Vegan Chili (Instant Pot)

This delicious vegan chili is a perfect make-ahead meal for the Instant Pot!

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Chili for the Instant Pot:

  • It’s easy (the Instant Pot does all the work!)
  • It’s quick (less than 30 minutes from start to finish!)
  • It’s cheap! Especially if using dried beans.
  • It’s super flavorful with a wonderful mix of spices
  • It’s versatile, make all the swaps!
  • You can dress it up with so many tasty toppings
  • It scales up well to feed a crowd and freezes beautifully
  • It’s deliciously plant-based

Beans: To pre-soak or not to pre-soak?

People argue about pre-soaking versus not pre-soaking beans. I don’t have strong feelings about it, but for the purposes of cooking time and improved digestibility, I do have a slight preference for pre-soaked beans. It’s really easy, I promise. It takes about one minute of your time the night before. Here’s what you do:

How to Soak Beans Overnight:

  1. Place the beans into the Instant Pot inner pot. Fill with water so that there’s about 1 inch of water above the level of the beans.
  2. Put it in the Instant Pot (turned off) and close the lid. Or, soak in a bowl or pot covered with a lid or towel.
  3. Let the beans sit, covered, on the countertop overnight or for 6-8 hours.
  4. Drain beans and set aside. Now you have pre-soaked beans.

What should I do if I forgot to pre-soak my beans?

You can always swap out dried beans for canned beans, but be sure to adjust the cooking time down to about 3 minutes. In my opinion, there’s not a lot of point in using the Instant Pot in that case, since the advantage is how quickly it cooks dried beans.

You can do the popular hack “The Instant Pot Quick-Soak” while you are chopping vegetables and getting your ingredients together.

The Instant Pot “Quick Soak” Method:

  1. Put the beans in the pot and add water to about 1 inch above the level of the beans.
  2. Close the pot lid to Sealing. Set it to Manual (high pressure) for 5 minutes.
  3. Use Natural Release (about 12 minutes).
  4. There! Your beans just “soaked!” Rinse, drain, and proceed as if you were using pre-soaked beans.

How do I convert this Instant Pot recipe to a Crockpot or Stovetop?

I’ve included instructions for a slow cooker and stovetop below. The only difference is that you might need a bit more liquid in the non-Instant Pot version. Otherwise, it works great with any cooking method!

The Key to Good Chili: Good Chili Powder

It may seem obvious, but mediocre chili is usually the result of mediocre or old chili powder. Chili powder that’s been sitting in your pantry for 6 months just won’t be as flavorful and punchy as fresh, high quality chili powder. This time of year when I’m making a pot or two per week, I like to make sure I’ve got the good stuff stocked. My favorite brand is this one from McCormick Gourmet, or this one from Simply Organic. It’s also fun to make your own!

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it, or tag me in your meal pics on Instagram @katiesconsciouskitchen. Or, join my free private facebook group to share your creations and inspire others!

Vegan Chili (Instant Pot)

Protein | Veggies | Fat (Optional)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Recipe From: Katie’s Conscious Kitchen

Ingredients*

  • 1 bell pepper diced (6 oz)
  • 8 oz corn fresh or frozen (8 oz)
  • 1 small onion diced (8 oz)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz
  • 1/2 jar marinara sauce 12 oz

Protein

  • 9.5 oz dry beans pre-soaked 6-8 hrs (I like a mix of black, pinto, & kidney)

Condiments & Seasonings

  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp good quality sea salt

Garnish Ideas

  • Fresh cilantro chopped
  • Red onions or white onions minced
  • Green onions sliced
  • Avocado
  • Cheese, cream cheese, or sour cream I use non-dairy brands
  • Sprinkle of pumpkin seeds
  • Jalapeño  seeds removed and minced
  • Hot sauce
  • Sliced mango yum!
  • Corn chips to scoop!
  • Rice or quinoa to serve

Instructions

  • Pre-soak your beans for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse before using. Or, if you have an Instant Pot, do it the impatient way (see notes)

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Use the Sauté function to sauté the onions and bell pepper for 2-3 minutes, adding vegetable broth, water, or oil to prevent burning. Add the garlic and all of the spices (except for salt) and cook 1 minute.
  • Add tomatoes, marinara, broth, and drained beans.
  • Close the pot lid to sealing. Set to Manual (high) for 18 minutes. When done, carefully use quick release. If the beans aren’t fully cooked, reseal the lid and pressure cook for a few more minutes. It will come to pressure very quickly, since everything is hot.
  • If using fresh or frozen corn, stir it in after cooking. Garnish and serve.

