Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

It’s one of my favorite unofficial days of the year: the first chili recipe! This Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili made with canned beans, sweet potato, quinoa, and a rainbow of southwest spices is more than deserving of this year’s #1 spot. It’s rich and hearty, strikes an ideal balance between spicy and sweet, and, thanks to the Instant Pot, cooks in minutes instead of hours.

Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili with Black Beans, Quinoa, and Sweet Potatoes. Easy, healthy, and filling with the perfect blend of spice. This is the BEST veggie chili recipe! Thick, not too spicy, hearty, and the pressure cooker makes the prep simple!

If a single recipe concept could be extended to an entire food group, chili would have my top vote. With all of its delicious potential and recipe variations, from Crock Pot White Chicken Chili to Healthy Turkey Chili to Paleo Chili (another Instant Pot chili recipe), it’s a meal I never grow tired of creating or eating.

Chili can feed a crowd if you need it to and tastes fabulous leftover if you don’t, and it’s also perfectly poised to serve as a vehicle for a) your daily serving of veg and b) TOPPINGS.

Although this is a recipe for Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili, it is plenty hearty enough to stand on its own as a full meal. Depending upon your topping selections, this is actually an easy vegan chili (just leave off the dairy), BUT its robust blend of spices and rich, thick texture will satisfy the more carnivorous members of your family too.

Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili. Packed with black beans, kidney beans, quinoa, and sweet potato.

The base of this vegan chili recipe is one of my personal favorite chili recipes of all time and the one I made most often, my Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili. Like that original chili recipe, its complex, cooked-all-day flavor hails from one of my secret spice weapons, chipotle chili powder. Chipotle gives the Instant Pot Veggie Chili a touch of smokiness, and this spice in particular is a dream pairing with the natural sugars in the sweet potatoes.

In addition to the black beans and quinoa present in my original slow cooker chili, I also added red beans. They add an extra layer of texture and additional protein and fiber, and they ensure that even though this chili is vegetarian, it’s just as satisfying as its meat counterparts.Easy Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili made in just one pot for a delicious dinner.

Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili—An All in One Healthy Meal

As I discovered when I first made Instant Pot Chili (<—this recipe is an excellent option if you are looking for easy Instant Pot chili recipe with veggies but absolutely must have meat too), an added benefit of making chili in the Instant Pot or a similar electric pressure cooker is the fact that thanks to the sauté function, 100% of the recipe comes together in one pot. You don’t need cook any of the aromatics or even the quinoa separately.

(This is the Instant Pot I own, by the way. I’ve had it for more than a year now and love it more each time I use it. It’s also been on sale recently, so if you are on the fence, that’s a great reason to go for it! Easy Instant Pot chili is also another great reason, just sayin’. 😉 I even have 15 Healthy Instant Pot Recipes to get you inspired!)

To make the best veggie chili in the Instant Pot, start by sautéing the onions, spices, and sweet potatoes. Add the liquid. Set it. Walk away.

This is prime time to tidy the kitchen and pour yourself some wine, but don’t wander far.  After just 8 minutes of pressure cooking, your quinoa will be perfectly cooked, the sweet potatoes tender, and the Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili ready for its finishing touches.

Or in my case, its finishing smothering. Greek yogurt, avocado, chips, cheese, cilantro! When it comes to chili toppings, I will take them all, please and thank you.

Healthy Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili. Hearty, filling, and delicious!

Happy Chili Season!

Recommended Tools to Make Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili with Black Beans, Quinoa, and Sweet Potatoes. Easy, healthy, and filling with the perfect blend of spice. This is the BEST veggie chili recipe! Thick, not too spicy, hearty, and the pressure cooker makes the prep simple!
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Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili with Black Beans, Quinoa, and Sweet Potatoes. Easy, healthy, and filling with the perfect blend of spices. BEST veggie chili!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion — 1/4-inch diced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes — peeled and 1/2-inch diced (about 4 generous cups)
  • 2 medium red bell peppers — 3/4-inch diced
  • 4 cloves garlic — minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (8-ounce) can low-sodium or no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium dark or light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

For serving:

  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Shredded cheese
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

Instructions

  1. To a 6-quart or large Instant Pot, add the olive oil. Turn to SAUTE and let the oil heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, and kosher salt. Cook for 1 to 2 additional minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.

  2. Add half of the vegetable broth and stir, scraping up any stuck-on bits of food (this will prevent a burn warning). Stir in the remaining broth and the quinoa. Pour the tomato sauce on top (do not stir again).

