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:
Vegan Southwestern Potato Salad (potatoes are cooked in the IP)
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (Pressure Cooker instructions)
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.