Crockpot Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a crockpot. Cook in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours, or until the beans are fully cooked. Check occasionally and add liquid if needed.

Stovetop Instructions

  • If using the stovetop, I recommend using canned beans so that you don't have to babysit your chili for hours. Combine all ingredients (except garnishes) in a large heavy-bottomed pot and cook it on the stovetop on low/medium heat for about 30 minutes. If it seems like it needs a little more liquid, you can add a little water or veggie broth. If using fresh or frozen corn, add at the end of cooking. Garnish and serve.

Modification for Canned Beans

  • Feel free to swap out the dry beans for 2-3 cans of cooked beans. Drain and rinse the beans before adding. No need to use the Instant Pot or crockpot in this case, just simmer your chili on the stove for 25-30 minutes, to meld all the flavors.

Notes

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*Affiliate Link Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I earn a small commission on sales made from my links at no extra cost to you. The products I recommend in my posts are only brands that I can personally recommend and use myself.

More Delicious Chili Inspiration:

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42 Comments

  1. Lucy

    So excited to try this. It looks amazingly! And I can’t wait to get the new ebook with Insta Pot recipes..

  2. Lisa

    You just don’t know how excited I am
    About the new book since I have an instant pot!! How about the African Peanut Stew?

  3. Patti

    A-ma-zing! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Jennifer

    So excited about this! I use my instant pot all the time!

  5. Robin Yee

    A whole book of BLE-friendly Instant Pot recipes? This makes me insanely happy! Thank you, and best wishes on what I know will be a big project and a lot of work.

  6. Bonnie

    This looks fabulous! Thanks for your hard work and your creative cooking skills! I admire you so much for the way you provide an essential aspect of support for those of us on the BLE journey! Now, two questions: do you have any thoughts on which Instant Pot is the “best”? Second: can I just move next door to you and drop by every day at lunch and dinner time? (I think I got breakfast lol!)

    • Haha, come on over Bonnie! 🙂 I have the Lux, 6 Qt. I don’t have any opinions about it, they are all the same to me. I got the one that was on sale at Fred Meyers across the street from my apartment, I didn’t think about it too hard. I was originally going to get the 3 Qt, but they were out, and I like the 6 Qt. It’s big, but perfect for batch cooking for one.

  7. I am also an Instant Pot convert, and this recipe is right up my alley – thank you!

  8. Elizabeth Diane

    What a great thing for all of us that love your recipes!! Thanks so much❣️

  9. So Nice bowl ! Thanks for this recipe. 😉

  10. Holly

    This sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to make it. I’m traveling and will make it just as soon as I get back to my kitchen. I’ll be thrilled to get your ebook…the recipes you’re including sound delicious!
    Thanks Katie ♥️🍽🙌

  11. URocProf

    Thanks so much! I just LOVE the idea of a BLE Instant Pot cookbook, and look forward to trying this recipe first. 🙂

  12. Janeese Bene

    I am wondering about the plant based cheese and sour cream. I am vegan and looked at all of my vegan cheese yesterday and none look compliant. Can you tell me brands that are compliant? Thanks!

    • I use kite hill brand or Trader Joe’s cream cheese. I don’t really like any vegan sour cream so I can’t help you there. There are some mysterious ingredients way down the list but it hasn’t been triggering for me.

  13. Lisa

    So excited for your BLE InstantPot cookbook. I have a question for this recipe- regarding the 1/2 jar marinara ingredient (12 oz.)-are you measuring this 12 ounces by weight on the food scale? And what brand marinara sauce do you like to use?

