Instant Pot Pumpkin Chili

pumpkin chili


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider hard cider can also be used
  • 15 oz. canned pumpkin puree
  • 30 oz. canned red kidney beans drained and rinsed (2 small cans)
  • 28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • kosher salt to taste
  • lime wedges, shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped avocado, chopped tomato, sliced green onion, and/or extra cilantro for serving (optional)


  1. Turn the Instant Pot to the "Sauté" function.
  2. Sauté onions and bell pepper in canola oil (1 tablespoon) until softened and starting to brown, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add ground beef and cook, crumbling as you go, until browned (about 5 more minutes).
  4. Add chili powder (1 1/2 tablespoons), cocoa powder (1 tablespoon), and pumpkin pie spice (1/2 tablespoon). Stir to coat everything.
  5. Add the 1 cup of apple cider and stir, scraping up any stuck bits at the bottom of the pressure cooker as you go.
  6. Add the canned pumpkin, beans, and crushed tomato. Stir to mix together well.
  7. Cover Instant Pot and set to manual at high pressure for 20 minutes.
  8. When time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally or use the quick release, waiting until the float valve has sunk down before opening.
  9. Stir in the fresh cilantro (1/4 cup) and season with kosher salt (you're going to need a lot of salt- make sure you taste it!).
  10. Serve with optional toppings on its own or on top of spaghetti, cornbread, or rice.


  • Slow Cooker Instructions: Add all ingredients except cilantro and salt to the slow cooker. Decrease amount of apple cider to 1/2 cup. Stir well. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • Stovetop Instructions: In a large pot, brown onions and peppers in oil. Add ground beef and cook. Add spices and stir to coat. Pour in apple cider and scrape up any browned bits. Add tomatoes, beans, and pumpkin, stir, and simmer covered on low for one hour, or until flavor has developed to your liking. Turn off heat, stir in cilantro and season with salt.