Instant Pot Vegan Chili (Fast & Easy!)

This Instant Pot Vegan Chili is fast and easy, thanks to the help of the electric pressure cooker. You simply “dump” the ingredients into a pot, press a button, and walk away! It doesn’t get easier than that.

instant pot vegan chili

Instant Pot Vegan Chili

What I love about this Instant Pot Vegan Chili is that it’s naturally gluten-free and packed with plant-based protein. The pressurization process brings out extra flavor from the vegetables, without the need to sauté them first. This saves you time and lowers the overall calorie content, since you don’t need to add any oil to this recipe.

raw veggies and lentils in instant pot

Vegan Chili Recipe with Lentils & Beans

I use red lentils in this recipe, because they naturally thicken the chili and cook faster than other varieties. For convenience, I also like to add some canned beans for extra texture and protein, but you can use any other add-ins you like. Using canned beans means this recipe needs just a 10-minute pressure cooking cycle.

instant pot vegan chili before and after

Cooked Beans vs. Dried Beans

You’d have to extend the cook time and add more water if you want to use dried beans instead of pre-cooked ones, so I don’t recommend making that substitution without some research first. (There’s a vegetarian chili recipe using dried beans in The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook if you’d like guidance on that.)

vegan chili in presure cooker on ladle

This recipe makes a great dinner one night, and then you can enjoy the leftovers as an easy lunch the next day. For a properly combined meal, try serving some of this leftover chili over a baked potato and some vegan cheese sauce for a “chili cheese” night.

4.79 from 14 votes
instant pot vegan chili
Instant Pot Vegan Chili
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

This INSTANT POT VEGAN CHILI is as fast & easy as it gets. Just "dump" the ingredients in the pot, press a button, and walk away! Ready in about 30 minutes.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beans, lentils, soup, vegan
Servings: 8
Calories: 106 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
  • 1 red onion , diced
  • 3 carrots , diced
  • 3 celery stalks , diced
  • 1 red bell pepper , diced
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes , with juices
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • fine sea salt , to taste
  • fresh lime slices , for serving
  1. Add the onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, lentils, water, black beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper to the Instant Pot. Stir well, but keep in mind that there won't be a lot of liquid in the pot. (The veggies will release more liquid as they cook.) Do not add salt at this point, to ensure fast cooking of the lentils.

  2. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Press the "manual" or "pressure cook" button, and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. The pot will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking cycle begins.

  3. When the cook cycle is over, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. The Instant Pot screen will read LO:10 when the natural release time has passed. Move the steam release valve to Venting to release the remaining pressure in the pot.

  4. When the floating valve in the lid drops, it's safe to remove the lid. Give the chili a stir to make sure all of the lentils dissolve in the chili, thickening it. Season the chili with salt and fresh lime juice to taste. I usually start with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and a teaspoon of lime juice, then adjust by adding more to taste. (If your diced tomatoes are already salted, start with less salt.)

  5. Serve warm, with your favorite toppings. Sliced avocado, chopped green onions, and shredded cheese (if you're not vegan) are popular options with my family. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Per serving (without toppings): Calories: 106, Fat: 0g, Carbohyrdates: 19g, Fiber: 8g, Protein: 6g

Recipe Notes:

  • This recipe is easily adaptable to use anything you happen to have on hand. Sometimes I use fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies to replace the diced tomatoes (for extra spice), and sometimes I leave out a can of beans if I don’t have them on hand. Either way, this recipe makes quite a bit of food for the week!

Reader Feedback: Have you tried this Instant Pot Vegan Chili yet? Please leave a comment below letting me know what you think of it! If you make any modifications, please share that, too. We can all benefit from your experience!

Shop the Post:
Get more recipes + meal plans in my books:

detox book and meal plan

Never Miss a Post!

Get a FREE 3-Day Detox Plan when you sign up for my email newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



I know I can always count on your Instant Pot recipes to be perfect, and this one does not disappoint! I took your suggestion in the notes and swapped half of the tomatoes for the ones with green chilies and the flavor is so good! I love that I didn’t have to stand around my kitchen sauteing the veggies first. Such an easy dump meal, and now I have another meal for this week, too. Thanks!


I’ve been waiting for this recipe since I saw you post about it on Instagram. I just made it exactly as written, and it’s perfect! Served it with some fresh cilantro and avocado on top, and I still have plenty leftover for my family of four. Thanks!

Bonnie Thornock

I got the email with this recipe yesterday just when I was trying to decide what to make for dinner. I had all the ingredients except the red pepper which I substituted with an orange pepper. Absolutely delicious and so easy! Thank you again Megan!


Amazing flavours. Since I had time I sauteed the vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil as I think the onions really benefit from it. Apart from that followed instructions and now have a lovely big pot of chilli for the week! Today I had it with brown rice and tomorrow I will throw into a burrito. Thanks for another winner!

