This Instant Pot Chili con Canada will warm your body and your soul with its sweet and spicy flavors! A loose interpretation of chili con carne but made with a variety of hearty, Paleo ingredients, this chunky, beanless chili is ideal for chili lovers who miss having beans in their chili! This recipe can be ready in under an hour but taste like it's been stewing in a slow cooker all day. In addition to being Paleo, this Instant Pot chili is FODMAP-aware (containing higher than tolerable levels of fructose but low in other FODMAPs)*, gluten-free, and is low carb-adaptable.
*FODMAP-aware: this chili recipe was originally written to be low FODMAP; however, due to Monash University's retesting of red bell pepper, which they found to contain the FODMAP fructose, this recipe is now classified as FODMAP-aware. Based on Monash's most recent findings, red bell pepper, when eaten in combination with the canned tomatoes, exceeds the tolerable amount per serving for fructose. This recipe remains low in other FODMAP types. If you are able to tolerate fructose or haven't had a problem with canned tomatoes + red bell pepper in the past, this may not be an issue for you. That being said, this recipe contains spicy ingredients, which may cause issues for some people with IBS.
If you're looking for an amazing low FODMAP Chili with low FODMAP levels of fructose, try my Low FODMAP Double Pumpkin Chili for the Instant Pot or slow cooker.
What the heck is Chili con Canada?!
I've been working on this chili recipe for a long, long time. It's one of the first recipes I ever started writing, and I've tested it probably no less than 15 times over the past year. This one was tricky for me as I couldn't decide on its flavor profile and the ingredients that should go with it. I also didn't want a chili recipe that tasted just okay. I wanted a chili so delectable that it makes you want to lick the bowl clean once you've finished it. Furthermore, I wanted a chili that I could eat without having tummy troubles afterwards but also didn't make me feel like I was missing out on something.
After studying many chili recipes and conducting many failed tests, I deduced that chili recipes tend to lean heavily towards savory or sweet in terms of flavor profile. Put heavily-leaning savory ingredients with sweet ingredients and it's a big ol' flavor mess. I decided I am partial to the flavor of sweet chili, so I started thinking of possible ingredients that would lean more towards the sweet side as well as a natural sweetener. Many traditional chili recipes use refined white sugar, but refined white sugar is a no-no for Paleo.
One day, when discussing this with my husband, Jeff, I threw out the idea of maple syrup as a sweetener. He replied, "Yeah! Then it can be Chili con Canada!!!" He was joking, but the name stuck. Although I know the name of this chili is going to do me no favors in the SEO department, I can't fathom leaving the "con Canada" out of its name.
We realize that Canada doesn't have a monopoly on the maple syrup industry; there are some really excellent maple syrup options produced elsewhere. However, we are in Canada, and when we're buying pure maple syrup, it's typically Canadian in origin. Canadian maple syrup is amazing and world-renowned. Therefore, to us: pure maple syrup = Canada.
The equipment I use to make this Instant Pot Chili con Canada includes:
- 6-Quart Instant Pot, 8-Quart Instant Pot, or a comparable electric pressure cooker
- Chopping board
- Chopping knife
- Plastic spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Stirring spoon
The ingredients I use in the Instant Pot Chili con Canada include:
- Garlic-infused olive oil - if you don't need low FODMAP, you can use regular olive oil + 3 cloves of minced garlic.
- Leek, dark green leaves only, chopped - If you're not concerned with FODMAPs and prefer not to use leek, sub ½ chopped sweet or white onion.
- Red bell pepper, diced
- King oyster mushrooms, quartered lengthwise then sliced horizontally (see sections below) - an 8 ounce can sliced mushrooms can also be used for low FODMAP. Or, if you don't need low FODMAP, you can sub 1 cup sliced fresh white button mushrooms.
- Jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
- Ground beef
- Ground pork
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice, or 3 cups fresh common tomatoes and their juice, diced
- Chili powder - if eating low FODMAP, make sure your chili powder blend does not contain high FODMAP ingredients, like garlic or onion powder.
- Ground cumin
- Red pepper flakes
- Pure maple syrup, a.k.a. "Canada" - omit or use Keto-friendly maple syrup for Keto
- Scallions, green parts only, for garnish (optional)
What are king oyster mushrooms?
Oyster mushrooms are one of the only varieties of mushroom that are low in FODMAPs. There are smaller-sized oyster mushrooms (also known as pearl oyster mushrooms or tree oyster mushrooms) and king oyster mushrooms (also known as king trumpet mushrooms), which are the only variety of oyster mushroom I can find locally so far.
