Are you craving the hearty, comforting flavors of Wendy’s iconic chili but want to enjoy it from the comfort of your home?

If you love Wendy’s chili, look no further!

We’re bringing you an Instant Pot Wendy’s Copycat Chili that’s easy to whip up and delivers all the rich, savory goodness of the classic fast-food favorite with the convenience and speed of your pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Wendy’s Copycat Chili
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Serve your favorite chili with Air Fryer Jiffy Cornbread, Air Fryer Baked Potatoes, and Air Fryer Tater Tots!

The Best Wendy’s Copycat Chili Recipe

This copycat Wendy’s chili is perfectly captures the unique blend of spices, ground beef, beans, and vegetables that Wendy’s chili lovers have come to adore. Using the Instant Pot, you can achieve that slow-cooked taste in a fraction of the time, making this dish an ideal option for busy weeknights, game day gatherings, or simply when the chili craving strikes.

Whether you’re an Instant Pot pro or new to the world of pressure cooking, this recipe is straightforward, with step-by-step instructions to guide you through creating a comforting, flavorful pot of chili that tastes like it’s been simmering all day.  This is one of the best chili recipes! And it’s a great recipe if you are new to pressure cooking! 

Get ready to impress your family and friends with this spot-on copycat recipe that brings the warmth and taste of Wendy’s chili to your dining table. Stay tuned for a delicious journey guaranteed to satisfy those chili cravings without stepping out the door!

Instant Pot Wendy’s Copycat Chili

Instant Pot Wendy’s Copycat Chili Recipe

Dive into the comforting flavors of Wendy’s chili from the convenience of your home kitchen. This Instant Pot version captures the essence of the beloved fast-food favorite and offers a quick and hassle-free cooking experience. Let’s embark on a culinary journey to recreate this iconic chili, bowl by delicious bowl.

If you are a fan of Wendy’s Chili and have some picky eaters at home, this is the perfect recipe for you! So, although you may not be Dave Thomas, you are the best one to make this perfect chili recipe.

I love making soups, stews, and chilis in my Instant Pot, and this recipe is no different. Soon, you will fall in love with making them, too! 


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Why You Will Love Copycat Wendy’s Chili Recipe

  • Rich and Flavorful: Mimicking Wendy’s unique blend of spices, this recipe delivers a deeply savory, slightly sweet, and warmly spiced chili that hits all the right notes.
  • Easy and Convenient: Utilizing the Instant Pot for this recipe transforms what is traditionally a slow-cooked dish into a quick and hassle-free meal.
  • Healthier: Making Wendy’s Chili at home allows you to control the quality of ingredients and the amount of salt, making it a healthier option than its fast-food counterpart.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep: Chili is a fantastic meal prep option; it freezes and reheats beautifully.
  • Versatile: Serve it as is, over rice, or as a topping for nachos or hot dogs.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: With its familiar and beloved flavors, this Copycat Wendy’s Chili is a guaranteed hit among adults and children.
  • Cost-Effective: Cooking at home is always more economical than eating out.
Instant Pot Wendy’s Copycat Chili

Wendy’s Chili Ingredient List

You can cook this Copycat Wendy’s Chili Recipe in minutes with simple ingredients!

Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Wendy's Chili Copycat Recipe

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information. ​

  • Ground Beef: The meaty base of our chili, ground beef, provides a rich and hearty flavor that’s signature to Wendy’s classic recipe.
  • Large Onion: These aromatic vegetables enhance the depth of the dish, offering a mild sweetness that balances out the savory elements.
  • Green Bell Pepper: Adding a hint of freshness and a slight crunch, green bell peppers infuse the chili with a vibrant color and mild peppery taste.
  • Celery: This understated vegetable lends a unique crunch and a subtle earthy flavor, complementing the meat’s richness.
  • Kidney Beans & Pinto Beans: Kidney beans and pinto beans bring a delightful texture, absorbing the flavors around them while adding heartiness and protein. Other options are ranch style beans, chili beans, or dark red kidney beans.
  • Diced Tomatoes infuse the chili with a tangy sweetness, creating a rich base that binds all the ingredients together.
  • Tomato Sauce: Offering a smooth consistency and depth, the sauce is the backbone of our chili, tying in all the flavors harmoniously.
  • Chili Powder: This aromatic blend of spices elevates the dish, imparting warmth and a mild kick, essential for that authentic chili flavor.
  • Cumin: With its earthy and nutty profile, cumin adds an extra layer of depth, making the chili even more flavorful.
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper: Essential seasonings that fine-tune the dish, highlighting its various flavors and ensuring a balanced taste.
  • Serving: Serve with saltine crackers or corn bread, or corn chips.