    • Yep, by weight on the food scale. I use lots of different brands, I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Just look for anything without sugar. 🙂

  14. Anonymous

    This looks yummy! Could you do a crock pot or stovetop split pea recipe? Thanks!!

  15. Janet

    this was great…i love chili and finally made this…i soaked the beans overnight and used 3 kinds like you did..the kidney beans needed a little longer on the time for me, i have the 6qt lux, …we really really enjoyed this….having the leftovers for lunch…not spicy and i used fire roasted diced tomatoes, so we just added hot sauce and jalapeños and it was perfect..thank you so much again..your soups/chili is all i’ve tried so far and really been a hit..

  16. Cheryl

    This is one of my absolute favorite recipes – and so easy. I froze a batch too so I can always have on hand which is so helpful in keeping your lines bright for those times you are too tired to take the time to cook! Thank you so much for sharing

  17. Maureen Corbett

    Hi Katie I just purchased your fabulous-looking e-cookbook for the Instant Pot. I JUST purchased the Ultra model (6 quart) and was wondering what model you got. As a newbie reading the comparisons, it seems like the Ultra lets you customize various things a little more. I look forward also to making soy milk yogurt with it too….and if you have any tips on yogurt with the Instant Pot I would love to hear !
    Thanks, my daughter and I have loved your site and recipes since the beginning!
    Maureen

    • Hi Maureen! I honestly don’t know what my model is, it was whatever was on sale at Fred Meyers. 🙂 I have a yogurt maker that I love, and my IP doesn’t have a yogurt setting so I’ll be sticking with that. Good luck in your experiments!

  18. Jennifer Gombas

    I have the Duo Mini pot and it doesn’t have a manual feature. How would I adjust the veggie chili recipe accordingly? Thanks for sharing!

    • Manual is just high pressure.

      • So I press “pressure cook” and then hit -+ button till I get the number 18?
        Thanks for your quick reply😉

      • And there’s also a “bean/chili cook function so wouldn’t I choose that and adjust time?

    • Robin

      On the Duo Mini, the button marked “Pressure Cook” is what you use for manual. It just means you aren’t using one of the pre-set programs like Rice or Porridge or Soup. Then you can use the button marked “Pressure Level” to set high or low pressure.

      • Thank you! I also just figured out that the 3qt pot is too small for these recipes so I’ll need to return it. 😝

  19. jgombas

    Today I have to substitute Trader Joe’s organic veggie chili for your delicious homemade chili. Would you have any idea what servings these would amount to? It’s a 14 1/2 ounce can. Thanks!

    • I’d just use the total meal weight method if I were you. Add the total amounts for your normal meal and eat that much chili.

      • Jennifer Gombas

        Thanks, in this case I think it’s protein heavy as it’s mostly beans and soy. Not much veggies to be found other than onions.

      • My chili always has a lot of tomatoes, onion, and corn. More than enough veg for me.

  20. Rev. Susanne Intriligator

    Love this recipe and the whole book — best purchase ever!
    One question: You list cheese as an optional fat here. But is that BLE compliant? I see cheese listed as a protein in BLE but not listed among the fats. Can you help/explain?
    (I had made this chili a few times in my first month on BLE, and I added the cheese, which seemed like a lot. And I didn’t lose any weight!)

    • I don’t eat cheese so I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure BLE people count it as a fat. I think it’s like nuts in that way. I’d ask a dairy eating BLE person.

  21. Patricia Hohlfeld

    Trying this tonight in my instant pot using the “impAtient method” on the beans. Can’t wait to try it. I doubled the recipe to make 4 portions for myself then will add beef into the remainder for the non BLE’ers in my house. We’ll see how this works out! Thank you!

  22. Michele

    Can you substitute canned beans for the soaked beans?

  23. Michele

    If using canned beans, how many cans? Each can is 15 oz. and contains 3.5 servings

  24. Diane Brisse

    This recipe is absolutely delicious, thank you so much. A winner for my vegetarian and vegan friends too.

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