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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili EVER!

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This is the BEST Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili ever! It’s smoky and hearty, rich and spicy. It is family-friendly, ready in 30 minutes, and will satisfy both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Made with 3 types of beans, packed with veggies, and under 300 calories per serving!

The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions and cheese

This Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili is a family favorite in our house. It’s super easy to make and thanks to the Instant Pot, you end up with that cooked-all-day flavor in just about 30 minutes!

I’ve made this recipe for a crowd, or just for our family (and saved the leftovers for another day) and it turns out great every time!

The smokiness in this dish comes from two secret ingredients: unsweetened cocoa powder and smoked paprika. It’s got the deep flavor of traditional meat chilis, but is much healthier, gluten-free, and vegetarian friendly (and can easily be made vegan too).

The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions and cheese

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

ingredients for instant pot vegetarian chili

How To Make Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili – Step by Step

Step 1: Turn your instant pot to the Saute function, and add your olive oil, bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Saute lightly for 2-3 minutes.

ingredients sauteeing in a pot

Step 2: Add everything else into the pot (beans through paprika in the list above) and stir to combine. Close your instant pot and pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.

broth added to pot

Step 3: Once the pressure cooking is done, let it natural release for 5 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure.

soup being cooked in a pot

Step 4: Serve warm with any toppings you like! 1 Tbsp cheese, low fat sour cream or plain greek yogurt, diced tomatoes, green onions, or tortilla chips.

The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions and cheese

What Makes This Vegetarian Chili Healthy?

  • Fiber and Plant Protein: Thanks to the beans, this chili packs a ton of protein and fiber into each serving. Each serving has 9g protein and 10g fiber.
  • Vitamins and Nutrients: Beans are a heart healthy food that are a great source of iron, B vitamins, protein and fiber. Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, A, Potassium, Folate and Iron.
  • Low Calorie: This Instant Pot Chili is super filling and satisfying, but each serving has only 300 calories! That means you can go back for seconds completely guilt-free!

Will Kids Enjoy This Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili?

This recipe is SUPER kid friendly! Both of my kids gobble up this dish every time I make it. I create a toppings bar for this chili and let my kids pick out their own toppings – which they love to do.

I also tend to cut the veggies smaller when serving this to little kids so that it’s easier for them to chew. For super picky eaters, you can even puree the bell peppers/veggies with the tomatoes so they don’t see it, and reduce the spices as needed!

The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions and cheese

Toppings for This Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

There are so many options for toppings – the possibilities are almost endless! Here are some of our favorites:

  • Fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Sour cream or Plain Greek Yogurt (use cashew cream for a vegan substitute!)
  • Sliced green onions or fresh cilantro
  • Shredded cheese or cojita cheese (omit if you want to make this vegan!)
  • Diced tomatoes or Salsa
  • Crushed tortilla chips or crackers
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Brown rice or quinoa (more as a mix-in than a topping, but still tastes great and this is one of my kids’ favorite chili add-ins!)

What to Serve with Vegetarian Chili?

This chili is so hearty it stands on its own, but if you’re looking to round out the meal even further, here are some side dishes to pair it with:

  • A fresh garden salad
  • Cornbread
  • Brown Rice or Quinoa
  • Quesadillas (when cut into strips, can be great for dipping too!)

Storage and Freezing Tips

  • To store in the fridge: This recipe will keep an an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make sure to store any toppings separately.
  • To freeze: Let the chili cool completely, then transfer into an airtight freezer safe container. You can freeze this recipe for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat after freezing: Let the chili thaw in the fridge and then defrost in the microwave using the defrost setting, or heat gently on the stovetop.
The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions and cheese

Can You Make This Vegetarian Chili On The Stovetop?

Absolutely! Here are the directions for making this on the stovetop:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bell peppers and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add all of the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The longer you cook it, the thicker your chili will be.
  4. Serve hot!

Top Tips for Making Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

  • You can add any veggies you like into this chili. Think of it as a “clean out your fridge” recipe. If you increase the quantity of veggies, just make sure to increase the quantity of spices accordingly so that it’s not bland.
  • For additional greens, add one 5oz box of chopped baby spinach into this recipe at the same time you add all of the ingredients into the instant pot!
  • When you’re making this for kids, adjust the spices accordingly.
  • If you don’t have an instant pot, you can make this chili on the stovetop.
  • If you have a newer Instant Pot, keep in mind that they tend to display the “Burn” warning much more quickly than the older versions. If you have this model, You’d add the vegetable broth and all the spices immediately after step 1 and stir to combine. Then you’d add the rest of the ingredients (beans, tomatoes, etc) and do not stir until after cooking.
The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions and cheese

Check Out These Other Instant Pot Recipes!

