This Weeknight Instant Pot Chili Takes Just 8 Minutes to Prep

Easy Instant Pot weeknight recipes
Christopher Testani

With 65,000 customer reviews and counting, the Instant Pot is a kitchen gadget that's evidently here to stay. The beloved appliance has garnered something of a cult following, but the internet's favorite kitchen appliance has only continued to gain popularity, breaking into the list of the top five most-purchased products on Amazon Prime Day for the second year in a row.

To add a crop of new Instant Pot recipes to our arsenal, we tapped Melissa Clark, the recipe creator behind the wildly popular New York Times column "A Good Appetite." Ahead, the best-selling author shares three recipes from her new cookbook, Comfort in an Instant, including an easy weeknight chili that takes just eight minutes to prep.

Beef Pho With Rice, Noodles, and Basil

Beef pho with rice, noodles, and basil
Christopher Testani

Active time: 20 minutes
Pressure cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


3 star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
6 scallions, white and green parts kept separate
2 quarts beef stock or bone broth, preferably homemade
2 qt. chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 tsp. fine sea salt
10 oz. dried rice noodles, preferably flat ones
8 to 10 oz. eye round or sirloin steak, thinly sliced, at room temperature
2 to 4 tbsp. Asian fish sauce, to taste
2 tsp. sugar, or to taste
Basil leaves, preferably Vietnamese or Thai, for serving
Bean sprouts, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving
Thinly sliced jalapeño chile, for serving


Using the sauté function, toast the star anise, cinnamon stick, and cloves in the pressure cooker pot until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes (you don't need oil for this). Stir in the ginger and scallion whites and cook for another 1 minute. Pour in the beef stock, chicken stock, and salt.

Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then drape a kitchen towel over the vent and manually release the remaining pressure. (This prevents the brothy steam from splattering everywhere.)

Meanwhile, place the noodles in a large bowl. Cover with very hot water and let them sit until soft and pliable, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the noodles, then divide them among serving bowls and top with the thinly sliced raw beef.

Once finished cooking, strain the stock and return it to the pressure cooker pot (or you can use a slotted spoon to scoop out the solids from the broth).

Using the sauté function, bring the stock to a boil. Stir in the fish sauce and sugar, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed—the broth should have a good balance of sweet and salty; the acid will come from the lime juice.

Cod and Potato Chowder

Cod and potato chowder
Christopher Testani

Active time: 20 minutes
Pressure cook time: 4 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


2 oz. bacon (optional), diced

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 large onion, diced
1 fennel bulb (or use 2 celery stalks), trimmed and diced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup dry (white) vermouth or white wine 1 large russet or Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into ­3/4 inch cubes
1 qt. purchased fish stock, or vegetable broth, preferably homemade
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lb. cod or other white, flaky fish, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
Fennel fronds, or chopped chives or parsley, for garnish


If using bacon, set the pressure cooker to sauté and cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the bacon and transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Drain the bacon fat from the pot (either reserve for another use or discard).

Using the sauté function, melt the butter in the pot, then stir in the onion, fennel, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the vermouth and let simmer until it reduces to a thin glaze, about 3 minutes. Stir in the potato, fish stock, and thyme.

Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then drape a kitchen towel over the vent and manually release the remaining pressure. (This prevents the brothy steam from splattering everywhere.)

Moving quickly, so as to keep the heat in the pressure cooker pot, add the cod to the pot along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Easy Weeknight Chili

Easy weeknight chili
Christopher Testani

Active time: 25 minutes
Pressure cook time: 8 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Yield: 3 to 4 servings


2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground pork or beef
2 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 serrano or jalapeño chile, seeded (if desired) and diced
4 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced

1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 14.5-oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 15-oz. cans of pinto or kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
Fresh lime juice
Sour cream, for serving
Cubed avocado, for serving (optional)


Using the sauté function (set on high, if possible), heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the pressure cooker pot. Add half the meat, spread it over the oil, and let it brown without stirring (this helps encourage browning) for 5 to 7 minutes. Give the meat a good stir and sauté for 1 more minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to a plate and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Repeat with the remaining 1 tbsp. oil, meat, and another 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Stir the onion, bell pepper, diced chile, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. of the salt into the pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the meat and any juices from the plate, along with the tomatoes, beans, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

Reprinted from Comfort in an Instant by Melissa Clark. Copyright © 2018 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Christopher Testani. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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