Delicious, hearty, smoky vegetarian chili made from scratch in your Instant Pot with minimal effort! Vegan if you exclude the optional toppings.
As soon as the outside temperature dips below 60 degrees F, I start craving this chili recipe. It’s based on a recipe published in Slate a few years ago. I’ve tweaked the ingredients over the years and finally perfected the Instant Pot method. While it’s not difficult to make on the stove, it’s so darn simple in the Instant Pot that we can eat it all winter long with little effort! Even better is that this chili freezes beautifully (you may need to make extra if you want enough to freeze though… it never lasts long in my household).
What is an Instant Pot?
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An Instant Pot is a brand name of multi-use, programmable electric pressure cookers. The Instant Pot brand offers several different sizes and there are a number of other brands on the market as well with similar features.
I have the Instant Pot Duo 6qt, so all of my instructions are based on that one. All of the pressure cookers brands and models are pretty similar; they just name things a bit differently, so refer to your manual if I reference a button that you don’t have on yours – or leave a comment in the notes and I’ll try to help you out!
How to Make Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
First, put the stainless steel pot in your Instant Pot. Then prep all of your ingredients! Roughly chop the onions. Add them to the pot. Trim off the tough stems from the shiitake mushrooms and thinly slice them. Add them to the pot.
Then chop up some canned chipotle peppers. These peppers add spice and smokiness to the final dish – use fewer if your family prefers a more mild chili. Add the chopped peppers to the Instant Pot.
Add the dried black beans and corn to the pot. Then chop or crumble the tempeh by hand and add it to the Instant Pot (skip this if you’re not using tempeh). Pour in the vegetable broth. Then add both cans of tomatoes. Do not stir.
Add the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano. Then put on the Instant Pot lid, close the pressure release valve and press “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” until it’s on “High” and press the “Pressure Level” button until it’s on “Normal” (see note). Press the +/- button until it says “00:30”. The Instant Pot will say “On” for quite a while until it comes up to pressure, then will start counting down.
When the Instant Pot is done, allow it to naturally release by just leaving it alone for 20 minutes until it says “L00:20”. Then open the pressure release valve, steering clear of the steam.
When the pressure has released and the float valve has dropped, open the lid. Add the salt, stir, and taste. Garnish with cheddar, jalapenos, sour cream, lime wedges, or whatever you like in chili!
If you try this recipe for Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili leave a comment and a review below and let me know what you think!
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
- 2 medium yellow or red onions
- 3 to 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 2 to 4 canned chipotle peppers (see note 1)
- 1 1/3 cups dried black beans
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 8 oz tempeh (optional, see note 2)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (I used Better than Bouillon vegetable broth)
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 to 3 teaspoons salt (to taste)
- Grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and lime wedges for serving (optional, use dairy-free versions to make this vegan)
- Place the stainless steel pot inside the Instant Pot. Start by roughly chopping up the onions. Add to the Instant Pot. Trim the tough stems off of the shiitake mushrooms and thinly slice them. Add them to the Instant Pot.
- Chop up some canned chipotle peppers. Add them to the Instant Pot.
- Then add the dried black beans and corn to the Instant Pot.
- Chop or crumble the tempeh and add it to the Instant Pot (skip this step if not using tempeh).
- Pour in the vegetable broth. The add both cans of tomatoes. Do not stir.
- Add the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano.
- Then put on the Instant Pot lid, close the pressure release valve and press "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" until it’s on "High" and press the "Pressure Level" button until it’s on "Normal" (see note 3). Press the +/- button until it says "00:30". The Instant Pot will say "On" for quite a while until it comes up to pressure, then will start counting down.
- When the Instant Pot is done, allow it to naturally release by just leaving it alone for 20 minutes until it says "L00:20". Then open the pressure release valve, steering clear of the steam.
- When the pressure has released and the float valve has dropped, open the lid. Add the salt, stir, and taste. Garnish with cheddar, sour cream, jalapeno slices, lime wedges, or whatever you like in chili! If freezing, see note 4.
- These chipotle peppers add some spice and smokiness to the final dish. Use fewer if your family does not like heat/spice. Add them to the Instant Pot.
- The tempeh adds additional texture and protein to the chili. We love it in, but have made it many times without the tempeh and it’s still delicious!
- Some Instant Pots don’t have a “Low” and “High” pressure setting. These ones default to “High”, so you don’t need to worry about setting the level of the pressure.
- This chili freezes well. Just thaw in your fridge and heat over the stove, in the microwave, or on “Saute” mode in your Instant Pot.