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Pioneer Woman Chili Recipe

If you’re craving a hearty and flavorful dish that warms you from the inside out, then you’re in for a treat with Pioneer Woman Chili!

This chili recipe combines ground beef, beans, and a medley of spices to create a rich, satisfying meal that’s perfect for any day of the week.

One key trick is adding masa harina, which not only thickens the chili but also imparts a unique depth of flavor that sets it apart from other chili recipes.

I love how this chili is incredibly customizable—top it with cheese, sour cream, or even avocado for a delicious twist.

How to Make Pioneer Woman Chili

pioneer woman chili

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 can Tomatoes (32 oz)
  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 cup Masa Harina
  • 1 can Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can Pinto Beans (drained and rinsed)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1:

Add olive oil to your Instant Pot and set it to sauté.

Step 2:

Add the ground beef to the pot.

Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, and salt.

Cook while stirring often to break up the meat.

Step 3:

Once the beef is browned, add the chopped onion and minced garlic.

Stir and cook until the onion is slightly softened.

Step 4:

Add the can of tomatoes, beef broth, and beans.

Stir thoroughly but gently.

Step 5:

Without stirring further, place the lid on the Instant Pot.

Ensure the valve is set to the sealing position.

Step 6:

Turn the Instant Pot on by hitting the Chili/Bean button.

Adjust the cooking time to 12 minutes.

Allow the Instant Pot to cook and release pressure naturally.

Step 7:

In a small bowl, combine the masa harina with 1 cup of water.

Stir this mixture into the chili to thicken it.

Cook the chili for another few minutes using the sauté function if needed.

Tips and Tricks for Making This Recipe

Adjusting Seasoning:

Taste the chili after cooking and adjust the seasoning as needed.

You can add more salt or chili powder based on your preference.

Using Fresh Ingredients:

Freshly chopping your onion and garlic gives a better flavor than pre-minced versions.

It’s worth the effort for the best taste!

Make-Ahead Option:

This chili can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

It actually tastes better the next day as the flavors meld together.

Customizing Your Chili:

Feel free to add other vegetables like bell peppers or corn.

This is a versatile recipe that can handle a few changes based on what you have on hand.

What to Serve with Pioneer Woman Chili

Classic Cornbread

Nothing says comfort like cornbread with chili!

The sweetness of the cornbread complements the savory, spicy notes of the chili.

You can bake it in a cast iron skillet for an extra crispy crust.

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Why not serve chili over a baked potato?

Top with cheese, sour cream, and chives for an indulgent meal.

This combination adds a fun twist to your traditional chili night.

Stuffed Avocados

For a lighter, fresher option, try serving chili in avocado halves.

The creamy avocado pairs wonderfully with the rich, robust flavors of the chili.

It’s a great way to add some healthy fats to your meal.

Garlic Breadsticks

Serve your Pioneer Woman chili with warm, buttery garlic breadsticks.

They’re perfect for dipping and add a garlicky crunch to each mouthful.

Plus, they’re easy to make ahead and reheat.

Apple Coleslaw

Looking for something refreshing on the side?

Try a tangy apple coleslaw!

The crisp apples and zesty dressing will add a nice contrast to the hearty chili.

Variations and Substitutions

pioneer woman chili variations

There are so many ways to switch things up when making Pioneer Woman chili!

If you want a vegetarian option, skip the ground beef and use a variety of beans like black beans or kidney beans.

For those who love heat, add extra jalapeños or a dash of cayenne pepper.

Meat Alternatives

You can use ground turkey or chicken as a leaner choice if you prefer not to use ground beef.

For a richer flavor, try mixing beef chuck roast with ground beef.

Spice Adjustments

If cumin isn’t your favorite, swap it for smoked paprika or coriander.

Oregano can be replaced with thyme or marjoram for a different herbal touch.

Additional Veggies

Adding more veggies can enhance both the flavor and nutrition.

Consider adding zucchini, corn, or even sweet potatoes.

Different Bases

Tomato sauce can be substituted with fire-roasted tomatoes for a smoky kick.

If you don’t have tomato paste, use a small amount of ketchup in a pinch.

Don’t hesitate to get creative and make this chili your own!

How to Store Leftover Pioneer Woman Chili

Refrigeration

Transfer the leftover Pioneer Woman chili to an airtight container.

Place the container in the refrigerator.

Consume within 3-4 days for the best quality.

Freezing

For long-term storage, freeze the chili.

Use freezer-safe bags or containers.

Be sure to label with the date.

Use within 6 months for the best flavor.

Portioning for Convenience

Divide the chili into single-serving portions.

This makes reheating easier and faster.

Store portions in individual containers or bags.

By doing this, you can grab and go whenever you need a quick meal!

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using Stale Spices

Make sure your spices are fresh to get the best flavor.

Whole spices add the most punch—toast them in a dry pan first until aromatic.

Always grind the spices right before adding them to your chili.

Skipping the Fat Drain

After browning your ground beef, remember to drain the excess fat.

Leaving too much fat can make the chili greasy and heavy.

It’s okay to leave a little for moisture, but don’t overdo it.

Adding Too Little Liquid

The chili needs enough liquid to cook properly and stay moist.

Adding tomato sauce and some water is essential—try adding half a cup at a time until you reach the right consistency.

Too thick chili can be unpleasant, so keep an eye on it while cooking.

pioneer woman chili

Pioneer Woman Chili Recipe

This Pioneer Woman Chili is both hearty and flavorful. With simple steps and the right ingredients, you'll have a delicious meal ready in no time!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Lunch
Servings 6
Ingredients
  
  • 2 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 can Tomatoes 32 oz
  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 cup Masa Harina
  • 1 can Kidney Beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Pinto Beans drained and rinsed
Instructions
 
  •  
  • Add olive oil to your Instant Pot and set it to sauté.
  • Add the ground beef to the pot.
  • Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, and salt.
  • Cook while stirring often to break up the meat.
  • Once the beef is browned, add the chopped onion and minced garlic.
  • Stir and cook until the onion is slightly softened.
  • Add the can of tomatoes, beef broth, and beans.
  • Stir thoroughly but gently.
  • Without stirring further, place the lid on the Instant Pot.
  • Ensure the valve is set to the sealing position.
  • Turn the Instant Pot on by hitting the Chili/Bean button.
  • Adjust the cooking time to 12 minutes.
  • Allow the Instant Pot to cook and release pressure naturally.
  • In a small bowl, combine the masa harina with 1 cup of water.
  • Stir this mixture into the chili to thicken it.
  • Cook the chili for another few minutes using the sauté function if needed.

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Passionate chef, in love with everything related to food and cooking it to perfection!
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