Leigh Morant

The only reason I’m not giving this 5 stars is that I had to run a second 10 minute cycle on the instant pot. Perhaps just my personal preference – or maybe my Pot is getting old- but the veggies and flavors just weren’t quite ready after just one 10 min cycle and pressure release. I let the pressure release for 40 min too! After the second round, this was amazing. It’s the only vegan chili I’ve ever liked as a matter of fact. The carrots make it just sweet enough. This makes plenty. After serving dinner for four I used leftovers for Huevos Rancheros (over rice with avocados, jalapeños and cheese) the next morning and Chili Mac (adding zucchini noodles to the mix) for lunches.


This was excellent and had surprisingly deep flavor, but I did have to add some water because I kept getting a burn error.

Sherry Stonestreet

I have tried several recipes in my Instant pot and get the ‘burn’. I use dry beans to make my chile or pinto beans for refried beans. Takes hours and will scorch same as cooking on stove top! I have noticed with the Instant Pots once you stop the pressure cooking to check or add ingredients then start it up again you get the ‘BURN’ even after adding more liquid. with beans and rice I always soak and rinse to remove gases and starches. I am not impressed with the instant pots. For years(50) I have used a presser cooker on gas stove with speed and success. tips and tricks will be appreciated, thanks


    The Burn message appears when there is not enough liquid in the bottom of the pan. Depends on what you’re cooking, but if possible, put the liquid in first, add the ingredients and do not stir. There has to be enough liquid in the bottom to create the steam. I’ve not actually made this recipe but I will increase the liquid if I do, and try not to stir too much,

    I’ve never heard of anyone “stopping the pressure cooking” to check the ingredients. It means you have to start the pressurising process again. Adding more liquid on top may not enable the pot to create the steam.

    In general, I like the IP for some dishes though I share some of your reservations. In particular, it’s not very quick at all once you factor in the pressure-up / pressure-down periods. For something like a veggie chilli that doesn’t take long in a conventional pot, there may not be much advantage. But meat dishes like pulled pork, which normally take several hours, can be cooked in an hour or so in the IP.


Yum! My husband (who normally likes ground beef in his chili) was sceptical but really liked this chili! I prepped the vegetables a couple days before, so prep time was just the time to open a couple cans of beans and measure out spices. So easy for a weeknight meal!


Really enjoyed this chili – it’s very thick and yummy. I prepped all the ingredients ahead of time, except the red lentils, and kept it in the fridge for the next day. Come meal time, I threw everything in the Instant Pot with the red lentils and it came out great! I did use chickpeas instead of black beans since that’s what I had on hand. Definitely a keeper!


If I want to put all the ingredients in a bag and freeze it and then put it in the instant pot, any idea how long I should extend the cooking time? Looking to make some meals in advance before the arrival of my baby!

    Megan Gilmore

    I think that’s a great idea! I wouldn’t extend the cooking time at all. Because the ingredients are frozen, it will take the Instant Pot MUCH longer to come to pressure, so the overall time will be extended by 10-20 minutes already, if that makes sense.

      Amanda Williams-Lewis

      How much is one serving?


      Came out perfect from the freezer! Thanks!


I’m new to vegan cooking, and have never used lentils before. I was wondering if you used lentils that were already cooked? Or do they go in the pot dry? Do you soak them first, like other dry beans? I’m looking so forward to trying this!

    Megan Gilmore

    The lentils are dry when you add them to the pot. I don’t soak them ahead of time!


Really good chili! The flavors are so bright…make sure you add the green onion when you serve it. So good! I agree with a previous review that it can cook a little longer if you like your veggies soft like I do.


I’m only giving this four stars because without any additional water, the instapot burned and gave me a burn notification. I cleaned out the pot and put everything back in with water and then it was fine. The recipe is excellent, however, lots of flavor!!


I loved the flavors but my carrots and peppers were still have put back on for 10min hope it comes out ok


Can I use my slowcooker with this recipe? Come home from work to this delicious meal


Success! this is by far the easiest, most healthy and most delicious dish I’ve ever made in my instant-pot yet!….. what a great recipe, loved the red lentils. I wish there was an Detoxinista app!


Hi, we have this in the Instant Pot, and I’m wondering how much a serving is. I have no way to measure 8 servings to see how much we’re talking about. 1 cup? 1.5 cups? Using the MyFitnessPal app to track meals. Thanks!


    I also would like to know the serving size please.

Erika Sedlmair

This is one of my fave chilli recipes 👌


I am usually a beef chili fan, but this recipe came out great! Have you tried freezing it after making? Just wondering if it will hold out okay! Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    I haven’t tried freezing this exact recipe, but in my experience soups and stews almost always freeze and thaw well. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Angie Doersam

I want to make this for dinner tonight, but my supermarket only had green lentils…or they may have been brown. Is it alright to substitute with these? Thanks!

Never Miss a Post!

Get a FREE 3-Day Detox Plan when you sign up for my email newsletter