How To Make Copycat Wendy’s Chili Instant Pot

Here are the simple steps to make Instant Pot Wendy’s Copycat Chili:

How To Make Instant Pot Wendy's Chili Copycat Recipe

Sauté the Meat: Turn your pressure cooker to the ‘Sauté’ mode. Once it’s hot, add the ground beef and cook until browned. Break up the beef into smaller pieces as it cooks. Drain excess fat if necessary.

How To Make Instant Pot Wendy's Chili Copycat Recipe

Add Veggies: Add chopped onion, green pepper, and celery to the pot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onions become translucent.

Deglaze the Pot: Pour a little water or broth into the pot, scraping the bottom with a spatula or wooden spoon to remove any browned bits. This helps prevent a burn notice.

How To Make Instant Pot Wendy's Chili Copycat Recipe

Add the Rest of the Ingredients: Stir in kidney beans, pinto beans, diced tomatoes with their juice, and tomato sauce. Then, add the chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and other spices. Pour in the remaining beef broth or water.

How To Make Instant Pot Wendy's Chili Copycat Recipe

Pressure Cook: Close the Instant Pot lid, set the valve to ‘Sealing’ (ensure the vent is closed), and cook time on ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ high pressure for 20 minutes.

Natural Release: Once the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully turn the valve to ‘Venting’ for a quick release of any remaining pressure.

 Instant Pot Wendy’s Chili Copycat Recipe

Adjust Consistency: If the chili is too thin, switch the pressure cooker back to ‘Sauté’ and let it simmer until you achieve your desired consistency.

Serve: Dish the chili into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings, such as shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped onions.

How To Make Instant Pot Wendy's Chili Copycat Recipe

Recipe Variations

  • Vegetarian: Swap the ground meat for a mix of additional beans, such as black beans or chickpeas, and add quinoa or lentils for extra protein. Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. Or, add another can of pinto beans.
  • Spicy: Amp up the heat by adding more green chilies, a diced jalapeño, garlic powder, or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mix.
  • Low Carb:: Reduce the beans and tomatoes (which contain carbs) and increase the ground beef, add a cup of green pepper, or add chunks of beef to make it more protein-focused. Include low-carb vegetables like zucchini or mushrooms.
  • Turkey or Chicken:  Substitute ground beef with ground turkey or ground chicken for a lighter, leaner version of the chili.
  • Sweet and Smoky: Add a touch of sweetness by including a tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup, and enhance the smokiness with a teaspoon of liquid smoke.
  • Chunky Beef : Instead of ground meat use cubed stewing beef, browning it well before adding it to the pressure cooker. Adjust the cooking time to ensure the beef cubes become tender. This variation offers a heartier texture and a more intense beef flavor, making the chili even more substantial.
  • Beer-Infused:: Replace some beef broth with your favorite lager or ale to introduce a rich, malty depth to the chili. Beer adds complexity to the chili’s flavor profile, enhancing the overall taste with its unique undertones.
Instant Pot Wendy's Copycat Chili

Pro Tips

  • Brown the Meat Well:  Take the time to thoroughly brown the ground beef using the sauté function of your Instant Pot before adding the rest of the ingredients. This step enhances the flavor of the chili by adding depth and complexity.
  • Deglaze the Pot: After browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables, pour a little beef broth into the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. This prevents the burn notice and incorporates those flavorful bits into the chili.
  • Layer Ingredients Strategically:  When adding ingredients to the Instant Pot, layer them without stirring—start with the meat, then the spices, and finally, the liquid and tomato-based components on top. This helps prevent burn notices and ensures even cooking.
  • Use Quality Spices: Fresh, high-quality spices make a significant difference in the flavor of your chili. If your spices have been in the cabinet for over a year, consider refreshing them for the best taste profile.
  • Adjust Liquid for Desired Thickness: If you prefer a thicker chili, slightly reduce the amount of broth. Add a bit more crushed tomatoes, broth, tomato juice, or water for a thinner consistency. Remember, the chili will thicken upon standing and even more after refrigeration.
  • Natural Pressure Release:  Allow a natural pressure release (NPR) at least 10 minutes after cooking. This gradual process helps tenderize the meat further and lets the flavors meld together beautifully.
  • Rest Before Serving:  Let the chili sit for a few minutes after cooking and stirring. This resting period allows the flavors to deepen and the chili to reach the perfect consistency.
  • Customize to Your Taste:  While the recipe aims to replicate Wendy’s classic flavor, don’t hesitate to adjust the seasoning according to your preference. Add more chili powder for heat, some sugar for sweetness, or additional salt if needed.
  • Enhance with Toppings:  Serve the chili with toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, or cilantro. Toppings can add flavor and texture, making the dish even more enjoyable.
Instant Pot Wendy’s Copycat Chili

