I have a few pet peeves, but only one that relates to this pressure cooker vegan chili recipe, so it’s the one you get to learn about today. Here it is.
I can’t stand it when people refer to the Instant Pot as an InstaPot. There. I said it. I feel better now.
Do you ever have weird things like this that bug you? Please tell me I’m not alone. And please tell me you know what an Instant Pot is, otherwise this whole introduction is probably confusing the heck out of you. Sorry about that.
Anyway, if you have been living under a rock or are not on Facebook (who could blame you?), then you may not have heard of the Instant Pot. In short, it’s a fantastic multi-function electric appliance that largely functions as a pressure cooker but can also make yogurt and cook amazing quinoa and rice and, of course, vegan chili. 🙂 Chances are you know at least one person who just got one but hasn’t even taken it out of the box yet. For some reason, pressure cooking in particular is really intimidating and confusing to a lot of people. It doesn’t help that the manual that comes with the Instant Pot isn’t the most helpful document on the planet. So, one post at a time, I’m sharing the recipes and tutorials that have been well-tested in my kitchen, so that you can start feeling more confident about using this counter-hog (worth it). Here’s what we’ve covered so far:
How to Cook Chickpeas in an Instant Pot
Vegan Southwestern Potato Salad (potatoes are cooked in the IP)
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (Pressure Cooker instructions)
Pressure Cooker Marinara Sauce
Real Deal Homemade Non-Dairy Sour Cream (SO GOOD, but oh my good gravy, those pics, shudder)
Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup (the inaugural IP recipe on the blog)
See? Plenty to put you past your palpitations over pressure. It ain’t no thing! Let’s make some chili.
First, we start with some lentils.
Beth, real chili doesn’t have lentils. It has beans. Or it doesn’t, depending on who you ask. I’m confused.
Ok, I think we pretty much gave up the “authentic” designation when we threw the word “vegan” in front of this recipe, mmmkay? This is chili. I said so. So there.
You’re going to need two types of lentils – red, and brown or green lentils. The red lentils break down into a magical thickening substance, and the brown/green lentils hold their shape and add the texture that’s needed. I also rely on this combo in the Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup, to rave reviews. Red lentils also show up in the Pressure Cooker Marinara Sauce. They’re sneaky and I love em’.
Next up? Peppers! Any chili worth its spoon has peppers, and this Christmas-looking concoction (along with onion) represents three different types – red bell pepper, poblano pepper, and jalapeno. One is sweet, one is rich and sort of spicy, and one brings the heat, baby. Don’t like it spicy? Leave out the jalapeno. But leave the poblano. It’s worth it. And if you are feeling extra adventurous, add a dollop of chipotle puree – it’ll take it over the top, promise.
Here’s how it’s going to go. First, you’ll saute peppers, onions, and garlic in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Then you’ll add chili powder and cumin, lentils, some crushed and diced tomatoes, and water or vegetable broth. Give it a stir, lock the lid, and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. It’ll take a few minutes to reach pressure, so the actual cooking time is longer then 10 minutes, just FYI. Then, you wait for the pressure to come down on its own – this is called a natural pressure release. Once that’s done, you’ll unlock the lid, and a weird tomato-y crater looking surface will be staring back at you. Grab a spoon and stir, and all will be good in the world. As my Vida would say, “Phew! That was a close one.”
And that, my friends, is how you make pressure cooker vegan chili. I don’t mind saying that it is GOOD. But it is EVEN BETTER with toppings – such as…
– Savory Cashew Cream or Homemade Non-Dairy Sour Cream (or your fav vegan sour cream)
– Crushed tortilla chips
– Avocado or guacamole
– Chopped red onion or scallions or chives
– Sliced black olives
– (insert your favorite chili condiment here)
It’s time to eat! This chili tastes great right out of the pot, or if you can wait, it’s even better the next day. I think that’s like the Universal Law of Chili – eat it the next day. But if you can’t wait…I get it.
