Pressure Cooker Chicken and Black Bean Chili

In the long list of recipes to convert people over to pressure cooking forever, this chicken and black bean chili should rank very, very high. It’s one of the best things I’ve made throughout years of pressure cooking. Granted, I heart chicken chili in a big way, but regardless of my starting bias, this stuff is good.

And not only that, it’s ridiculously fast – even using dried beans. I don’t know about you, but I just want to give my pressure cooker a big ol’ squeeze every time I’m able to crank out a crazy delicious dinner like this in less than an hour (waaaay less than an hour, actually, and most of that time is spent twiddling my thumbs waiting for the pressure cooker to cool off) when under normal circumstances it would take at least half a day. There’s no precooking here (unless you forgot to soak the beans overnight) and not a lot of advance prep, either – dump in all the ingredients and let the pressure cooker go to town.

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Black Bean Chili

Because I know some of you may ask, yes, you probably can make this in the slow cooker (I adapted it to be pressure-cooker friendly from a slow cooker version, after all) but I haven’t actually tried it like that yet because it’s too irresistible (and did I mention speedy?) in the pressure cooker.

Fast, simple, so tasty…and it freezes amazingly well. If you can’t tell, there’s not a whole lot to dislike here.

New to pressure cooking? Here’s a good starting place to figure out your feelings on the subject (hint: I think you’ll fall in love). As I’ve mentioned before, I have a 6-quart InstantPot and a 7-quart stovetop pressure cooker; I’ve included directions in the recipe below for either electric or stovetop models.

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Black Bean Chili

What To ServeThe Best Cornbread
All the toppings you love on chili

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Two Years Ago: Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp and Rice Noodles
Three Years Ago: Mosaic Heart Jello Jigglers

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Black Bean Chili

Yield: Serves 6

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Black Bean Chili

The jury's out whether or not soaking beans is necessary but from my experience with this chili, soaking definitely helps make for a more tender, less crunchy bean in the finished chili. If you haven't planned ahead (story of my life!) and soaked the beans overnight, the pressure cooker can do a mean job of "quick soaking" the beans. I usually throw 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of beans in the pressure cooker (don't fill the pressure cooker more than halfway) and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes (in an electric pressure cooker) or 4 minutes in a stovetop pressure cooker. Naturally release for 10-15 minutes before quick releasing the rest of the pressure (if it bubbles and foams through the vent while releasing pressure, wait a few more minutes or release in quick bursts). Drain and rinse the beans before using in the recipe.

This chili freezes superbly well.


  • 1 1/4 cup dried pinto beans (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cup dried black beans (about 10 ounces)
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Toppings: sour cream, grated cheese, diced avocados, tortilla chips, fresh lime wedges


  1. Combine the dried beans in a bowl and cover with cool water by 2- to 3-inches. Soak overnight (8-12 hours). Drain and rinse. Read the note above the recipe for a quick-soak option if you haven't soaked the beans overnight.
  2. In a 6-quart or larger pressure cooker, combine the beans, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Nestle the chicken in the liquid.
  3. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. For electric pressure cookers, cook on high pressure for 22 minutes (for the InstantPot hit manual --> 20 minutes). For stovetop pressure cookers, cook on high pressure for about 19-20 minutes (start timing once high pressure is reached).
  4. Let the pressure cooker naturally release pressure for 10-15 minutes before releasing the rest under quick pressure. If it starts foaming/bubbling as you let out pressure, wait a few more minutes or just release in short bursts (for stovetop models, run cold water around the sides of the pressure cooker for a non-bubbling quick release).
  5. If for some reason the beans are not tender enough to your liking when you open the pressure cooker, take out the chicken and simply bring the pressure cooker back to high pressure (this will happen fast since the ingredients are piping hot) for a few more minutes. Release pressure the same way as described above.
  6. Shred the chicken breasts into pieces and stir back into the chili. Add additional salt and pepper to taste (very important!). Serve with toppings: sour cream, grated cheese, diced avocados, tortilla chips, fresh lime wedges.

Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe at Smitten Kitchen (converted it from slow cooker to pressure cooker, varying some of the ingredients)

Disclaimer: this post contains a few Amazon affiliate links.

35 Responses to Chicken and Black Bean Chili {Pressure Cooker}

  1. […] 11. Chicken & black bean chili from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  2. […] Chicken & Black Bean Chili […]

  3. Colleen says:

    I did it! This was my first pressure cooker meal! I don’t have the famous instapot but the $40 Ambiano multicooker from Aldi. I followed your time instructions and…perfection. I thanked God for you this week. Your blog has helped me so much this past year.

  4. Kieran says:

    Is the 4 cups of stock correct? We tried it, tastes good , but very watery.

    • Mel says:

      Yes, that’s how much I used. Did you use dry black beans or canned? You could definitely cut down the amount of chicken broth if you make it again.

  5. Beth says:

    Hi Mel! Ok made the chili this morning. Do you think I can just keep it on the “keep warm” function until dinner in about 5 hrs?

  6. Emilee says:

    It was -20 today, so this soup was perfect for dinner. I served it with your best cornbread recipe, which is a family favorite. Thank you!

  7. Laura says:

    I just got an electric pressure cooker for Christmas, and I’m trying this today and putting the tortilla soup on this week’s menu as well – thanks! I was wondering if I need to defrost the chicken before I add it to the pressure cooker, or can I just add a little extra time? Thanks!

