The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili EVER!This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.
This is the BEST Instant Pot vegetarian chili ever! It’s incredibly rich and hearty, super smoky and slightly spicy. Made with three types of beans, packed with veggies, it’s family-friendly, ready in 30 minutes, and will satisfy both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike!
This Instant Pot vegetarian chili recipe is a family favorite in our house. It’s easy to make, requires simple ingredients, and thanks to the Instant Pot pressure cooker, you end up with that cooked-all-day flavor (like if you made it in a slow cooker) in just about 30 minutes!
I’ve made this recipe for a crowd or for our family (and saved the leftovers for another day), and it turns out great every time!
One of the best parts about this Instant Pot vegetable chili is its smokiness, which comes from two secret ingredients: unsweetened cocoa powder and smoked paprika.
It has the deep flavor of traditional meat chilis but it’s much healthier, gluten-free, and vegetarian-friendly, and can easily be made vegan too!
👩🏽🍳 Why You’ll Love This Meatless Chili
- Tons Of Flavor: The combination of rich, warm spices gives this easy vegan chili recipe a “cooked-all-day” flavor that is hearty and satisfying. It really is the best vegetarian chili ever!
- Fiber And Plant Protein: Thanks to the beans, this chili packs a ton of protein and fiber into each bowl. Each serving has 9g protein and 10g fiber.
- Healthy: This Instant Pot veggie chili recipe is packed with 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 vitamins C, A, potassium, folate, and iron.
- Low Calorie: This healthy Instant Pot chili with canned beans is super filling and satisfying, but each serving has only 300 calories. That means you can go back for seconds completely guilt-free!
- Family Friendly: Everyone in the family – kids included – will love this one-pot meal. And it’s super easy to make, which means it’s a great recipe for busy weeknight dinners or for meatless Monday!
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While the ingredient list is a little bit long, all of these ingredients are easy to find, and there’s minimal prep time to prepare them for the Instant Pot. Here’s what you need to make veggie chili in the Instant Pot:
- Olive Oil: Use this oil to sauté – you can also use any other neutral-flavored oil.
- Bell Peppers: Red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper give this easy Instant Pot vegetarian chili a bright pop of color. For a time-saver, use a thawed frozen blend. Onions add a
- Red Onion & Fresh Garlic Cloves: Dice the onion in uniform sizes for even cooking. For garlic, fresh is always best, but you can use jarred, minced garlic if necessary.
- Vegetable Broth: You can easily find this in the grocery store, typically near the other broths.
- Canned Beans: Red kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans help to make this Instant Pot meatless chili hearty and meaty – without any meat!
- Frozen Corn: Frozen corn cuts prep time, but feel free to use fresh if you prefer.
- Crushed Tomatoes: San Marzano are typically the best variety of tomatoes to use, but you can use any that you prefer or have on hand.
- Spices: I used a combination of chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, unsweetened cocoa powder, garlic powder, crushed red peppers, soy sauce, salt, smoked paprika, and regular paprika to give this healthy vegetarian chili a balance of smoky, earthy, spicy flavors.
- Optional Toppings: Shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, diced tomatoes, plain Greek yogurt (or low fat sour cream), tortilla chips.
🍲 Ingredient Substitutions
- Beans: Replace some or all of the beans with different beans or any kind of legumes that you prefer. White beans, red lentils, green lentils, or even chickpeas also work well. You can even make this Instant Pot vegetarian chili with dried beans if you like, you’ll just have to soak them overnight and increase the cook time.
- Veggies: Use your own blend of vegetables in this meatless chili recipe. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and greens would all taste great. Think of it as a “clean out your fridge” recipe. If you increase the amount of veggies, just make sure to increase the quantity of spices accordingly so that it’s not bland.
- Sauce: Replace some or all of the soy sauce with vegan Worcestershire.
- Tomatoes: Try using canned fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor.
- Toppings: Load this Instant Pot black bean chili up with any of your favorite toppings!
🔪 How To Make Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
Here’s how to make this easy vegetarian recipe. For more detailed instructions and nutrition facts, see the recipe card below.
Sauté: Turn your instant pot to the sauté function, and add your olive oil, bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Sauté lightly for 2-3 minutes.
Pressure Cook: 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 pressure for 4 minutes.
Release Pressure: Once the pressure cooking is done, let it natural release for 5 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure. Give it a good stir to combine.
Serve Chili: Serve this Instant Pot veg chili warm with any toppings you like! We suggest a little bit (or a lot!) of cheese, low-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, diced tomatoes, green onions, or tortilla chips.
💭 Expert Tips
- Use Spinach: For additional greens, add one 5 oz box of chopped baby spinach into this pressure cooker bean chili while adding all of the other ingredients into the Instant Pot.
- Adjust Spices To Taste: Everyone has a different level of spiciness that they like in their chili, so make sure to taste and adjust — add more or less crushed red pepper, more or less salt, as needed!
- Cook On The Stove: If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make this chili on the stovetop. See our notes in the FAQs below on how to do this!
- Adjust For Your Instant Pot Model: If you have a newer Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker, keep in mind that it tends to display the “burn” warning much more quickly than the older versions. If you have this model, you’ll add the vegetable broth and all the spices immediately after step 1 and stir to combine. Then you’ll add the rest of the ingredients (beans, tomatoes, etc.) and avoid stirring until after cooking.
