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
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Instant Pot Vegan Chili
- 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 (see note for substitutions)
- 2 cups 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
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, lentils, water, black beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon of salt 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 additional salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, to taste. I usually add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of lime juice, then adjust by adding more to taste. (If your diced tomatoes are already salted, you'll want to use less.)
- 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
- 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!