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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy Chili Season!
Recommended Tools to Make Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
- 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
- Sliced avocado
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Shredded cheese
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
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.
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).
Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on manual (HIGH) pressure for 8 minutes. Immediately release the pressure. Carefully open the Instant Pot.
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!
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 6)) — Calories: 301, Fat: 4g, Carbohydrates: 57g, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 10g, Protein: 12g
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