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. DC

    I haven’t made this yet but I’m thrilled to find a recipe that’s so close to our family recipe. Most do not call for ground beef, celery, green peppers, and onion in one pot. When I make it next week, can I use 1 # ground beef and more veggies? Also, I’m the only one in the family that likes that much heat. I’ll probably use less chili powder and no cayenne. I usually season to taste (cayenne) in my own bowl. Thanks!

  2. KayCee

    5 stars
    My Dad thinks Wendy’s chili is the best, so I made this for him for Christmas. He absolutely loved it! He said it’s even better than Wendy’s. I agree, it’s pretty darn good. I did this in the IP on 7 min HP, then quick release. I was concerned that the tomato juice wasn’t thin enough and I’d get a burn notice, but nope. This was a great recipe, very easy to make.

  3. BonJon

    I’m a granny, too. Love Wendy’s Chili! Couple years back saw an online a warning from a former, ergo probably teenage, employee saying that their chili was made with leftover burgers! His reaction was “yeow, GROSS!” ROTFLMAO!!! what does he think his mama and granny did with leftovers? pitched them out?? That’s what chili is, a way to use up cooked meat scraps. Sorry, can’t rate the recipe, haven’t made it. It’s next on my list! Love all the celery in Wendy’s chili, so I’ll add more celery.

    • Wendy Liebowitz

      I made this chili in my Instant Pot today! I had the 2003 version of the recipe in my recipe collection. It is the same, except no pinto beans. I did manual high pressure for 10 minutes and natural release (took a long time, almost an hour). I figured the natural release gave more time for the flavors to combine. Delicious!!! It is at least 10 full bowls from this recipe, so lots of leftovers!

      • Stephanie

        I modified the recipe after enjoying a couple of bowls of it in recent years, and it had pinto beans in it. From time to time restaurants modify their recipes.

  4. Eugene

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe for chili. Add a bit more cayenne if you like it spicy. Tried with and without the tomato juice. The tomato juice makes the difference. Highly recommended.

  5. Jami

    Made this last night and was delicious; however had to cook it on the stove because I kept getting “Food Burn” message. I don’t know what causes this because I followed recipe exactly and am experienced in cooking as well as cooking with the Instant Pot. I did reach out to Instant Pot because I get this message a lot and this Instant Pot is only one month old.

  6. Vida

    5 stars
    This was spectacular! I will be making more of this chili. I already passed this recipe and website to my friend and sister. Thank you for producing this awesome recipe. No more visits to Wendy’s.

  7. Anthony Alvey

    5 stars
    When I worked at Wendy’s we would use the left over patties and that made it perfect. This recipe is so close to perfection. Love it

    • Stephanie

      I have never thought about putting the chicken in here, it could work. I am not 100% sure you need to par cook it. You could just add in bite-sized pieces and let it cook in the chili.

  8. phil call

    The best ever chili. I love it. Quick and easy and plenty for left overs!! Thanks for posting it. I made it and then lost the recipe!! I hunted u tube for a week and found you again. I am now trying to commit it to memory. I may have it tattooed on my arm so I don’t loose it again. Phil.

  9. R

    I just got my first “burn” message. I drained the beef. It had not come to pressure. I turned if off, opened the lid, stirred and then added another 1/2 cup of water and restarted the process. Just came to pressure…hope all is well.

  10. Sandra Minor

    Found this recipe and site as I was looking for a great chili recipe for my daughter’s boyfriend who requested chili as they are coming to visit this weekend from up North. I’ve had Wendy’s chili and I enjoyed very much. I knew this recipe was a winner the minute I found it and read the ingredients. Love the ease of how it all is supposed to come together. While I have never made chili ever, (my husband was always the chili maker in our family) I truly believe that this recipe is going to be one that I make again and again. Thanks for a great recipe!
    Can’t wait to make it.

  11. Pak Keung Yip

    5 stars
    Wow ! It was so good ! It’s 90% close to the taste of Wendy’s! I used the 90% ground beef and my wife said the meat is too lean compare with Wendy’s! I think the salty taste is just perfect ! But I increased the vege portion and make the chili more chewable ! 6 mins is perfect for the vege and the beans still great ! Overall it’s a very healthy dishes ! Thanks ?


      5 stars

  12. Ihvebeenschooled

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe, I hate going to the drive through and ordering 8 or 10 servings, coming back home, and pouring it into a pot. I then have to dispose of the trash so my family doesn’t know.

5 from 32 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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