Instant Pot Vegan Chili (Slow Cooker + Stove Top Directions)

By Alexandra Caspero on November 20, 2020
Looking for a healthy, quick chili? Try this vegan and gluten-free lentil chili.
Serves 6

This high-protein instant pot vegan chili is made with lentils, jalapeños and fire-roasted tomatoes. Gluten-free with slow cooker + stove top directions.

Introducing my new weeknight favorite– Instant Pot lentil chili. I bought an instant pot a few months ago on an Amazon sale and I fell hard in love. I didn’t think I was going to go this ga-ga for an appliance but once I found the Instant Pot, I haven’t given a second look to my slow-cooker or rice-cooker. An appliance that makes meals in a fraction of the time? Sign me up.

Newborn life means that I’ve got very little time to do anything, let alone made dinner. I think this is the biggest surprise that I’ve found so far; I spend pretty much all day doing nothing, yet I don’t have time for anything.

Our babe is a super snuggly one and prefers being in his mama’s arms to just about anything else. It’s magical- except when I want to cook, eat or do anything but hold him. But, I know this time is so fleeting and the fourth trimester is almost through, so I’m holding him tight and making sure my husband knows his way around the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili in two bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need for this Chili Recipe:

Here’s what you’ll need to make this vegan lentil chili. 

  • Olive oil, for sautéing the onion and garlic 
  • Yellow or white onion 
  • Garlic cloves 
  • Carrots
  • Jalapeños, if you want a milder chili then omit the seeds all together or choose a mild pepper, like a bell pepper or red bell pepper. 
  • Spices, like chili powder, cumin, ground coriander, oregano and salt
  • Crushed tomatoes and fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • Brown or green lentils. My favorite are French green lentils for this as I find they hold their shape best. Red lentils will turn to soup and aren’t recommended in this chili recipe. 
  • Vegetable broth
  • Fresh lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish 

Cooking In The Instant Pot

To cook in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, start by pressing the sauté button. Heat the olive oil, then add the onion, garlic, carrots and jalapeños and cook until soft, taking care not to burn, about 5-6 minutes.

Add in the spices and all of the remaining ingredients: canned crushed tomatoes, canned fire roasted diced tomatoes, lentils and vegetable broth. Cover and turn the vent to seal. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes, then turn the pressure valve to open for a quick release of pressure. 

Stir in lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro. Taste, adjusting for flavor as desired, and serve.

Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili in a bowl

Cooking In A Slow Cooker

This recipe is pretty straight forward, and can be adapted for the slow cooker as well. I know not everyone is an Instant Pot convert like me, so I’ve included preparations for both.

To make in the slow-cooker, sauté the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and jalapeño and sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the spices and cook an additional minute. Transfer the entire mixture to the slow cooker along with remaining ingredients except for lime juice and cilantro and cook on high for 4 hours until lentils are tender. Right before serving, stir in the lime juice and cilantro. 

Vegetarian Chili Stove Top Directions

To cook on the stove, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and jalapeño and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. 

Stir in the spices and cook until just fragrant. Reduce heat to low and add in the canned crushed and diced tomatoes along with the lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are cooked through, about 25 minutes. 

Stir in the lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro right before finished and enjoy.

Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili for bowls

Recipe Notes

This Instant Pot Chili recipe is very adaptable, depending on how you like your vegan chili! For a spicier chili, add in cayenne pepper or more chili powder. 

If you like your chili to have more beans, then you can swap in some of the lentils for black beans, kidney beans or pinto beans. Because these beans have varying cooking time using dried beans, I’d recommend canned beans. 

What to top your chili with

My favorite thing about chili is enjoying all of the toppings! Crushed tortilla chips, diced avocado, sour cream (regular or dairy-free, depending on preference) and/or shredded cheese. 

We also love this chili served with whole-grain elbow noodles or brown rice. It’s also delicious served with my no-knead bread made in the Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili in an Instant Pot

How to Freeze and Store

To store, let the vegan chili cool completely then place in an airtight container. Place in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months. To serve, thaw overnight in the fridge then warm the chili in a saucepan or microwave until warmed through.  

More Instant Pot Recipes:

Lentil Soup
Instant Pot Quinoa Enchiladas
Vegan Burrito Bowls
Instant Pot Chai Applesauce

Thick, hearty and packed with plant-based protein. You’re going to love this Instant Pot vegan lentil chili. If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

Print
Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili

Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 19 minutes
  • Total Time: 44 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili! Looking for a healthy, quick chili? Try this vegan and gluten-free lentil chili, with directions for the slow-cooker.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 19 minutes
  • Total Time: 44 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 19 minutes
  • Total Time: 44 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 12 jalapeños, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/23/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups brown or green lentils (I used French green lentils for this, I find they hold their shape best)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil in the pot, then add the onion, garlic, carrots and jalapeños and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the spices and remaining ingredients except for lime juice and cilantro, then cover. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes, then quick-release.
  3. Stir in lime juice and cilantro, and serve.

