Halloween/ Meals/ RECIPES

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili With Dark Chocolate

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate

This Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate has been a family favorite for a while now. I’ve wanted to make an Instant Pot version and did so last night. It turned out great and was such an easy process.

Last night was Halloween AND our first snow of the season. It was so pretty with great big snowflakes drifting down. I sent a group text to my three teens letting them know dinner would be ready at 5 and that Grandma would be joining us so that she could see their costumes.

My oldest and her boyfriend dressed up to serve little kids candy at a church party. My girl teaches Kindergarten Sunday School every Sunday and was hoping to see some of “her kids” there. It was crazy seeing my girl in scrubs–it may be a glimse into the future as she wants to go into the medical field.

My youngest 2 girls dressed up and went trick-or-treating and to visit their cousin. It may be the last time they trick-or-treat, and it was crazy to watch them drive away on their own. Halloween feels so different now that they are all grown up!

Todd and I bundled up and walked our neighborhood streets, reminiscing about how it seemed like just yesterday that we took our 3 little girls were trick-or-treating down the same streets. My Todd would keep them out until the last porch light went out and they would come home with gobs of candy and spend the next hour sorting and trading.

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate

Cincinnati Chili & Cinnamon Rolls

I knew my girls would be out and about on Halloween, so I was purposeful in bringing the family together early in the evening to eat some nourishing chili. When my Teagan heard we were having chili, she asked…”are you making cinnamon rolls?”

Did you know that is a ‘thing’ in Nebraska? It is. My local grocery store was out of cinnamon rolls and the grocer said…” sorry…I’m all out…lots of people eating chili on this snowy Halloween!”

The combination of chili and cinnamon rolls reminds me of the popular combo of chicken and waffles. Salty, spicy & sweet. I do think chili is a great excuse to make cinnamon rolls, but it seemed a bit much on Halloween when sweet candy will be in abundance, but my girl asked for it, and it IS tradition, so I stopped at another store and bought some, and that made her very happy.

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate

Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate

Cincinnati chili is typically served over spaghetti noodles and topped with cheese, onions, and crackers. We skip the pasta but enjoy a bit of cheese and crackers on top.

The reason I LOVE Cincinnati chili is that the flavor is so rich and complex, thanks in part to dark chocolate. It also has cinnamon, cloves, allspice, a bay leaf, apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in the recipe. These layers of flavor make the chili dark and delicious!

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate Recipe

I love having an Instant Pot version of this recipe. It pressure cooks for 10 minutes, then uses a natural release.

You can make this in a pot on the stove, but it will need to simmer for 3 hours. If you make it in the crockpot, it can cook for 8 hours on low and 4 hours on high.

Instant Pot Cincinnati Style Chili with Dark Chocolate

{for your pinning pleasure!}

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Recipe Type: Meals
Servings: 6
  • 2 tbsp oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 2 small onions or 1 large chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 cans beans I use kidney black, and pinto
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 1 oz square dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart water more or less depending on the consistency you would like
  1. Saute onions in oil on saute function on the Instant Pot until translucent. Add garlic and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain if needed.
  2. Drain and rinse beans in a colander.
  3. Add beans and the rest of the ingredients into the pressure cooker (can eyeball the water and use more or less depending on desired consistency) and stir well.
  4. Pressure cook for 10 minutes, then use natural release. Open the instant pot and stir. If you need to thicken the chili, set to saute and let bubble until desired consistency.

Have you tried Cincinnati Chili? What do you think of chocolate and cinnamon in your chili? How about Chili and Cinnamon Rolls?

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