If you have tried this instant pot vegetarian chili recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions and cheese
Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

This recipe blew my husband, the veggie-chili-skeptic, away. He no longer responded with “this isn’t chili,” but instead said “this is really good!” He even went back for seconds. It’s got the deep flavor of traditional meat chilis, but is much healthier and vegetarian friendly.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 300kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper diced
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 15 oz Kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 can
  • 15 oz Black beans, drained and rinsed 1 can
  • 15 oz Pinto beans, drained and rinsed 1 can
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes 1 large can
  • 1 heaping tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper more or less to taste
  • A couple splashes of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp regular paprika
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, diced tomatoes, Plain Greek Yogurt (or Low Fat Sour Cream), tortilla chips

Instructions

  • Turn your instant pot to the Saute function, and add your olive oil, bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Saute lightly for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add everything else into the pot (beans through paprika in the list above) and stir to combine. Close your instant pot and pressure cook on high for 4 minutes
  • Once the pressure cooking is done, let it natural release for 5 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure.
  • Serve warm with any toppings you like! 1 Tbsp cheese, low fat sour cream or plain greek yogurt, diced tomatoes, green onions, or tortilla chips.

Notes

Top Tips for Making Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
  • You can add any veggies you like into this chili. Think of it as a “clean out your fridge” recipe. If you increase the quantity of veggies, just make sure to increase the quantity of spices accordingly so that it’s not bland.
  • For additional greens, add one 5oz box of chopped baby spinach into this recipe at the same time you add all of the ingredients into the instant pot!
  • When you’re making this for kids, adjust the spices accordingly.
  • If you don’t have an instant pot, you can make this chili on the stovetop.
  • If you have a newer Instant Pot, keep in mind that they tend to display the “Burn” warning much more quickly than the older versions. If you have this model, You’d add the vegetable broth and all the spices immediately after step 1 and stir to combine. Then you’d add the rest of the ingredients (beans, tomatoes, etc) and do not stir until after cooking.

To Make on the Stovetop: 

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bell peppers and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add all of the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The longer you cook it, the thicker your chili will be.
  4. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 2ladles | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 61.8g | Protein: 18.1g | Fat: 1.7g | Sodium: 800mg | Fiber: 20.2g | Sugar: 4.3g

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280 responses to “The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili EVER!”

  1. Excellent!! I have been vegetarian for over 40 years but for the last 10 have lived in a small apartment with a challenging cooking situation. Son bought me an Instant Pot in April and it revolutionized my life. The past 6 months have been an exploration of EASY IP vegan recipes.
    This recipe qualifies on many levels. I can sit to chop veggies and then sauté easily as the IP lives on kitchen table. The blend of spices is everything already in my cupboard. Have no idea why soy sauce (I used liquid aminos) and cocoa are used but the taste is tangy and spicy. I added some elbows because I like carbs. And forgot the corn. But this seems a flexible recipe that will easily tolerate substitutions. Many thanks😋5 stars

    • Hi Susan! I’m so happy to hear that you loved this recipe – thanks for letting me know! And yes, this recipe will tolerate many substitutions – you can change it up any way you like!! 🙂

  2. Hi! I have been using this recipe for a couple years now and it is hands down the BEST vegetarian chili EVER!! I do have one question you may or may not know…. I just got an instant pot and I’m wondering if this recipe will convert well? Any suggestions?5 stars

    • Hooray!! I’m so happy to hear that! For the instant pot, I’d saute the veggies and spices together first on low for about 5 minutes, then add in the beans/broth/etc. And then I’d probably pressure cook it for only 3-5 minutes if you’re using canned beans, natural release for 5 minutes and then manual release, so they don’t get too soft! Hope that helps!

  3. We love this chili. I was at a Wholefoods cooking class in Fremont when you presented this recipe and we are still cooking it up in 2018!

  4. Anjali,
    Our family (both vegetarians and non) all loved this Chili – so much so that there were no leftovers! We will definitely make this again.

    • Woohoo!! That’s so wonderful to hear Brenda!! 🙂 This chili freezes really well so if you want you can always make a double batch next time and freeze half for a rainy day! 🙂

    • Thanks Dev!! I agree the chocolate gives it that extra deep, smoky quality – similar to a mole sauce! So glad you liked it!!

  5. Hi,
    I myself am a vegan and this recipe is absolutely awesome. It’s spicy and delicious. Not a fan of corn though!

    • That’s great! For the corn – you can always substitute it for something else (another veggie that you do like!)

    • Yay!! I can’t wait for you to try this recipe Jessica – it’s one of our favorites 🙂 I’m sure you will love it!

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