February 27, 2017

Spicy Carob Beef Chili

This is the first post in our Instant Pot Pressure Cooker recipe series. This countertop appliance is popular among our community, and Whole30compatible Instant Pot recipes are one of our most-requested resources. Sarah Steffens, our in-house recipe creative, is sharing her favorite recipes for nourishing, delicious Whole30 Instant Pot dishes.

The Instant Pot: Your Shortcut to Whole30 Magic

Like many Whole30 cooking enthusiasts, I learned of the Instant Pot from reading Nom Nom Paleo’s mouthwatering and stunning recipes. Prior to watching her use this amazing device, I have never had even the slightest interest in pressure-cooking my food. Now, cooking Whole30 meals in my Instant Pot is one of my greatest joys. How else could you serve decadent meals that taste like they have been cooking all day long in an hour or less?!

When I batch cook for clients, I routinely have my Instant Pot going while I chop veggies and build other Whole30 goodies. In summary: The Instant Pot saves time, saves work and saves my dinner table, time and time again.

The recipe shared below is one of the simplest Instant Pot recipes I make on a regular basis. Many of the ingredients needed to make this Spicy Carob Beef Chili are likely already in your freezer and pantry. Five minutes of prep is all it takes for a Whole30 dinner that warms your soul and gives you the confidence to add more Instant Pot recipes to your menu!

I hope you enjoy this first of four Instant Pot recipes! Stay tuned for the next installment.

Spicy Carob Beef Chili

Spicy Carbo Beef
Photo and recipe by Sarah Steffens
Made By Whole30Made By Whole30

Spicy Carob Beef Chili

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Natural Pressure Release 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1.5 lbs organic beef stew meat
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 (14) oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6) oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano powder
  • 1 tsp dried garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp carob powder (or cocoa powder)
  • Fresh cilantro to garnish


  • 1 Instant Pot


  • ADD all of your ingredients to your Instant Pot and stir well to combine with a baker’s spatula, keeping the sides of the Instant Pot clean. Plug in your Instant Pot and place its lid on, making sure the steam valve is set to “Sealing”.
  • PRESS the “Meat” button and ensure the time is programmed to 30 minutes.  My Instant Pot defaults to 35 minutes when I press “Meat,” so I use the minus symbol button to adjust the time to 30 minutes.
  • ONCE set to 30 minutes, the Instant Pot will begin cooking after a few seconds.  You will hear it beep, and the time will update to read “On”. This means that the Instant Pot is building pressure. You do not need to do anything while this is occurring. You can simply let the Instant Pot work its magic.
  • AFTER the Instant Pot reaches the pressure needed to cook your chili, the timer will go back to reading “30” minutes, and this number will reflect the remaining cook time. At any moment, you can check this number to see how many more minutes your chili is pressure-cooking.
  • WHEN it reaches 0 minutes, the timer will read “LO:00” and make a beeping noise. This means that it is done pressure-cooking and now is naturally releasing its pressure.
  • ALLOW timer to reach “LO:30” (it’s OK if it goes above 30, but wait until it reads at least 30) before switching the steam valve to “Venting” and releasing the lid (because the pressure released naturally for 30 minutes, it will be very easy to remove the lid. If it is ever difficult to remove the lid, do not attempt to remove it and allow it more time to release steam. This is very important to remember!).
  • YOUR Instant Pot will make a beeping noise when you open the lid. At this point, your chili is done!
  • STIR it with a wooden spoon and serve between 6 bowls, garnishing with fresh cilantro. You can enjoy this dish right away and save it to enjoy over three days. You can also allow it to cool and then freeze it for up to six months.

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Sarah S.

Sarah Steffens

Sarah Steffens, our Recipe Developer, has a B.A. in Business Administration, Public Relations from The Master's University in Southern California. After years of experimenting with nutrition and recipes in her own kitchen, she now works as a Personal Chef and Food Photographer in Sacramento, creating meals that support her client's intention to physically and mentally thrive. She has catered several independent film sets, making it her goal to optimize the energy and well-being of each creative crew. You can find many of Sarah's recipes in various Whole30, Paleo and Keto cookbooks. When Sarah is not cooking and styling recipes, you can find her enjoying a long walk, working on creative projects with loved ones or exploring beautiful Northern California.