Instant Pot Chorizo Chili with Pinto Beans. Spicy chorizo cooked with dry pinto beans, ready in about an hour from your pressure cooker.
This recipe is inspired by Veronica Castro of Destination El Paso. She told me about Mexican Chili Beans when I was visiting for a food blogger conference…but that’s a recipe for another day. She recommended mixing cooked chorizo into the chili beans, and I thought: “Chorizo Chili! What a great idea!”[feast_advanced_jump_to]
This recipe is similar to my other pressure cooker chili and dry bean recipes, like Pressure Cooker Ground Beef and Bean Chili, Instant Pot Ground Pork and Bean Chili, or Instant Pot Turkey Chili with Small Red Beans. Now you can make this chili with canned beans (like I do in my Pressure Cooker Quick Chili with Canned Beans), but please, take the time to sort, rinse, and soak dried beans. They are so much better than canned and will take your chili to new heights.
- Dry pinto beans
- Fine sea salt
- Mexican chorizo
- Chili powder
- Baking soda
- Crushed tomatoes
- Fresh ground black pepper
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make Instant Pot Chorizo Chili with Pinto Beans
- Sort and rinse the dry pinto beans, then cover with water, add a teaspoon of fine sea salt, and soak overnight. Drain the soaked pinto beans right before cooking.
- In an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker, cook the chorizo using Sauté mode until it is crumbling apart and just starting to brown.
- Add a diced onion and crushed garlic to the chorizo, and sauté until the onion softens. Make a hole in the center of the chorizo and onions, add the spices, and toast for 1 minute.
- Pour in 4 cups of water, the rinsed beans, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and a 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes.
- Lock the lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 15 minutes with a natural pressure release.
- Stir in the fresh ground black pepper, and (if needed) simmer for up to 15 minutes to thicken the chili.
What is Mexican Chorizo?
Chorizo means sausage in Spanish, so there are as many different chorizos as there are Spanish-speaking countries. Mexican chorizo is a finely ground raw chorizo, sold in tubes, with a mix of ground chili peppers and spices blended in.
- Can’t find Mexican chorizo? Don’t use Spanish chorizo, a hard sausage similar to salami. Hot Italian sausage is close enough to work in this recipe. The flavor of Italian sausage isn’t quite right, so I add an extra ¼ cup of chili powder to help it.
- The heat level of this chili depends on the chorizo. Hot chorizo is the default at my local Mexican markets. If you want to cut the heat, look for mild chorizo, which is usually available in the refrigerated case.
- If you want a richer chili, substitute 4 cups of chicken broth (preferably homemade chicken broth) for the water. If you use store-bought chicken broth, get reduced-sodium broth, and skip the teaspoon of fine sea salt that is added to the chili.
- Don’t want to use dried beans? Substitute 3 15-ounce cans of pinto beans, drained, and cut the cooking time under pressure to 10 minutes. (For more details, see this recipe: Pressure Cooker Quick Chili with Canned Beans)
A 6-quart pressure cooker
To double this recipe, you need an 8-quart pressure cooker. Cut all the ingredients in half, and this recipe will fit in a 3-quart pressure cooker. The cooking time does not change; it takes the same amount of time to cook the beans, no matter how many there are in the pot.
Store the chili in 2-cup containers. They can refrigerate for a few days, or freeze for up to 6 months. 2-cup containers of frozen chili are my favorite leftover; I love having extra for lunches later in the week.
Salt and Baking Soda with dry beans
“Salt makes beans tough” is a myth. Salt and baking soda both help the beans tenderize and cook evenly.
💡Tips and Tricks
- If your beans are still tough when the cooking time is over, especially any “floaters” at the top of the pot, stir the beans, lock the lid, and pressure cook for another five minutes. Older beans take longer to cook, and if the beans have been sitting on the shelf at your store for a while, they may need extra time. The overnight soak, salt, and baking soda will all help, but sometimes old beans are just old beans.
- Simmer to thicken: If you have the time, and want a thicker chili, simmer the chili for 10 to 20 minutes after pressure cooking. I set my Instant Pot to Sauté mode, adjust it to low heat, set the timer to 10 minutes, and simmer with the lid off until the chili thickens up to my liking.
What to Serve with Instant Pot Chorizo Chili
I love all sorts of chili toppings. My favorites are diced onions, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream. This chili packs some heat, but if you need to take the heat even higher, serve with pickled jalapeños and bottles of hot sauce.Print
Instant Pot Chorizo Chili With Pinto Beans. Spicy chorizo cooked with dry pinto beans, ready in about an hour from your pressure cooker.
Soaking Pinto Beans
- 1 pound dry pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 12 ounces Mexican raw chorizo
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Soaked pinto beans (from above)
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted crushed)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- Sort and rinse the pinto beans: Sort the pinto beans, discarding any stones, dirt, or broken beans. Rinse the beans, then do an overnight soak or a quick soak.
- Overnight soak: Cover the pinto beans with 8 cups of water and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Leave the beans to soak overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid.
- OR: Pressure Quick Soak for 1 minute with a 30-minute rest: Put the pinto beans and 8 cups of water in an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Pressure cook at high pressure for 1 minute (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot for 1 minute), then quick release the pressure. Let the beans soak in the pot for 30 minutes. Drain the beans and discard the soaking liquid. (Wipe out the pot if you use it in the next step.)
- Cook the chorizo: Remove the casing from the Mexican chorizo and put it in an Instant Pot or another pressure cooker. Set the cooker to Sauté mode (medium heat for a stovetop PC), and cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a flat-edged wooden spoon until it is crumbled and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Sauté the aromatics and toast the spices: Stir in the onion and garlic, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté, occasionally stirring and scraping the pot to make sure the chorizo is not sticking, until the onions soften and turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Make a hole in the center of the chorizo and onions, and add the chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Let sit for 30 seconds, then stir the spices into the chorizo and onions.
- Pressure cook the chili for 15 minutes with a Natural Release: Stir in the pinto beans, water, 1 teaspoon of salt, baking soda, and crushed tomatoes. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes in an Instant Pot or another electric pressure cooker (use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode), or for 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. Turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, about 30 minutes. (You can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes, especially if you are in a hurry). Remove the lid carefully, opening it away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot.
- Simmer to thicken (optional): To thicken the chili, set the Instant Pot to Sauté mode adjusted to low (low heat in a stovetop cooker), bring the pot to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered, until the chili thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Season and serve: Stir in the black pepper. Serve straight up or with your favorite chili toppings. (Mine are diced onions, shredded cheddar, and sour cream.) Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Sunday Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keywords: Instant Pot Chorizo Chili With Pinto Beans, Pressure Cooker Chorizo Chili With Pinto Beans
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