  3. Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on manual (HIGH) pressure for 8 minutes. Immediately release the pressure. Carefully open the Instant Pot.
  4. Turn the Instant Pot to OFF. Stir in the black beans, kidney beans, and sugar. Place the lid back on top and let stand 10 minutes to thicken. Uncover. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve hot, with any and all the toppings!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Instant Pot Chili, Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili, Vegetarian Chili

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 6)) — Calories: 301, Fat: 4g, Carbohydrates: 57g, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 10g, Protein: 12g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

110 comments

  1. This looks gorgeous – proper cosy Autumn food too!

  2. We love chili and I like the fact that it’s such an adaptable recipe – you can put almost anything you like into it. To me it’s “the burrito of soups” – you can add anything! While I don’t have an Instant Pot, this still sounds like a recipe I could easily make on the stove. Hope you’re managing to get your new house put together. It can seem so daunting – we moved here 8 years ago and we doubled the size. Fortunately we have tons of storage space but still purging before making the move was helpful. Just had to be brutal and never look back! Anyway, Teddy certainly looks happy – such a cutie he is.

  3. This chili is literally a fiesta in a bowl!

  4. This is SUCH a great recipe addition for my Instant Pot! Love it! Thanks so much. :)

  5. We didn’t miss the meat at all, yum!

  6. This vegetarian chili looks so hearty and delicious! Love that it’s made in the Instant Pot! Makes for a quick and easy dinner!

  7. This looks great and will be good for a weeknight dinner. Thanks for sharing

  8. Heather S Christo Reply

    I love this- I need to pull out my slow cooker and start using it- the season is definitely here for chili!

  9. Such a perfect cold weather meal! I LOVE Chili!

  10. This chili is epic, and I love how healthy it is too. Thanks!

  11. I can’t wait to warm up tonight with a bowl of this!

  12. This post shows 17 comments but for some reason, they’re not visible. Hope it’s not just my computer again. I have been getting posts, thankfully.

    • Hi Chris, I’m not sure what the issue might be if you’re not seeing the comments! I’m glad to hear you’re once again getting posts.

  13. A new favorite for fall nights! Really delish!

  14. I agree chili should be a food group!

  15. Can a slow cooker replace the instant pot for this recipe?

  16. Made this for dinner tonight. Quick, easy, and DELICIOUS! My husband thought I spent all day cooking the chili because the flavor was so developed. Great recipe, as always! 

  17. do you think I could half recipe?

  18. Darlene Worthington Reply

    Erin, I am a Instapot Newbie, am gingerly tiptoeing my way. I bought your instapot too, but when you say cook on HIGH, that instapot control panel really doesn’t have a lo/hi setting. What would you suggest I do? Thanks!

    • Darlene, if you select “pressure cook” there should be a separate “+” button elsewhere on the machine that indicates high. That’s what you want to use. I hope that helps and you can always reference the manual too!

  19. I’ve been looking for gluten free recipes for the Instant Pot. I can’t wait to give this chili a try. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I made it once on the stove-top and loved it. While I love it as is, I am trying to turn some meat loving chili freaks into vegetarians and want to add even more flavor. So, what do you think about adding a can of beer?
    This is an adaption from your Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili, which includes beer. Is there any reason you didn’t bring it to the veggie version? I would very much appreciate your advice.

  21. If I wanted to double this (or even 1.5x it), would the ratios/ proportions all stay the same? I’m cooking for a crowd!

    • Hi Elizabeth, I haven’t tried doubling this, but I think it could work provided your Instant Pot is big enough. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes.

  22. I made this last night and reviewed on Yummly. EXCELLENT recipe. I wouldn’t change a single thing. I agree that the smoked chipotle powder kicks it up a notch. This is my first time making one of your recipes but if they’re all this good, I’m in!! Which of your recipes should I make next?

  23. What if I don’t have chipotle chili spice available to me,  can I double the chili pepper spice?

    • Hi David, I would increase the chili powder a little bit and then adjust to your taste. Smoked paprika could also be a nice addition! I hope you enjoy!

  24. Tried it this evening. Good news: the flavor is excellent!

    Bad news: Had to clean the pot twice because it kept scorching and the pot wouldn’t come to pressure. Ultimately decided to finish the chili with the saute function. Not sure why the pot wouldn’t come to pressure and/or why it kept scorching (read online that scorching can keep pot from coming to pressure). I kept the total amount of liquid the same, but used half beer and half broth. If you’ve got any ideas, I would love to hear them.