King oyster mushrooms are large, thick-stemmed mushrooms with a meaty texture. They don't have much taste when eaten raw, but when put in flavorful dishes, they develop umami flavors and make a dish so much more delicious.
Why do you put mushrooms in chili?
My late dad, while not a frequent cook, made a dang good chili in the slow cooker. His chili typically included white button mushrooms, and I really like how mushrooms taste in chili. They bring so much incredible umami flavor. Plus, they add some chunky texture to the dish, which is what beanless chili needs to stand up to traditional chili recipes, in my opinion.
Where do you find king oyster mushrooms?
I found mine locally at Save-on-Foods, but they are also available at my local Walmart. They come in a plastic package of 3-4 mushrooms, which is approximately 300 grams or 10.5 ounces of mushroom. If you are unable to find them or don't want to bother searching, don't worry; they are not a deal breaker when it comes to making this chili. It will still taste amazing.
How do you chop king oyster mushrooms?
Like with most things chopped, I think it depends on what you're putting them in. I found the best way to chop them for chili is to quarter them lengthwise and then slice them horizontally:
A loose interpretation of chili con carne, this Instant Pot Chili con Canada contains ingredients so flavorful and hearty, you won't even miss the beans! This recipe is also Paleo and FODMAP-aware (containing high levels of fructose - see note below) with low carb option. And don't forget to add the "Canada!"
- 2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil*
- ½ cup leek, dark green leaves only, chopped*
- 1 red bell pepper, diced*
- 1 cup king oyster mushrooms, quartered lengthwise then sliced horizontally (see notes)
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)*
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice, or 3 cups fresh common tomatoes and their juice, diced*
- 2 ½ tablespoons chili powder*
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes*
- 2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup (a.k.a. "Canada" - omit or use Keto-friendly maple syrup for Keto)
- 2 tablespoons scallions, green parts only, for garnish (optional)
- Hit "Sauté" on your 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot, or comparable electric pressure cooker and add the garlic-infused olive oil. Once the display reads "Hot," add the leek, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and jalapeño (if using) to the pot and stir fry for 3 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and ground pork to the pot, breaking up the meat with a plastic spoon or spatula (I love my Instant Pot spatula), and stir fry with the vegetables for 7 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Hit "Cancel" on the Instant Pot.
- Stir in the can of tomatoes and scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon or spatula (it should be quite clean already, but it's good to check). Stir in your "Canada:" the pure maple syrup. Close the lid, turn the pressure release valve to "Sealing," hit the "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" button, and set timer to 30 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle has completed, quick release the pressure, open the lid, and stir the chili. Once it's cool enough, taste and adjust seasonings and maple syrup to your liking.
- FODMAP-aware: This recipe was originally posted prior to Monash University retesting red bell pepper for FODMAPs. While their previous tests reported them to be FODMAP-free, their more recent tests show they contain the FODMAP fructose and are low FODMAP in quantities of up to ⅓ cup per serving. When eaten in combination with canned tomatoes, which also contain fructose, this has the potential for FODMAP stacking. If you are able to tolerate fructose or had no problems with red bell peppers + canned tomatoes in the past, this may not be an issue for you. This recipe continues to be low in other FODMAP types at 1 ¼ cups per serving.
- Red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, chili powder, and red pepper flakes: These items are low in FODMAPs in small quantities, but some people react poorly to spicy food regardless of whether it is low FODMAP.
- Garlic-infused olive oil: If you're not concerned with FODMAPS, you can use regular olive oil and add 3 cloves of minced garlic. Add garlic about 30 seconds before the end of the 3 minute veggie stir fry.
- Leek: If you're not concerned with FODMAPs and prefer not to use leek, sub ½ chopped sweet or white onion.
- Mushrooms: An 8 ounce can of canned sliced mushrooms, drained and well-rinsed, can also be used for low FODMAP. If you are not needing low FODMAP, you can also the same amount of sliced fresh white button mushrooms.
- Lentils: the original recipe also contained 1 cup of canned lentils, drained and rinsed. You are welcome to continue to add this at the point when you add the maple syrup, which is still low FODMAP but not Paleo or low carb.
- Keto / low carb option: omit maple syrup or use a Keto-friendly maple syrup. Without the pure maple syrup, this recipe contains the following macros: Fat: 17 g, Total Carbs: 6.2 g, Net carbs: 3.9 g, Protein: 23.4 g, Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Soups & Stews
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keywords: beanless chili, fodmap chili, instant pot chili, paleo chili