Instant Pot Chili con Canada (Low FODMAP, Paleo Option)

A close-up of spoonful of chili over a bowl of chili
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This Instant Pot Chili con Canada will warm your body and your soul with its sweet and spicy flavours! Made with a variety of hearty, low FODMAP ingredients, this chunky chili is ideal for chili lovers who miss having beans in their chili due to FODMAPs! This Instant Pot chili can be ready in under an hour but taste like it’s been stewing in a slow cooker all day. The recipe is also low FODMAP and easily made Paleo.

What the heck is Instant Pot 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 flavour 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 savoury or sweet in terms of flavour profile. Put heavily-leaning savoury ingredients with sweet ingredients and it’s a big ol’ flavour mess. I decided I am partial to the flavour 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 in Paleoland, refined white sugar is a no-no.

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 favours 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.

Two bowls of chili con canada topped with green onions

Instant Pot Chili con Canada Ingredients & Cooking Tips

Vegetables

When making this recipe, I first stir fry some vegetables in garlic-infused olive oil. These veggies include the green parts of a leek, a red bell pepper, king oyster mushrooms, and a jalapeño, which is optional if you’re sensitive to spicy food.

What are king oyster mushrooms?

king oyster mushroom next to a knife on a cutting board

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 flavourful dishes, they develop umami flavours and make a dish so much more delicious.

Why do you put mushrooms in chili?

My dad, while not a frequent cook, makes a dang good chili in the slow cooker. His chili typically includes white button mushrooms, and I really like how mushrooms taste in chili. They bring so much incredible umami flavour. Plus, they add some chunky texture to the dish, which is what bean-less 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:

chopped king oyster mushrooms next to a knife on a cutting board

Meat

A lot of chili recipes only contain beef; my chili recipe contains both ground beef and ground pork in equal amounts. This is a magical combination that also works well for meatballs. Once the veggies have sauteed for 3 minutes on their own, I add the ground beef and pork, breaking up the meat with a plastic spoon.

Tomatoes

Once the meat is no longer pink, I add a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes. Canned tomatoes can be problematic in terms of FODMAPs in larger servings, so sticking to one serving of this recipe (about 1.25 cups) is highly-recommended if you’re eating low FODMAP.

If you prefer not to use canned tomatoes due to their FODMAP content, you can use 3 cups of chopped, common tomatoes. Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App lists common tomatoes as a FODMAP-free food. I have tested this recipe using fresh, common tomatoes and it is still delicious; however, I prefer the flavour of canned tomatoes as I don’t care for the flavour of raw tomatoes in general.

Canned Lentils (?!)

After scraping the bottom of the pot clean with the tomato juice, I stir in a cup of canned lentils. Canned lentils are one of the only legumes that are low in FODMAPs (up to 1/2 cup per serving). They are lower in FODMAPs than dried lentils due to leaching out some FODMAPs during the canning process. If you decide to use lentils, be sure to drain and rinse them well before stirring them in.

Despite not being Paleo, I typically add lentils to my chili. While they don’t add much in terms of taste or texture, they make the chili much more filling. Plus, they’re supposed to be chock-full of nutrients. I don’t follow a super strict Paleo diet, but if you do, feel free to leave them out. They’re also not a deal breaker when it comes to making this chili taste incredible.

Seasonings and the “Canada”

Lastly, I stir in the seasonings and the pure maple syrup and then pressure cook on manual for 30 minutes. After it’s cooked, I taste the chili and adjust the seasonings and maple syrup as needed. I hope you enjoy Instant Pot Chili con Canada!

Two bowls of chili con canada topped with green onions
Instant Pot Chili con Canada (Low FODMAP, Paleo Option)

Instant Pot Chili con Canada (Low FODMAP, Paleo Option)

Yield: 8 servings (1.25 cups per serving)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Time to come to and release pressure: 16 minutes
Total Time: 56 minutes

Warm your body and soul with this super tasty, sweet and spicy chili! A very, very loose interpretation of chili con carne, Instant Pot Chili con Canada contains low FODMAP ingredients so flavourful and hearty that you won't even miss the beans! This recipe is also low FODMAP (at 1 serving) with an easy Paleo option. And don't forget to add the "Canada!"

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil*
  • ½ cup leek, green leaves only, chopped**
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup king oyster mushrooms, quartered lengthwise then sliced horizontally****
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)***
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice, or 3 cups fresh common tomatoes and their juice, diced
  • 1 cup canned lentils, drained and well-rinsed (optional, omit for Paleo)
  • 2½ tbsp chili powder***
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes***
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (a.k.a. "Canada")
  • 2 tbsp scallions, green parts only, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1. Hit "Saute" on your Instant Pot 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.

2. Add the ground beef and pork to the pot, breaking up the meat with a plastic spoon, and stir fry with the vegetables for 7 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Hit "Cancel" on the Instant Pot.

4. Stir in the can of tomatoes and scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a plastic spoon (it should be quite clean already, but it's good to check). Stir in lentils and finally, 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.

5. 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.

Notes

*If you're not concerned with FODMAPS, you can use regular olive oil and add 3 cloves of minced garlic. Add them about 30 seconds before the end of the 3 minute veggie stir fry.

**If you're not concerned with FODMAPs and prefer not to use leek, sub 1/2 sweet or white onion.

***Please note: These items are low in FODMAPs, but some people react poorly to spicy food regardless of whether it is low FODMAP. Be mindful of how your body reacts to spicy food and consult your doctor or dietitian before making this recipe if you have concerns about how your body might react.

****If you're not concerned with FODMAPs and don't want to hunt for king oyster mushrooms, you can use 1 cup of sliced white button mushrooms instead or leave the mushrooms out altogether.

Did you make this recipe? Post it to social and tag it @GoodNomsHoney and #GoodNomsHoney - I'd love to see your masterpiece!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1.25 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 464Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 910mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 8gSugar: 20gProtein: 36g
This data was calculated by an online nutrition calculator, which aren't always accurate and should be relied on for estimates only.
A close-up of spoonful of chili over a bowl of chili with Instant Pot Chili con Canada (Low FODMAP, Paleo Option) written at the top

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Gail

Hey! I'm Gail and changing my diet to Paleo and low FODMAP helped me overcome some chronic health issues I developed after the birth of my son. Good Noms, Honey! features my favourite Paleo, Whole30 and low FODMAP recipes. Did you make one of my recipes? Tag it #GoodNomsHoney - I'd love to see it!

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