    FYI I ordered some new seal rings this evening (it’s been 12+ months since I’ve replaced mine so this could be why the pot wasn’t coming to pressure). Just to be on the safe side.

    Either way, thank you for posting this. Because the flavor is so good, I will def try it again and see if it works out.

    • Hi Jill, stuck on bits at the bottom usually do affect the pot coming to pressure. Unfortunately I don’t have any further insights, but I’m glad to hear you still enjoyed the chili! Good luck next time!

  25. Hi! Is 1 service 1 cup or 2 cups? Thanks!

    • Hi Isabella, one serving is one-sixth of the recipe. Unfortunately I don’t have an exact volume measure. I hope you enjoy the chili!

  26. This was fabulous. My vegetarian son loved it, as did the omnivores. It was a bit spicy for my heat averse mother-in-law, but she still proclaimed it delicious. 
    My son loved the addition of the sweet potatoes. He said it added a neat texture and a more complex flavor profile. The quinoa gave the chili a nice meatiness.
    Thank you for this recipe. I’ll be making it again and again.

  27. Made exactly as indicated in the recipe. It was delicious, and I will make again.

  28. Excellent!  It was my first recipe in my new instant pot!  I threw in some Ancho chili. Thank you!

  29. I made this today for the staff at my workplace. It took 10 minutes to cut up all of the veggies in advance. I couldn’t find chilli powder so I used a taco mix. I doubled the recipe so it took 15 min to seal and I added 2 min to the time for cooking. I added 2 cans each of beans and a bag of frozen roasted corn from TJs. I ran out of time so I served it right away with with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream. It was so well received! Thank you!!

  30. I need all the help I can get in the kitchen. I am single man that is in nursing school. 
    Thanks for a great recipe and help with how to use my instant pot. Your directions were so easy. 

  31. After the first 8 minutes should the potato’s still be hard? I’m still new to using the instapot? 

    • Hi Taylor, the sweet potatoes should be soft and cooked after the 8 minutes of pressure. If they’re still hard, they may be larger pieces than the ones I used and need extra time. I hope you enjoy the chili!

  32. I followed it exactly. I would not characterize this as a veggie chili, (with the exception of chili powder, and cumin in it along with onions).

    It’s more of a veggie stew, than a chili. Just look at the lack of tomatoes.

    Probably won’t make it again, although tastes good, and is healthy.
    I prefer “chili” to be chili whether veggie or not (and I usually make veggie chili), and I have many other veggie stew recipes.

    • Hi Steve, thanks for reviewing the recipe. I’m glad you enjoyed the taste, no matter what you decide to call the chili!

  33. Jan 2 and I’m beginning my “lower your cholesterol challenge!” This recipe looks perfect and our new instapot is already a hit. Love quinoa but reading about using barley as a better grain for my goals. How do you think that would work as a sub? Thx

    • Hi Elizabeth! I’ve only tested the recipe with quinoa. Barley has a different liquid ratio and cook time than quinoa, so you’d need to experiment with adjustments. I hope you enjoy the chili!

  34. This was EXCELLENT! I subbed the chipotle chili powder for 1/2 tsp of paprika and 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper. I also used 100% dark grade maple syrup as a sub for the granulated sugar.

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

  35. Amazing. I threw in everything in the fridge. Some spinach, butternut squash, chia, flax. And I got some whole wheat naan to eat with it. This will be my staple chilli recipe!

  36. I have the instant pot mini. Do I need to half the recipe? 

  37. I was sceptical of a sweet potato chili, but I’m now a convert. Excellent taste and the meat eaters in my house wanted more!

  38. I really enjoyed this. I didn’t have the chipotle chili powder so I just left it out. I combined orange and red peppers and subbed out the kidney beans for chickpeas as I don’t like kidney beans. I put it on a baked potato for supper and topped it with cheese and corn. Overall it was quite filling. I’ll probably make this again. Nice recipe and true to the times as well.
    Thanks!
    Greg

  39. This was so good! Served with crescent rolls on the side ☺️

  40. This is the first recipe I’ve made in my brand new Instant Pot, and I can already tell it’ll be a staple! It’s absolutely delicious, and that chipotle chili powder has a great flavor!