  8. Sara says:

    I made this for our ward trunk or treat last night and it was a hit. My crock pot was scraped clean. It’s definitely going on the repeat list.

  9. Kristy says:

    Can I double this in the instant pot?

  10. Sheila says:

    I made this a few months ago and had enough for 2 containers. I served one which I didn’t get to eat but my husband and in laws loved it. The other container I had put in the freezer for another time. I finally got to try it last week and it was delicious. My husband served it over a little rice to make it heartier and so yummy. Thanks for an easy and great recipe.

  11. Brian says:

    I made this today in my duo60. First time out actually. Used pork tenderloin instead and doubled the black beans since it was all I had. So good! Fast soaked the beans while the pork was thawing. Flavor was outstanding!

  12. Erin says:

    I want to say I love your site! Everything I have tried off of here has been amazing and I have made a lot of your recipes. I always know if I need a recipe for something to look here first. After hearing about pressure cooking and then your blog post I decided to get one. I got an electric one yesterday and made this today! It was delicious as always! We had friends over and our kids and theirs liked it as well. I know I don’t even need to try one of your recipes before making it for friends. Thanks for all your hard work, your recipes are amazing!!

  13. Kelly says:

    Can you skip the chicken and keep everything else the same? Thanks!!

  14. Kristin says:

    Mel, I recently got an Instant Pot and have been eyeing this chili as my first recipe to try! That being said, do you think canned beans would work okay? I was worried they might get mushy. Thank you for all of your delicious recipes!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kristin – I think you could use canned beans but I’d stir them in at the end and cook for 2-3 more minutes at high pressure instead of adding them at the beginning.

  15. Courtney says:

    Hi Mel (or anyone else out there reading this)…just wondering if you have any tried and true tips for removing the odor(s) retained in the silicone ring inside the InstantPot lid. So far I’ve tried washing it in the top rack of the dishwasher, soaking the ring in half/half hot water and white vinegar and steaming water/vinegar/lemon for 5 minutes. The odor has faded but isn’t gone completely. And I have an Oreo cheesecake to bake! I may just order a second ring for neutral/dessert recipes but any tips you have in the meantime would be appreciated!

    • Mel says:

      I totally know what you mean, Courtney! I have minimized the odor in my ring doing similar things (a vinegar/baking soda “bath”) but it isn’t gone completely. I think I’m going to do what you are thinking of and order a second ring to keep the sweet and savory odors separate. 🙂

  16. Karen says:

    Thank you, thank you for posting both electric and stove top pressure cooker times, I needed help using mine more, so this is wonderful!

  17. Jenn W says:

    One of the reasons I love your recipes is that I generally have all the ingredients already in my pantry. Yesterday morning I saw this and though, oh, but I have to soak the beans overnight. Duh!! Started soaking them at 9 AM and they were good to go by 4 PM when I started dinner. Thank you for posting pressure cooker recipes.

  18. Tricia says:

    I don’t usually experiment with recipes but I made an exception for this one since I don’t have a pressure cooker and it looked so delicious and I had most of the ingredients. I used rinsed canned beans (black and Northern) and simmered on the stove top for 2.5-3 hours. It was soooo good! It was a tad spicy for my young daughter and me but I mixed in some yogurt and cheese to help temper it and it took the edge off. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

  19. Juli says:

    Your posts have convinced me I need a pressure cooker! My husband was so tired of hearing me talk about it that he’s getting me one for Valentine’s Day. Thanks for these great new posts that should give me a good starting place.

  20. Gloria Barnhouse says:

    Thank for the Chicken and Black bean chile recipe. I hope you have many instant pot recipes as I just purchased mine and need recipes

  21. Liz says:

    On beans … I make a LOT of beans – various from Rancho Gordo. I’ve found a big difference in flavor and consistency and ease of cooking with the RG beans. I think it is because they are very fresh. For this recipe, I’m going to use pinquitos and midnight black beans as they take the same amount of time to cook and have some bite but not crunchy or mushy. I sometimes find that pintos cook faster than black beans and over cook to mush – not always a bad thing.

    Soaking – I do, but I sometimes decide in the morning to cook beans for supper and start the soak first thing in the morning. The beans have 8 hours before I start cooking them and with a pressure cooker especially there is time to soak and cook the same day.

    I am LOVING the Instant Pot which I purchased after your post, Mel. Also bought a FAGOR DUO stovetop which I like as well. A whole new world – thanks, Mel and for converting and sharing pressure cooker recipes!

  22. Kim says:

    I’m getting one for Valentine’s Day too! I can’t wait!,,,

  23. Jill says:

    My husband bought me an Instant Pot for Valentine’s Day (I told him I’d MUCH rather have a pressure cooker than flowers). It’s supposed to come today! I’m sure he won’t mind if I open it early and make this for dinner! Thanks for all your delicious recipes! We devoured your Winter Minestrone Soup for dinner last night! It was heavenly!

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Dang, you are really making a good argument for buying a pressure cooker…. I may just have to go for it! This looks amazing! 🙂

  25. This looks so delicious and perfect for the super cold weekend we are having here in DC!

  26. Alicia says:

    That’s some pretty high praise for a PC meal; I think I’ll scrap my dinner plans for tonight and put this on the menu. Thanks!

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