Instant Pot Vegan Chili (in Minutes!)

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There is nothing better to warm you up on a cold day than a big bowl of hearty chili, and it’s even better when it can be ready and on the table in minutes without any fuss in the kitchen. This Instant Pot Vegan Chili is easy to make and chock full of healthy wholesome ingredients.

2 white bowls filled with vegan with lime slices

Chili is such a comfort food with its warm spices, convenient can beans, and filling grain like bulgur, quinoa, or brown rice. It’s inexpensive to make and can feed a crowd.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot or would just rather allow it to cook while you’re at work, there’s even a Crockpot Chili recipe that’s perfect for a slow cook method.

overhead shot of instant pot full of chili

Ingredients in chili

One of the greatest things about vegetarian chili is that it’s so versatile. I’ve seen recipes add all kinds of different things like sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and even quinoa. These are the ingredients that are most common and that are always in my pot.

  • Beans- Use just one kind of bean or a blend of different types which is what I like to do. Some of my favorites are red kidney beans, black beans, and white cannellini beans.
  • Onion & Garlic- Always a must to get that amazing flavor.
  • Tomatoes- Fresh tomatoes can be used or canned. One thing I do to add even more flavor is to use fire roasted tomatoes and their juice.
  • Vegetable Broth- Some people might use water for the liquid, but I much prefer vegetable broth for the flavor. Low-sodium is best and, if you want to make your own from vegetable scraps, it’s great too.
  • Ketchup- Some folks might want to use tomato sauce instead, but ketchup adds more flavor in my opinion, and you can even make your own homemade ketchup if you like.
  • Grain- Adding a grain helps bulk up vegan chili to keep it filling without any meat. I love to use wheat bulgur because it has a crumbly texture that mimicks ground beef, and it soaks up all the warm spices. Other options to make this chili gluten-free are buckwheat groats that also has a nice crumbly texture, brown rice, or quinoa.
  • Spices- My favorite spices to use are chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder and season salt.

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

This meatless chili recipe is so healthy and good for you with its powerhouse of wholesome ingredients like beans, grains, and vegetables!

big bowl of chili beans on white background

How to make Vegan Instant Pot Chili

For this recipe, you will need to begin with completely cooked beans which you can make yourself or use can beans. Personally, I use can beans so that I have a variety of different kinds of beans and just keep it simple with precooked beans.

If using canned beans, remember to drain the liquid and rinse them to remove most of the preservatives and salt. To do this, I dump them into a colander and rinse them.

mixed beans in white colander

Dice up the onion and garlic and add them to your Instant Pot. Press the SAUTE button and allow them to begin cooking in the dry pan. Watch closely, and when they begin to turn a little brown, add 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable broth and stir to let them caramelize a little bit.

Add the cooked beans and all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the fire-roasted tomatoes. Stir everything together well. Next, spread the fire-roasted tomatoes across the top of the mixture but DO NOT STIR. This is because tomato-based products that touch the bottom of the Instant Pot cause them to burn.

instant pot filled with beans, tomatoes, bulgur, ketchup, spices

Place the lid on your Instant Pot, lock it down, and turn the vent to SEAL. Set to MANUAL and allow the chili to cook for 6 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and then the timer will begin to count down the cooking time.

When the timer beeps once the cooking has stopped, do a quick release of the vent. You may want to use a spoon or dish towel to do this if there is much steam coming out.

Remove the lid and serve. Some great topping options are my  Tofu Sour Cream and fresh chives or jalapenos.

If you’re looking for more IP recipes, take a look at these 25 BEST Vegan Instant Pot Recipes.

vegan instant pot full of chili with wooden spoon scooping

What to serve with chili

bowl of vegan chili on wooden table with wood spoon

Tips, variations, and substitutions

  • To make this recipe gluten-free, simply replace the bulgur wheat with another grain such as buckwheat groats, brown rice, quinoa, or another GF variety.
  • Tomato sauce can be used in place of the ketchup if desired.
  • Use 4.5 cups of any single type of bean or use a variety like I do.
  • Great bean options include kidney beans (red, dark red, white, etc), black beans, pintos, navy beans, northern beans, and others.
2 white bowls filled with meatless chili with lime slices

More vegan chili recipes

I love chili so much that there are variations of it on my website and include a Vegan Chili Category so you might want to check some of them out.

