Nourishing Instant Pot Vegan Chili
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Instant Pot Vegan Chili is an easy, one-pot meal that your entire family will love. Made with sweet potatoes, black beans, quinoa and colourful vegetables, this chili is ideal for meal prep!
I’ve been making a stove-top version of sweet potato and black bean chili for years, but I knew I could make it even easier and hands off by using my Instant Pot. So here we have this Instant Pot Vegan Chili! And true to my style, I’ve added a bunch of vegetables.
This recipe is full of nourishing ingredients. Some highlights:
-Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of nutrients, particularly vitamins A and C.
-Black beans are a source of dietary fibre, protein and folate.
-Quinoa is a plant-based source of complete protein and provides other important vitamins and minerals.
This vegan chili is a truly delicious and easy meal. It’s a bonus that it’s so healthy!
Here’s what you’ll need to make it. See the recipe card below for exact quantities and detailed instructions!
- Olive oil – for sautéing
- Red onion – for flavour
- Garlic – because it makes everything taste better
- Bell pepper – one of the sweeter varieties: red, yellow, orange
- Jalapeño – I like to add this for a bit of heat and colour, but you can skip it!
- Vegetable broth
- Spices – chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper (optional)
- Kosher salt
- Sweet potato – 1/2-inch dice, about 2 medium sweet potatoes
- Quinoa – I like a really hearty chili, so I use 2/3 cup. If you prefer a higher liquid ratio, you can use just a 1/2 cup.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes – or regular diced tomatoes, if that’s what you have
- Tomato paste – added to boost the tomato flavour
- Black beans – cooked. I use a canned variety, drained and rinsed.
- Frozen corn – or canned sweet corn, drained and rinsed
Sauté for flavour.
Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot and heat the olive oil. Add the diced red onion and sauté until starting to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add the bell pepper and jalapeño and cook for another minute.
Pour a bit of the broth into the insert and use a flat-bottomed spatula to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom. This will help prevent a burn warning. I don’t find that too much gets stuck with this recipe, but I always double check.
Layer in the ingredients.
Pour in the remaining broth, sprinkle in the spices and salt, then add the sweet potato and quinoa. Push the quinoa into the broth until just submerged.
Add the fire-roasted tomatoes and tomato paste on top and do not stir. If tomato-based ingredients touch the bottom of the insert, they can cause a burn warning.
Close the lid and sent the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 8 minutes. It will take 15-20 minutes to come to pressure.
At the end of cooking time, quick release the pressure. If you notice any splatter, do a “controlled quick release” where you let out a bit of pressure at a time.
Add the beans and corn.
Stir in the beans and corn, then set the lid askew on the pot to warm them and let the chili thicken a bit. Serve with your favourite garnishes.
Tips for Success
Do not stir. To prevent a burn warning, I don’t stir the ingredients as I’m adding them. This is especially important for the tomato-based ingredients. Simply make sure the sweet potato and quinoa are in the broth in an even layer and place the tomatoes on top.
Cut the sweet potato fairly small. The cooked texture is really nice with 1/2-inch dice. The pieces hold their shape, but are fork tender. Any larger and you might end up with some hard pieces.
Let it rest the full 10 minutes. This gives the quinoa a softer, fluffier texture and allows the flavours to develop a bit more.
How to reheat it
If you made this for meal prep, you can reheat it for a few minutes in a microwave. Be sure to stir at least once partway through reheating to avoid cold spots.
On the stove top, heat the chili in a sauce pan over medium heat. You may want to add some extra broth to increase the amount of liquid, because the quinoa will continue to absorb liquid while it’s stored in the refrigerator. Bring it to a boil to ensure it’s thoroughly heated.
Whatever method you choose, be sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165 °F for food safety reasons.
More Instant Pot recipes
- Hearty Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
- Instant Pot Lemon Asparagus Risotto
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (3 ways!)
- Instant Pot Black Bean Soup
Instant Pot Vegan Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced (red, orange or yellow)
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt (plus more to taste after cooking)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, small dice (about 4 cups)
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed (or canned sweet corn, drained and rinsed)
- avocado or guacamole
- sliced jalapeño
- lime wedges
- corn chips
- sliced green onion
- Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil then add the onion and sauté until starting to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue to sauté for 30 seconds, then add the bell pepper and jalapeño and sauté another minute. Turn off the Sauté function.
- Pour in a bit of broth and use a flat-bottomed spatula to deglaze the bottom of the insert, if necessary (scrape up any bits of food stuck to the bottom, this will prevent a burn warning). Pour in the rest of the broth.
- Sprinkle in the chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Add the diced sweet potato and quinoa. Push the quinoa into the broth until just submerged.
- Layer the diced tomatoes and tomato paste on top and do not stir.
- Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 8 minutes. It will take 15-20 minutes to come to pressure.
- At the end of cooking time, quick release the pressure, then stir in the black beans and corn. Set the lid askew on the pot and let it sit for 10 minutes for the chili to thicken and to warm up the beans and corn.
- Season with additional salt to taste and serve with your favourite garnishes. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in sealed containers and eat within 4 days. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure + release pressure, and for the chili to rest after adding the beans and corn.
- This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models.
Recipe inspired by Milk Free Mom.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a review below!
I’d love to hear from you!
Hey, I’m Laura!
Creator of The Recipe Well
If you’re looking for easy meals and Instant Pot recipes, you’re in the right place! I use my nutrition degree to create simple, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.
It’s become our favorite chili!!!
I love this recipe, I have made it several times and always come back to it! Just wondering what is the approximate serving size for the calories listed in the nutrition estimate section? Thank you!
Hey there, so glad you enjoy the chili! It makes 6 generous bowls (I don’t weigh or measure the yield of my recipes). The nutrition estimate reflects all ingredients divided by 6.
Loved this recipe. Any idea if it would freeze well? I’m thinking about making this as a freezer meals for a new mom .
Hi Mary, yes this recipe freezes well for up to 3 months (I’ve done this many times!). To thaw, put it in the refrigerator overnight. I like to reheat on the stovetop with a splash more broth so it doesn’t dry out. So glad you enjoyed the chili!
Just made this for meal prepping my lunches for the week. It is excellent and will be joining my rotation of meals.
So happy to hear you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for leaving a review!