    Here’s what I added or subbed:
    Carrots
    Celery
    Frozen corn
    2 15 oz cans of tri-bean blend instead of black & kidney. The tri-bean blends have red kidney, black, and pinto beans. I love a variety.
    2 15 oz cans of (roasted) diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce

    And it turned out amazing! I love a ton of veggies and crunchy stuff in my chili, and I can’t believe that everything got cooked perfectly while retaining a bit of crunch. Instant Pots are amazing, but this recipe is even more so! I will definitely make it again!

  41. How much onion in the chilli recipe? Thx

  42. Haha! Thanks Erin. Great recipe! I was busy converting the cups to grams, I’m in the UK and read yellow onion as yellow pepper! Another slight difference yellow onion is a white onion in UK – I guess?!

    Thanks for sharing. R xx

  43. Wow! All 3 of my meat eating friends loved this. Thanks for sharing

  44. This was delicious. I put in 1.5x the amount of sweet potatoes and added 2 minutes to the cooking time to compensate and it came out perfect.

  45. Hi Erin. Thank you for this marvelous recipe! Do you have any suggestions for substitutes for the quinoa please, eg Jasmine rice, steel cut oats or other suggestions?  I would like to try your recipe but I am missing the quinoa. Thanks much! 

    • Hi Lois, you could try leaving the quinoa out and reducing the liquid. The chili won’t be as thick, but it’ll still be delicious!

  46. Ok, I will try this. Thank you! 

  47. Oh man, absolutely amazing!!! This was my first time cooking chilli! 

    Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!

  48. I followed this recipe as closely as I was able. I’m terrible at that because I’m a creative cook myself but I managed pretty darn close. I did sub a couple canned chipotles in adobo for the chipotle chilli powder. My 4 kids ages 5-13 declared it deliscious and I’d definitely eat it again. We served as suggested with a little grated cheese and cilantro and a small handful of tortilla chips per bowl and had enough for a modest serving for dinner as well as hearty lunches for all without doubling the recipe. 

  49. Looking forward to trying this for the Super Bowl! One question, and this may show my ignorance of basic cooking, but why does everything need to be low-sodium? thank you!

    • Great question, Christie! I like to use low sodium so I can better control the final saltiness in the recipe. If you already have products that aren’t low sodium, you could probably use them and cut back on the kosher salt called for in the recipe. That way you can taste at the end and add more salt if needed rather than end up with a too-salty chili. I hope that helps!

  50. Hi,
    Recipe looks great, can I use dried black beans instead of a can? Should I soak them first (if so for how long) or add more liquid?
    Thanks

    • Hi Natalie, I have not tried the recipe using dried beans, but I would guess that more liquid would be needed. As I haven’t tested it that way, I’m afraid I don’t have any specific recommendations to give. The chili would also need more time to cook if using dried beans, and I fear that the veggies in the chili would turn to mush if cooked longer.

  51. May just be the best vegan chili I have ever had. I doubled the recipe but discovered, after I put all the potatoes and peppers in, that my pot would not accept that much/ so did it in 2 batches – adding about a quarter cup more of quinoa in the second batch.  It’s an amazing recipe and for those of you who might balk at the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, I recommend adding a ‘hot’ element to it. 

    Wait? Did I really get across to you how delicious this is?!?!?

  52. I have a three quart insta pot and should have cut the recipe in half. I did not – it barely fit, but came out excellent. For the leftovers plan on dicing up and tossing in some Field Roast veggie dogs.

  53. I love this recipe! I made it for a Super Bowl party and it was such a hit! The flavors were so developed. Definitely will be making this recipe again! 

  54. Can this be done with dried beans? How would that affect liquid and cook time?

  55. Can I substitute water for the broth? If so, any other modifications? Thanks 

    • Heidi, broth has much more flavor than water. You’ll want to taste the chili and season it as needed (a pinch of extra salt will be a good idea for sure!)

  56. Literally eating this right now. Delicious!!! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Topped with shredded cheddar, sour cream, cilantro, avocado slices, and diced tomato. Wouldn’t change anything.

  57. This was really good. Next time I would saute the peppers with the onions though as they were still a little crunchy. Everyone loved it. Great flavor.

  58. How would you change the recipe or cook times if you want to use dry beans that have soaked overnight?

    • Hi Donna! The timing and liquid level would probably differ since this recipe uses cooked beans and not uncooked. The veggies would likely get overcooked in the longer time it would take. I have not attempted the recipe with dried beans, so I’m afraid I don’t have any further specifics to recommend. If you decide to experiment with the recipe, I’d love to hear how it goes.

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