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

If you try this recipe, please let us know how you like it by rating it and leaving a comment. We love to hear from you!

overhead shot of instant pot full of chili
4.73 from 11 votes

Instant Pot Vegan Chili

There is nothing better to warm you up on a cold day than a big bowl of hearty chili, and it’s even better when it can be ready and on the table in minutes without any fuss in the kitchen. This Instant Pot Vegan Chili is easy to make and chock full of healthy wholesome ingredients.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Total: 16 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes, with juice
  • 3/4 cups bulgur wheat uncooked dry
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth low sodium
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worchester sauce without anchovies
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon season salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional for spice

Instructions

  • For this recipe, you will need to begin with completely cooked beans which you can make yourself or use canned beans. Personally, I use can beans so that I can have a variety of different kinds of beans and just keep it simple.
  • If using canned beans, remember to drain the liquid and rinse them to remove most of the preservatives and salt. To do this, I dump them into a colander and rinse them.
  • Dice the onion and garlic and add them to your Instant Pot. Press the SAUTE button and allow them to begin cooking in the dry pan. Watch closely, and when they start to turn a little brown, add 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable broth and stir to let them caramelize a little bit.
  • Add the cooked beans and all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the fire roasted tomatoes. Stir everything together well.
  • Next, spread the fire-roasted tomatoes across the top of the mixture but DO NOT STIR. This is because tomato-based products that touch the bottom of the Instant Pot cause them to burn.
  • Place the lid on your Instant Pot, lock it down, and turn the vent to SEAL. Set to MANUAL and allow the chili to cook for 6 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and then the timer will begin to count down the cooking time.
  • When the timer beeps once the cooking has stopped, do a quick release of the vent. You may want to use a spoon or dish towel to do this if there is much steam coming out.
  • Remove the lid and serve. Some great topping options are my  Tofu Sour Cream and fresh chives or jalapenos.
  • If you’re looking for more recipes, take a look at these 25 BEST Vegan Instant Pot Recipes.

Video

Notes

Pro Tips & Suggestions:
  1. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, no problem! Try my Crockpot Chili instead which is basically the same recipe.
  2. To make this recipe gluten-free, simply replace the bulgur wheat with another grain such as buckwheat groats, brown rice, quinoa, or other GF varieties.
  3. Tomato sauce can be used in place of the ketchup if desired.
  4. Use 4.5 cups of any single type of bean or use a variety as I do.
  5. Great bean options include kidney beans (red, dark red, white, etc), black beans, pintos, navy beans, northern beans, and others.
What to serve with chili
  1. Country Cornbread
  2. Crusty bread like sourdough
  3. Homemade Tortilla Chips
  4. Vegan Cheese
  5. Fresh cilantro
  6. Lime wedges

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 25g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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15 Comments

  1. Just made! Don’t have instant pot, I made it on stovetop. I used half brown rice and half quinoa instead of bulgur. Made a big pot, going to freeze some to have for fast lunches. Another winner!

  2. I made this today and it was delicious but I ended up doing it on the stove top as the Instapot kept saying BURN. I tried 3 times with the same result. Did anyone else have this problem? And how can I stop this from happening? Thx

    1. @Laraine Chen, Hi, Laraine. I’ve learned to add any tomato-based products last–spread across the top and DO NOT STIR. In step #4, add the fire-roasted tomatoes last. Go ahead and add “all of the other ingredients” and stir everything well. THEN skim the fire-roasted tomatoes on top, but DO NOT STIR. You may stir to your heart’s content when you remove the lid in #7. 😊

    2. @Trevor Marconi, This is an amazing tip. The first 3 times I made it, I got the burn alert. I followed your tip and no more burn alert. Thank you!!

  3. Love, love, love this recipe! It’s my go to chili, so simple to make and so delicious. It took me a while to find a recipe without lentils. Nothing wrong with lentils, but that seems to be everyone’s go to. I very much prefer the bulgur.

  4. Made this today and it is delicious. Terri, thanks so much for sharing your recipes. Every dish from a recipe of yours that I’m made has been so good. So thankful to find your site. Fondly, Dolores Jones

  5. Good and easy, however I found it a bit too salty. I will leave out the extra salt if I make it again. I am sure there is plenty of salt in the canned beans, the tomatoes, the ketchup and the Worcestershire sauce.

  6. Quick, easy, and delicious. I did find it was too sweet for me but I will just eliminate the maple syrup next time. Will definitely be making it a lot this winter!

  7. Delicious chili recipe! The addition of bulgar wheat gives that crumbled meat sensation and adds to a plethora of wonderful tastes.
    I have one little issue, I have made it three times and each time my instant pot sets off the burning alarm. When I open it up, the bulgar wheat is burnt to the bottom. It still has a wonderful taste to it but I am not sure what can be done to prevent the burning.
    I continue to make it though, all worth it!

    1. Hi Debby- I am so glad that you loved the recipe! Evedientally, adding tomato-based products to an Instant Pot can sometimes cause the burning you mentioned. To resolve the issue, mix all of the ingrients EXCEPT the fire-roasted tomatoes (STEP #4). Next, spread the fire-roasted tomatoes across the top of the mixture but DO NOT STIR. I have added this as STEP #5 to help. Thanks for your great feedback!

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