- Make It Kid Friendly: This IP chili with canned beans is super kid friendly! If you’re making this for kids, I recommend creating a toppings bar so your kids can pick out what to top their bowls with, and cut the veggies smaller so it’s easier for kids 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!
📖 Variations And Toppings For Veggie Chili
There are plenty of ways to customize or dress up this easy chili!
- Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice: Add bright flavor with a touch of citrus. If you don’t have lime, lemon will work, too.
- Creamy Toppings: Try sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (use cashew cream or vegan sour cream for a vegan substitute!). The tanginess and cool flavors complement the heat in this Instant Pot vegan chili recipe.
- Fresh Toppings: Try sliced green onions, fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, pico de gallo, or salsa – all of these will add bright color and great flavor.
- Cheese: Shredded cheese, a Mexican cheese blend, cojita cheese, or even vegan shredded cheese will all work well! Who doesn’t love melty cheese on their chili?
- Crunchy Toppings: We love crushed tortilla chips, crackers, or even pepitas (pumpkin seeds) as toppings for this recipe!
- Brown Rice Or Quinoa: Either of these is more of a mix-in than a topping, but it still tastes great. And this is one of my kids’ favorite chili add-ins!
- Spicy Toppings: To increase the level of spice or add depth, try dicing up a chipotle pepper, jalapeño pepper, poblano peppers, or adding adobo sauce to this Instant Pot veggie chili recipe.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This meatless Instant Pot 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 that go with chili:
- A Fresh Garden Salad: We love it with this tomato avocado cucumber salad, but it also tastes great with this Mexican fruit salad on top of some leafy greens!
- Cornbread: This healthy cornbread pairs perfectly with chili. But you could also serve it with these biscuits without baking powder or these low calorie biscuits!
- Grains: A side of rice or quinoa pairs well with this recipe, but you can take it to the next level by serving this vegetarian chili in the Instant Pot with vegan Mexican rice instead!
- Quesadillas: When cut into strips, these can be great for dipping too! We love it with these veggie quesadillas or vegan quesadillas.
🙌 Dietary Adaptations
Vegan Instant Pot Chili Recipe: The pressure cooker vegetarian chili is already dairy-free, but if you’re concerned about the toppings, try using a plant-based cheese or vegan sour cream alternative.
Low-Carb Option: To reduce the carbs, eliminate some or all of the beans, replacing them with a hearty amount of low carb bulky veggies like riced broccoli or cauliflower florets.
It’s easy to store this simple chili so that you can eat it throughout the week! And it tastes even better the next day when all of the flavors have a chance to meld together for longer!
- Refrigerator: Leftover chili will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make sure to store any toppings separately.
- Freezer: Let this spicy vegetarian chili cool completely, then transfer it into an airtight freezer-safe container. You can freeze this recipe for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: Let your Instant Pot plant based chili thaw in the fridge and then defrost in the microwave using the defrost setting, or heat gently on the stovetop.
- Make Ahead Tips: Chop all of your veggies in advance and store them in the fridge in an airtight container. Wash your beans and store them in a separate container in the fridge. You can do this up to 2 days in advance – then just add everything to the pot and cook as directed when you’re ready to make it!
Absolutely! Here are the stovetop instructions for this recipe:
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. Serve hot!
There are so many plant based substitutions for meat in chili! Here are some of our favorites:
* Legumes: Beans, chickpeas and lentils are all great options – they’re packed with protein and have a meaty texture.
* Tofu: Crumble your tofu to get that ground meat feel and make tofu chili in the Instant Pot.
* Tempeh: A chewier, slightly more tangy version of tofu – this will add great protein and texture to your this bean chili in the Instant Pot.
* Mushrooms Or Eggplant: When sauteed or roasted, these release their water and end up with a chewier, hearty mouthfeel, similar to meat.
* Beyond Meat: A great option that’s packed with protein, has minimal processed ingredients, is vegan friendly and tasty too!
* Bulgur Or Quinoa: Combine grains and beans for a super satisfying chili!
Instant Pot is an amazing tool for vegetarians. There are tons of dishes vegetarians can make in an Instant Pot, from soups to curries to pasta dishes and more! It also happens to be perfect for cooking vegetarian proteins, and for tasks like rehydrating dry beans.
Yes! Vegetarian chili is packed full of nutrients from a variety of vegetables. Plus, it’s a heart-healthy meal packed full of plant-based protein and fiber.
Our vegetarian Instant Pot chili is also really good for you. It’s low in calories, high in protein, and high in fiber so it’s guaranteed to keep you full and satisfied for a long time. It also happens to be rich in vitamins and minerals from the veggies and beans, high in antioxidants thanks to the onions and peppers, and low in unhealthy fats!
🍛 More Easy Instant Pot Recipes!
- Instant Pot Tomato Soup with Cumin
- Instant Pot Risotto
- Instant Pot Vegan Posole
- Instant Pot Chili Mac
- Instant Pot Applesauce
Love this plant based soup recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!
📋 Recipe Card
🎥 Watch How to Make It
The Best Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
- 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 tbsp chili powder use a heaping tbsp or add more to taste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper more or less to taste
- a couple splashes of soy sauce
- 1-2 tsp salt more or less to taste
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp regular paprika
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Add all of the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
- 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.
- Serve hot!