Faq’s Wendy’s Chili Copycat Recipe

Can I use frozen ground beef to make chili in the Instant Pot? Yes, you can start with frozen ground beef, but you’ll need to add some time to the sauté process to thaw and brown it properly. It’s also helpful to break the meat apart as it cooks to ensure even browning.

How can I make my chili spicier or milder: Adjust the heat by varying the chili powder or adding diced jalapeños for more spice.

Can I double the recipe in my Instant Pot? Yes, you can double the recipe as long as you don’t exceed the maximum fill line of your electric pressure cooker. Remember that doubling the recipe will increase the pressure-building and natural release times.

What if my chili is too thin after cooking? If it is too thin, use the sauté function to simmer and reduce it to your desired thickness. Alternatively, stir a small amount of cornstarch with water into the chili to thicken it.

How long can I store leftover chili? Leftover chili can be stored in an airtight container or freezer safe container, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Can I add pasta to the chili? While not traditional for Wendy’s, you can certainly add pasta. If doing so, add uncooked pasta during the last few minutes of cooking under the sauté function, ensuring enough liquid for the pasta to cook without sticking.

How do I prevent the burn notice on my Instant Pot? To avoid the burn notice, make sure to deglaze the bottom of the pot after browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables. Additionally, ensure there’s enough liquid in the pot and layer ingredients correctly, with thicker sauces and tomatoes on top, without stirring them in.

Is it necessary to drain and rinse the beans? Yes, draining and rinsing the beans helps remove excess sodium and any starches in the liquid that can affect the chili’s texture and flavor.

Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?: Yes, fresh tomatoes can be used, but they may produce more liquid than canned.

Instant Pot Wendy’s Copycat Chili

More Instant Pot Recipes

How To Make Instant Pot Wendy's Chili Copycat Recipe

Instant Pot Wendy’s Copycat Chili

3.67 from 59 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings


Instant Pot Wendy's Chili Copycat Recipe — We're back with another yummy recipe to try out in your Instant Pot! This time it's Wendy's chili. Let me tell you, and this is the best instant pot recipe I have tried yet. It was so easy and quick too! Plus, my kids loved it, and we had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. What are you waiting for? Get cooking!


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion , peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, peeled and diced
  • 1 package chili seasoning
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 ounces dark kidney beans
  • 15 ounces pinto beans
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes with green chillies
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In your Instant Pot, add your meat. Then press the saute button and saute until the meat is browned. (remember to continue to stir it, so it doesn't stick to the pan and/or burn)
  • Once it's browned, add your vegetables, and saute until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Then add your water and chili seasoning, mix well.
  • Add your beans and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Add your lid, make sure the vent is sealed and set the manual high pressure for 10 minutes when the timer beeps, naturally release.
  • When the pressure is done, open your lid, mix well and ladle into bowls.
  • Plate, serve, and enjoy!


  • Instant Pot
  • Ninja Foodi


Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Instant Pot Copycat Wendy’s Chili:

  • Refrigerator: Allow the chili to cool to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
  • Freezer Prep: Once the chili has cooled, portion it into freezer-safe bags or containers. Leave some space at the top as chili expands when frozen.
  • Freeze: Lay the bags flat in the freezer for space-saving storage. The chili can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Thawing: For best results, thaw the chili in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. If you’re in a hurry, you can also use the microwave’s defrost setting.
  • Stovetop: Pour the chili into a pot and reheat on medium heat, stirring occasionally until warmed throughout.
  • Microwave: Place the chili in a microwave-safe bowl, cover loosely with a lid or microwave-safe wrap, and reheat at medium power, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • Instant Pot: Pour the chili into the pot and use the ‘Sauté’ function to reheat, stirring occasionally. Ensure it’s well-stirred to avoid any burning at the bottom.
Tip: When reheating, you might need to add a splash of water or broth to achieve your desired consistency, as chili tends to thicken when stored.
Now, enjoy your chili’s delectable flavors again, ensuring it’s as delicious as the day you made it!


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 444kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 47gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 464mgPotassium: 1581mgFiber: 14gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 633IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 115mgIron: 9mg

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