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Nourishing Instant Pot Vegan Chili

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!

vegan chili in a white bowl garnished with sliced jalapeno and lime surrounded by more garnish and corn chips

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.

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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!

Ingredients

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

Step-by-Step Instructions

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.

sautéed red onion, yellow bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic in an Instant Pot

Deglaze.

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.

uncooked ingredients for vegan chili in an Instant Pot

Pressure cook.

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.

cooked vegan chili in an Instant Pot before adding the corn and black beans

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.

corn and black beans being added to vegan chili in an Instant Pot

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.

vegan chili being stirred with a wooden spoon in an Instant Pot viewed from overhead

More Instant Pot recipes

vegan chili in a white bowl garnished with sliced jalapeno and lime surrounded by more garnish and corn chips

Instant Pot Vegan Chili

Laura Lawless, BASc
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!
Servings 6
Calories 429
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 13 mins
Inactive time 30 mins
Total Time 58 mins

Ingredients

  • 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)

For serving

  • avocado or guacamole
  • sliced jalapeño
  • lime wedges
  • corn chips
  • sliced green onion

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models.

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Equipment

Instant Pot (8 qt)
Measuring Spoons
Sieve
Chef’s Knife

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 819mg | Potassium: 1272mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 14173IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 6mg
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Recipe inspired by Milk Free Mom.

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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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