Another day, another local tv appearance. Is this becoming a thing, you ask? YES! I’ll be doing monthly segments on AM Northwest for the foreseeable future. It’s so fun! When I made this chili, there was a bit of a hiccup, you’ll have to watch the video to see what happened. 🙂
Got a question? Ask me in the comments! Did you make it? Tell me all about it! Leave a comment (and a rating, please!), and tag @passtheplants and #passtheplants on Instagram!It makes me happier than a lentil in a chili bath.
Going to bed before the writing gets any sillier. Go get your Instant Pot out of the box! Baby steps. 🙂
Pressure Cooker Vegan Chili
- 1 cup dried red lentils (picked over and rinsed)
- 1 cup dried green/brown lentils (picked over and rinsed)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 red bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
- 1 poblano pepper (seeded and chopped)
- 1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and diced (omit for kids or non-spice lovers))
- 1 28 ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (I love Muir Glen!)
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (with the juice)
- 3 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon chipotle puree (optional (but recommended!))
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- Savory Cashew Cream or vegan sour cream
- Chopped cilantro
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Chopped scallions or red onion
- Sliced olives
- Hot sauce
- Set Instant Pot to Saute function, or heat a stovetop pressure cooker insert on medium-low.
- Sauté the onion, garlic, and peppers for 3-5 minutes until onion is softened.
- Stir in chili powder and cumin and sauté for 1 minute more.
- Add in remaining ingredients and bring to high pressure for 10 minutes.
- Allow for a natural pressure release. If after 30 minutes the pressure is not released, go ahead and release the valve to allow the remaining pressure to escape.
- Stir, and serve hot with desired toppings. As with all chili, this is even better the next day.
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I’m so glad you mentioned the InstaPot thing. It’s a small thing, really, but it drives me nuts! This looks so good, and I am always trying new chili recipes. Thanks!
I’m so relieved that I’m not the only one with this issue. It totally is a small thing, but mosquito bites are small and I think we can all agree that they are annoying as all get-out. 🙂 Here’s to chili!
I agree with you but I also hate enunciating the ‘nt’ at the end of ‘instant’. So I prefer “Ipot” which, it seems, is becoming the favorite nickname for this wonderful appliance.
Hannah Elizabeth says
Gosh, I hope I’ve never called it an InstaPot before! Can’t imagine why I would have, but I just parrot other people (#storyofmylifeTBH)), so if I heard it that way, I may have. ? Also, this is deliciously good…absolutely irresistible with all the yummy toppings. ? And I’m not really a lentil fan, so that’s saying something!
It also drives me crazy when ppl call it that! Thanks for your IP recipes! ?
I feel that I have found a kindred spirit. So glad I’m not alone. 🙂 You’re welcome for the IP recipes! Let me know if you have any requests, I’m testing new stuff all the time. In fact, I just came up with a soup recipe for dinner tonight.
Cheryl - Pook's Pantry says
I love how you write! It makes me smile 🙂
And I do still call it “InstaPot” LOL
Lisa Mc says
Made this chili this evening and it was delicious and so easy. Definitely will be using this recipe often!
HA!! I guess I thought at first it was an InstaPot not Instant Pot dueu to how many people call it the latter. Anyways, I love my INSTANT POT and love this chili!
Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons says
OK, going to call it Instant Pot from now on. Promise. Took mine out of the box yesterday. Best dinner ever. Now I have to make this chili! Pinning!
Megan @ MegUnprocessed says
This looks like a really satisfying meal.
I’m with you on the InstaPot thing.
I live near Seattle. The world-famous farmers’ market down near the waterfront is called Pike Place Market. It’s not Pike Street Market, or Pike’s Market, or Pike’s Place Market. It is not a market belonging to Pike, nor is it in any way related to Pike’s Peak in Colorado. Three simple words. Pike. Place. Market. And NO ONE SEEMS TO GET IT RIGHT.
