My Instant Pot has been my best friend allllll winter. I’ve been using it to make lots of soups, bone broths, and other dishes that help nourish my chilly soul. One of my absolute favorite new winter staple recipes to make is this Instant Pot Copycat Wendy’s Chili.
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Wendy’s arguably serves the most popular chili in the fast-food world. There’s a reason it’s a crowd-pleaser – it’s pretty damn tasty without being too spicy.
Making it at home in the IP is the fastest and easiest way to whip up a batch. We like to make a pot of it at the beginning of the week, then portion the rest out to reheat for lunches. It’s a great way to help keep the grocery budget down and save time.
The ingredients for copycat Wendy’s chili are pretty standard and can be found at any grocery store. Wendy’s actually uses leftover hamburgers in their chili, but I used lean ground beef in this homemade version.
- Lean Ground Beef
- Tomato Sauce
- Kidney Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Green Bell Pepper
- Chili Powder
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
Is Wendy’s chili made from old burgers?
Yes, Wendy’s makes their chili from burgers that were not sold. These patties are chopped up and then saved to use in the next batch of chili.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, you can freeze Wendy’s chili. This copycat Wendy’s chili can also be frozen.
Can you reheat it?
Yes, Wendy’s chili can be reheated. You can easily reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Is it vegetarian?
No, Wendy’s chili is not vegetarian. It is packed full of beef.
Is it dairy-free?
Wendy’s does not include any dairy in their chili, however, if you have a dairy allergy it may not be safe to eat. They use grilled hamburger patties for the meat that could have been grilled next to a patty with cheese, so cross-contamination could be an issue.
Can you buy Wendy’s chili by the gallon?
Wendy’s does sell a family size chili which serves 5-6 people. If you need it by the gallon though, why not make this homemade version?
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Easy Instant Pot Mac & Cheese
- Instant Pot Twice Baked Potato Casserole
- Instant Pot Milk & Honey Corn on the Cob
- Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Cajun Boiled Peanuts
Other Copycat Recipes
- Taco Bell Quesadilla Recipe
- Starbucks Iced Matcha Latte Recipe
- Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples
- Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits Recipe
- Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme
Instant Pot Wendy’s Chili
Make copycat Wendy’s Chili in the Instant Pot with this quick & easy recipe.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 6
- Total Time: 21 minutes
- Yield: 5 1x
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: American
1lb Lean Ground Beef
15oz Can of Tomato Sauce
15oz Can of Kidney Beans
15oz Can of Pinto Beans
14.5oz Can of Diced Tomatoes
Yellow Onion, diced
1 Jalapeno, deseeded and diced
1 Stalk of Celery
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
1/8 Cup Chili Powder
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Tablespoon Butter
1/8 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Turn your Instant Pot to the high saute setting. Add the ground beef and saute until browned. (You can drain the grease if desired, but I do not when using lean ground beef.)
Add all of the remaining ingredients (do not drain the beans). Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes. When the cooking is complete, you can perform a quick release. Serve warm.
- Calories: 383
I just made this. It is easy and delicious. Will definitely make again.
Brittany S says
This recipe was really easy and tastes very similar to the Wendy’s recipe. This will save me a lot of money!! I made a double batch yesterday….some for now and the other half will be frozen. Thanks for the recipe!!
Jeannie H Brinkmeier says
I made this today and it was delicious! Thanks for the IP recipe.
By chance does anyone know how to modify this for making with dried beans? Ty 🙂
You could find a recipe for cooking dried beans in the IP and then follow this recipe from there.
I tried twice and got the “burn notice” both times. Followed the recipe to the “t”. Any ideas?
Jessica Pinney says
Hey Dave! I can’t be sure, but I have a few guesses. 1) When browning the ground beef, be sure to stir often so no pieces of it get stuck to the bottom of the pot. Anything stuck to the bottom of the pot can cause a burn error. 2) Make sure to add the ingredients in the order they are listed and do not stir. Stirring can also cause a burn error.
Hope that helps!
I use very lean ground beef so I put the butter in while sautéing the meat. Making sure no burn on the bottom. When meat is almost done I put 8n the veggies and continue sautéing. Again make sure no burn on the bottom. I put in spices next and stir very well, then I add 1/2 cup of chicken broth. I put beans in first and spread the out, then put in tomato sauce and tomatoes. Do not stir, if you do the tomatoes and sauce will burn. I learned this from the American goulash instapot recipe.
I made this and it turned out well. Left out the 1/2 cup of water, and when I make it again
I will also skip the Cayenne.
Thank you for posting this recipe.
Sophia Shinn says
This is easy and delicious! To save time I use frozen mirepoix (onion, celery and carrot) and frozen chopped green peppers.
Jessica Pinney says
Great time-saving hack, Sophia! Thanks for sharing and I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe.
Susan Magee says
It was delicious. Next time I will leave out the water. I would like it a little bit thicker. It was probably because I did not add pinto beans – don’t like them.
On the other hand, if I double the beef. I will add the water. Easiest Chili I ever made; I will definitely
make it again.
Was good. But would leave out the water as we like chili a bit thicker.
Can you double the recipe in a 6 qt IP?
Joey B. says
This recipe was very easy an full of flavor. Added a extra cup water because I got burn notice with half cup. Very delicious will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe!
I agree. I used a Poblamo instead of Jalapeño , halved the cumin & chili powder, used Cilantro in place of the Cayanne, and used Great Value Seasoning Blend in place of chopping an onion. It also has some celery, parsley and red and green bell pepper in it.. Will definitely make it again. Loved the old mild Wendys Chili. It made a good Taco Salad as well.
Jeanne Foley says
I just ate my last bowl of Wendy’s chili. Why? Because I do not like it spiced. This breaks my heart. I loved the old chili. Why do you people think that everything is better when you make it spicey? Goodbye Wendys. I will go elsewhere.
Robin G says
So make it without the spices. You can make it however you want to make it That’s the beauty of cooking, you can tweak it to fit your own style.
The best copy cat Wendy’s chili I have found.
Best Wendy’s copycat chili I have ever made. Just a hint to keep it from burning, after the meat is cooked, add beans first, tomatoes next and sauce on top. The sauce is what burns.