Notes

To make in the slow-cooker, saute the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and jalapeno and saute until soft, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the spices and cook an additional minute. Transfer the entire mixture to the slow cooker along with remaining ingredients except for lime and cilantro and cook on high for 4 hours until lentils are tender. Stir in lime juice and cilantro and serve.

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

This recipe was first published in 2017 and updated in 2022. 

Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili! Looking for a healthy, quick chili? Try this vegan and gluten-free lentil chili. Made in the Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker for ease, with directions for the slow-cooker. | www.delishknowledge.com

 

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Corry
      October 24, 2019 AT 1:52 pm

      it’s cooking now. I used red lentils. Hope this looks ok. The IP has a bean/chili setting for 30 min. That would be too much??

      1. Alex
        October 24, 2019 AT 2:16 pm

        Hi Corey- red lentils will alter the dish slightly; they break down as opposed to brown or green lentils, so the chili will be more like a soup. Should still taste good! I think it’s too much, especially with red lentils. I would use 15 minutes.

    2. Christina
      April 29, 2019 AT 12:08 pm

      Is this very spicy?

      1. Alex
        April 30, 2019 AT 7:36 am

        Hi Christina, you can adjust the spice level as needed.

    3. Kricket
      February 25, 2019 AT 1:28 am

      I made this tonight for some vegan friends and it was a huge hit! I’ll be making it for myself at some point. Thanks!

      1. Alex
        February 25, 2019 AT 8:16 am

        So glad you liked it!

    4. tracy
      February 10, 2019 AT 7:07 am

      Really enjoyed this and will be making it again. I made a few tweaks, just based on what I had in and personal preference. I enjoy vegan dishes, but ended up adding a beef stock pot to it. Added a red bell pepper, just because I had one and it was an easy way to add more veg. I didn’t have any fire-roasted tomatoes, so added a dash of liquid smoke. In the end, my chili was quite thin, likely because I didn’t have dried lentils and had to use tinned. To thicken it up a bit, I added a tin of black beans, a tin of kidney beans, and a tin of haricot beans. Am listing all this here, as my partner really liked it and said she hopes I can remember how I made it. 🙂 Flavours were spot on, and the lime really added a nice touch. Will be making it again; thanks!

      1. Alex
        February 10, 2019 AT 6:14 pm

        So glad you liked it!

    5. Ali
      February 6, 2019 AT 1:58 pm

      Can I halve the recipe and it would still turn out? Cooking just for 1!

      1. Alex
        February 14, 2019 AT 6:13 am

        Hi Ali, I don’t know- I haven’t tried it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! If you try it, let me know. Though- this recipe does freezer very, very well!

    6. Rosemarie
      January 21, 2019 AT 1:01 pm

      What is the nutritional value for this dish? I’m mainly interested in the amount of carbs per serving.
      Many thanks!

      Rosie

      1. Alex
        January 27, 2019 AT 8:16 am

        Just updated the nutrition information; it’s 62g carbs, 12g fiber and 19g protein.

    7. Karen S
      December 10, 2018 AT 6:03 am

      I am not vegan, although I am trying to eat a more plant based diet and I do need vegan recipes for when my daughter comes to dinner. I love this one, easy to make, tastes great and freezes well.

      1. Alex
        December 10, 2018 AT 7:21 am

        So glad you liked it! Thanks Karen!

    8. SC
      November 20, 2018 AT 12:01 am

      Delish and was a great hearty meal for a cold night. Just a question is the 1.5 tbsp of chilli powder a typo? Because I used less than half of that and found it quite spicy.

      1. Alex
        November 24, 2018 AT 6:39 pm

        Hi SC- I like my chili with some heat, so I usually use between 1-2 tbsp. of chili powder; you can also adjust by adding less or more. Glad you liked it!

    9. Mike
      October 23, 2018 AT 2:30 pm

      Are the lentils you add to the IP dried or have you soaked them or from a can? Thanks

      1. Alex
        October 24, 2018 AT 6:57 am

        Hi Mike, they are dried and uncooked. Lentils you get from a can are already cooked.

        1. Alex
          October 24, 2018 AT 6:58 am

          The beauty of lentils is that they don’t require any soaking ahead of time! Just cook and go.

    10. susan
      August 30, 2018 AT 6:34 am

      Amazing! !!!!! Thank you for sharing. I make it every week now!