(If visitors cannot wrap their brains around this, they may simply call it “the Market” and most locals will know what they mean.)
this recipe looks fantastic, but. what is a chipotle pure? 🙂
Hi Anna! Sorry, I should have been more specific. It’s chipotle in adobo, found canned in the ethnic food sections of most supermarkets. They are smoked jalapeños in a spicy vinegary sauce. When I buy a can I puree it so that I can use as much or as little as I want in any recipe. 1 tablespoon of puree is roughly equivalent to 1 chipotle pepper, finely chopped with a small amount of the adobo sauce. Hope that helps! 🙂
yes, it helps! i have chipotles in adobo at home, yay! 🙂
I love your blog! SUPER glad I found you – I can’t wait to try this recipe 🙂 mmm chilliiiiiiiiiii
Hi Felicity! I’m SUPER glad you found me too! Thanks for the kind words. 😉
Made this in the pressure cooker last night and it is excellent! Thanks for the recipe, Beth!
My pleasure, Sue! So glad you enjoyed it. I saw this comment as I was on my way to our local ABC affiliate to make it on tv this morning! 🙂 http://katu.com/amnw/cooking-recipes/flavorful-pressure-cooker-chili
Heather Bradford says
This sounds wonderful but wondering if it would convert to a slow cooker recipe??
I found your recipe a couple of days ago and made it last night. It was easy and very deliciois! Thanks for sharing it.
I just made this and it is very good! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂
I was so confused when I first started looking for the instapot everyone was talking about, but could only find the Instant Pot online! You are not alone 🙂
So glad to know it’s not just me Kirsten! 😉
I should have read the ingredients and post more carefully before I made my grocery list, I bought red kidney beans (because it is chili), so hopefully my mistake won’t ruin the recipe. This is the first recipe that I try in my brand new pot!!! And yes, I thought it was an Instapot until I ordered my own, because that is what everyone calls it! Then when I saw Instant Pots, I thought they were a knock off of the “Instapot” – ha ha!!!!! I am excited to try the chili, just waiting for the pressure to release!
I’m sure it will be great! It might need to be thickened as the kidney beans won’t break down like the lentils. And if you used dried kidney beans, they might need more cooking time. Let me know how it goes!
How can this recipe be converted to slow cooker or can it? Is it just a change in water ratios? Thanks!!
The best lentil chili I’ve found yet. I keep coming back to it over and over even after trying others. I’ve added butternut squash, black beans and corn to it and it never fails. And you’re right that it’s better the next day. Thanks for the recipe!
Stupid question maybe… But do you have to put anything in to sauté the onion, garlic and peppers? Will it stick if you don’t put anything down?
Would love to see a slow cooker or stove top version! I’ve already got like every appliance and can’t add the Instant Pot. Thanks!
Jennifer Rupert says
Can this recipe be doubled and still work?
Hey Jennifer! Yes, but with a disclaimer. Sometimes, I’ve had the burn notice come up on my Instant Pot when I have doubled this in the past. This happens a lot because the tomato products of the lentils start to scorch on the bottom. So what I would recommend is to add the lentils and water/broth and stir that really well, making sure that no lentils are sticking to the bottom of the pot. Then add the tomatoes and DO NOT STIR. That will hopefully prevent the tomatoes from scorching and triggering the burn notice. Also keep in mind that it might take longer to come to pressure with more volume in the pot. I hope that helps! <3
Made this tonight for my family. YUMM! I’ve tried a few different vegan chili recipes, and so far, this is by far my favourite. I will definitely be making this again. I omitted the spicy peppers (my kids don’t like spicy food), and it was still great! Thank you!
Hi Stephanie! Super pumped that you and your family loved this so much! I haven’t made it in a while and need to change that. My kiddos are still in the very picky stage and I’m hoping to expand their horizons more. 🙂
Isabell M. says
Hi, so I am thinking about using this recipe but I wanted to use the beyond meat incorporated in the chilli. How can I do that with this recipe? Please let me know. Thanks in advance.
Lindsay Gray says
This is a go to for us! Super healthy and easy. It freezes well. Thank you!