Goat Curry in a Hurry
Instant Pot Texas Beef Chili
Instant Pot Ground Lamb Curry
Instant Pot Butter Chicken

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Julie says

    This was really delicious. I often want chili but can’t be bothered to wait while it simmers. Now I don’t have to! I used 1.5 lbs of ground bison and upped all the spices a little, and it was fantastic. I also used four Habaneros I’d had in my freezer and it was perfect. This will now be my go-to chili recipe!

  2. Keith C. says

    5 stars
    I made this for my wife and I and it turned out great. I changed a few things though. I used 1 large carrot and two stalks of celery. I also added one can of pinto beans and one can of dark red kidney beans before cooking (I like my beans soft). Instead of habanero, I added one ghost pepper. My wife found the spice level to be perfect, but I had to add some chipotle to mine to bring the heat up a bit (also adds smoky flavor). With everything in there, it came up to the fill line on my 6 qt. Instant Pot.

    She enjoyed that it had lots of veggies (I normally make a meaty chili). I enjoyed that it was easy and quick to make. Perfect.

    BTW, if your husband likes spicy and smoky, I recommend trying it with a couple chipotle in adobo.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Keith, that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing your subs 🙂 I can’t even imagine making this with ghost pepper but I bet my hubby would love that! I will have to try this using chipotle in adobo sometime – that sounds delicious! Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. keith says

    I am an inexperienced cook, and wanted to show my wife that I could make something. I had been planning this recipe for a while, so thanks for sharing it. I used 2 habs, as I am not familiar with their heat level. In the future I would probably add 2 jal, to add to the flavor/heat of the chili. I like things hot and that’s relative to each person, but I have a high tolerance. All around great chilli, took me longer than 35 minutes to complete (closer to 1.5 hours). I also used black bear meat and wanted to make sure I had proper temps.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Keith, that’s so nice of you to cook this for your wife! And omg, I think I would die if I ate your chili with two habaneros AND two jalapenos lol but I am sure my hubby would LOVE it.

  4. Steph says

    I am about to make this. Husband loveable habaneros. Could I put beans in this? Would I have to alter anything?
    Thank you

    • My Heart Beets says

      Steph, are you planning to use dried or canned beans? If using dried beans, then add them in before pressure cooking and leave everything else the same (I suggest soaking dried beans as well – either for a few hours or overnight depending on how large the bean is). If you are using canned beans, you can add them in at the very end since they are already cooked 🙂 Let me know what you and your hubby think of the recipe!

  5. An Indian says

    You should not write Indian Recipes because you do not know that Beef is Religiously as well as legally prohibited in India. Any Indian recipes will never have any beef in its ingredients. So do not play with people’s emotions.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi, some communities in India do eat beef. I didn’t realize beef was eaten in India until I met my now-husband who is from Kerala (South India) and the Catholic/Christian community there as well as other communities in India do eat beef. It is up to the state to decide if they allow it and there are states (like Kerala) that do. I understand beef is controversial in India and while Hinduism is one of the major religions, there are other religions that do allow the consumption of beef.

      • Shefali says

        I just came across your blog today, and am so excited to try this recipe and the dal makhani recipe.I recently got an instant pot so am on the hunt for recipes to experiment with!
        On a side note, I know this isn’t a vegetarian recipe, but since I am vegetarian and love anything chili related, I have routinely made meat chili recipes “meatless” by just substituting the beef with soy crumbles, and even my meat loving husband enjoys them!

    • Brian Quinn says

      5 stars
      An Indian, there is a large area in southern India where the people do indeed eat beef, as they are not Muslim. Indian doesn’t mean Muslim, therefore she was not disrespecting Indians and may indeed call her recipe Indian using any meat that she wishes. Please use a smaller brush to paint the world with. Your brush strokes are currently too broad.

  6. MrsBplus3 says

    I make my chili with at least 6 habaneros and I too, eat it all to myself , hubby can do about a half , so I make a separate pot for the kids, my 4 year old eats habanero everything .. I was looking at a regular recipe on google and stumbled upon this page … looking for more pressure cooker recipes, as I’m new to this , I’m super excited to look at more recipes, do you have a good salsa recipe with habaneros ??

  7. Sydney says

    5 stars
    I’ve never known another Roby. That’s my uncle’s name. It’s a family name, my grandmother’s side. This recipe looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Holly says

    Ashely, love all your recipes so much! I don’t own an Insta pot but I have a different brand of electric PC. I am just wondering if you know if the times vary between different pressure cookers. I say this because I use it a lot and it appears that your recipes cook for a lot longer than I cook mine in my pressure cooker. I want to try your shredded chicken and this chili but not sure cooking is correct for anything but an Insta pot. I usually cook boneless skinless chicken breast for anywhere from 4 to 5 minutes with natural release. Your shredded chicken recipe is like 3 to 4 times longer than that. Just wondering if you could add any insight here. I know my pressure cooker is only 9 to 10 PSI at full pressure so it’s lower than most that are 10-12 PSI. I just don’t want to waste ingredients and overcook them so they’re dry and tasteless! Thanks in advance!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Holly, I don’t know much about other pressure cookers so I’m sorry I’m not sure how helpful I’ll be… hopefully another reader will be able to respond with advice. The shredded chicken recipe on my blog calls for 4 pounds of chicken, do you cook less chicken than that when you pressure cook for 4-5 mins? My only suggestion would be to cook for less time and check on the meat – you can always cook chicken for longer, but you can’t exactly save overcooked chicken.

  9. Carrie says

    5 stars
    I loved the slow cooker version of this recipe and I love the Instant Pot version even more!! There is something so rewarding about making a flavorful and satisfying chili in only 35 minutes. We went with 3 habaneros and it was the perfect heat level (for my husband and I at least, but we’re kind of crazy haha). The actual flavor of the habanero is so unique and delicious. I think people just associate it with being super spicy, but it also has it’s taste profile that can’t be replicated with a jalapeno or serrano, in my opinion. Thanks so much for putting the Instant Pot version up! This is sure to become another regular meal in our home.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Carrie, I’m so happy to hear that you like the recipe!! And omg, my husband would LOVE it if I made this chili with three habaneros (but I’d die…lol). I do love the flavor of habanero too though! Glad it’ll be a regular dish in your house 🙂

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