Best Ever Instant Pot Wendy’s Chili Copycat Recipe

Did you know you can make copycat Wendy’s chili in an Instant Pot? You can, and you can make this famous copycat recipe in no time at all.

a bowl of homemade Wendy's Chili and Fritos

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Wendy’s Instant Pot Chili Recipe

One of my favorite types of chili is my copycat Wendy’s Chili. It’s flavorful, not too spicy, and full of meat, beans, and veggies.

Now unlike Wendy’s, we are not starting off with meat patties that have been on the grill. We are starting from ground beef. I think this is more sensible for the home cook.

If you want a really authentic experience, you can fry up 2 pounds of ground beef in meat patties if you desire.

What Makes Wendy’s Instant Pot Chili So Good?

This chili delivers the ultimate harmony of savory, smoky, and slightly spicy flavors. Since it contains protein-rich ground beef and two types of beans, this dish exemplifies a well-made chili and reminds you of the famous Wendy’s recipe.

The combination of spices ensures that the chili isn’t overly spicy but also gives you room to experiment if you prefer your chili to have more heat.

Moreover, since you can make it in the Instant Pot, all of the flavors meld together so impressively and with little effort; the appliance does the work for you.

Why This is the Best Wendy’s Chili Instant Pot Recipe

What makes this Instant Pot Wendy’s copycat chili recipe so special? I think it is the tomato juice in the recipe. For me, by adding tomato juice, and not water, the final chili is intense and perfect to warm up your soul.

What makes cooking copycat Wendy’s chili so awesome? You can customize the recipe, my base recipe is how to make it taste like theirs.

You can customize it any way you like. For me, I like to add a teaspoon of chipotle powder to my batch of chili. You can also use your favorite chili seasoning instead of the combination of spices in the recipe.

You can use lean ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey for a lower-fat chili.

Wendy’s Chili Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Ground beef
  • Tomato juice
  • Canned tomato purée
  • Canned red kidney beans, drained
  • Canned pinto beans, drained
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Green bell pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • Sugar
  • Cayenne pepper
Ingredients for homemade Wendy's Chili.

How to Make Wendy’s Chili in an Instant Pot

  1. Use the sauté feature to brown the ground beef.
  2. Cook the beef until it is 90% or more done. Drain excess grease if desired.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients.
  4. Cover the pot and make sure the valve is set to “sealing” (the vent is closed).
  5. Cook on the manual high setting for 6 minutes.
  6. Perform a quick release when the cooking time has ended. Wait until all of the remaining pressure is fully released before removing the Instant Pot lid.
  7. Serve immediately.
a bowl of Instant Pot Wendy's chili and a spoon

What to Serve with Wendy’s Chili

Serve this chili with Fritos, cornbread, or over rice. It’s great for dinner on a cold day or to enjoy while watching football on game day.

Some great chili toppings are sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced jalapeno peppers.

How to Store Leftover Chili

Place the leftovers in an airtight container. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

For longer storage, place them in freezer-safe containers or plastic freezer bags. Freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.

How to Reheat Leftovers

There are two methods for reheating chili:

  • Microwave the chili in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 1 minute. Stir and continue microwaving in 30-second increments until heated through.
  • Stovetop – Put the chili in a pan over medium-low heat and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Don’t have an Instant Pot? You can make it on the stove top or in a crockpot slow cooker with my copycat Wendy’s chili recipe.

I know you are going to love this Instant Pot Wendys Chili when you make it at home.

closeup of copycat Wendy's chili in a bowl.

Are you looking for other famous restaurant recipes for chilis? Be sure to check out these chili recipes.

More Wendy’s Copycat Recipes

Be sure to check out more of my hearty soup recipes and the best fast food copycat recipes here on!

a bowl of homemade Wendy's Chili and Fritos

Instant Pot Wendys Chili

You can make an amazing pot of Wendy’s Chili in your Instant Pot. 
5 from 32 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot Recipes, Wendy’s recipes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 250kcal


  • 2 pounds fresh ground beef
  • 1 quart tomato juice
  • 1 (29-ounce) can tomato purée
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chili powder (use less for milder chili)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Using either a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, use the saute feature to brown the ground beef. Cook the beef until it is 90% or more done. Drain if desired.
  • To the pressure cooker add all remaining ingredients.
  • Cook on the manual high setting for 6 minutes.
  • When the chili is done perform a quick release.
  • Serve immediately.



Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 486mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 575IU | Vitamin C: 22.2mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2.3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Bambi

    I am about to make this and its my first time using one. What pressure setting should I have it at low med high? Thanks!

  2. doodles

    PS, there’s too much chili powder in this, WAY too much. Wendy’s is very mild. And I don’t remember how much the Wendy’s chili pot holds, maybe 2 gallon, but they rough chopped a whole head of celery and put it in there, so that’s a lot more than a cup. They just laid the whole head on the chopping board and chopped it with the knife til they got to the heel and put it all, including leaves, in the pot.

  3. doodles

    I just thought I’d add this: I worked for Wendy’s in the early 80’s when they had a salad bar, and at night, everything left on the salad bar except the dressing, croutons, and lettuce went into the chili. 🙂 That meant the green onions, cheese, olives, red onions, tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers, everything. It was the best thing I ever ate in a fast food restaurant. You’re right about the canned beans, and this recipe really was never intended for small batches. Make it, put it in containers and freeze it. It freezes beautifully. I’d also like to add, don’t overcook this chili. It does not do well long term on the stove. Instead, reheat as needed. I think there’s more than 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar in the real one, but adjust to taste. You’re right about the tomato juice!

  4. en iyi bahis siteleri

    Made for dinner on a night when my daughter had practice until 9pm. Turned out great! Easy and quick dinner for a busy night!

  5. Melissa Lee Ragsdill

    Forgot to add, ALL your recipes are Awesome, Great Job, and Keep them Comin On, Don’t stop it Now!!..(great, now I have that tune in my head lol, but whatever, You Site is Fab!! 😉

  6. Melissa Lee Ragsdill

    LOVE Wendy’s Chili, and Thanks OSO for sharing!! …(.and since I am an original St.Louis girl, bring on those beans, lol! 😉

  7. Darlene mezack

    Thanks for giving directions for the instant pot. I am always looking for recipes for things to use it for besides my usual soups and stews. I’m going to make this this week. It’s perfect for the cold weather here in MA. I love trying your recipes. Thanks!!

  8. michael moore

    So – do not HAVE an Instant Pot- not GETTING an Instant Pot- do have a great slow cooker….how do I adapt this to stovetop cooking – any change except for timing?
    Or to a slow cooker?

  9. ludo king

    5 stars
    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it,
    you might be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back later.

      • Darlene A. Ross

        Sure you can. I have made many recipes using only a cup of something from a can or even less than half a can. One could always add the full 2 cans of beans, or just add one can of one of the beans. 🙂 The recipe wouldn’t be an exact replica, but I don’t think one can go wrong with chili.

      • Stephanie Manley

        Your point is well taken, you are completely right it’s just chili. If i want it to be a copycat of Wendy’s, and not just a great or even passable chili recipe, I really need the ingredients that they add. When I create recipes I try to write them to be a bit standardized. I don’t want people upset that they have a half a can of this, and 2/3 of a can of that open.

        Thank you for your comment.

  10. Rebecca Andrews

    I made this on top of the stove this weekend! It was wonderful. Full bodies, smooth and spicey. I added full compliment of chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes++! It took a little more prep time than my usual throw it together recipe but the end result was worthy it. Thank you for taking the time to copy-cat a recipe.

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