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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Let the beans sit, covered, on the countertop overnight or for 6-8 hours.
- 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:
- Put the beans in the pot and add water to about 1 inch above the level of the beans.
- Close the pot lid to Sealing. Set it to Manual (high pressure) for 5 minutes.
- Use Natural Release (about 12 minutes).
- 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!
- 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
- 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
- Fresh cilantro chopped
- Red onions or white onions minced
- Green onions sliced
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You can “pre-soak” your beans quickly in the Instant Pot, see these instructions.
*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:
- How to Make Vegan Chili (Without a Recipe)
- Smoky Red Lentil Chili (Vegan!)
- Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili
- Flourless Cornbread