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Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili

Everyone needs a delicious, quick, and easy chili recipe and this Instant Pot vegan lentil chili ticks all the boxes. Full of healthy vegetables such as corn, mushrooms, celery, onions, and tomatoes. Protein packed with hearty lentils and black beans. Comes together quickly in the Instant Pot and freezes beautifully
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Waiting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 People
Author Whipping it Up

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 Stalks celery, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 2 1/2 Cups mushrooms, sliced (About 6-10)
  • 4 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 Cups water
  • 2 (796ml) Cans diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1/2 Cup green or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 Cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 (540ml) Can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 (341ml) Can corn (drained)

Instructions

Intant Pot Method

  1. Press the "sauté" button and let the Instant Pot heat up
  2. Once hot, add oil and coat the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add onions, celery, mushrooms, jalapeno and bell peppers to the pot and sauté until onions start to become translucent, about 5 minutes. If vegetables start to stick to the pot add water 1 tablespoon at a time and continue stirring.  
  4. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and salt. Sauté for another minute.
  5. Pour in water and cans of tomatoes (including the juice). Deglaze the bottom of the pot by scrubbing off all the delicious brown bits with a wooden spoon. Stir it all up.
  6. Add both types of rinsed lentils. Stir and close the lid.
  7. Press the "manual" button and set the timer to cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.
  8. Once the 10 minutes is up, turn off the instant pot and allow to naturally depressurize for 10 minutes before doing a quick release.
  9. Stir in corn and black beans.
  10. Taste and adjust seasonings such as adding more salt if necessary and cayenne powder to increase the spiciness.

Stovetop Method

  1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add oil. Once hot, add onions, celery, mushrooms, jalapeno and bell peppers and sauté until onions start to become translucent, about 5 minutes. If vegetables start to stick to the pot add water 1 tablespoon at a time and continue stirring. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika (don't add the salt yet). Sauté for another minute. Pour in water and cans of tomatoes (including the juice). Add both types of rinsed lentils and stir. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, lower the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in corn, black beans, and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings, such as adding more salt if necessary and cayenne powder to increase the spiciness.

Recipe Notes

-When using the Instant Pot method, I have had success skipping the sauté steps and just adding all the ingredients (other than corn and black beans) directly to the cold pot and pressure cooking for the same amount of time as described. When in a rush this is a great shortcut and I personally cannot tell a difference in taste.

-Feel free to experiment with other types of beans rather than black beans. Pinto beans or kidney beans would work perfect

-If you have a picky eater in the family omit the mushrooms if needed

-I have experimented with different ratios of red lentils to green/brown lentils when testing this recipe. Conclusion is that any ratio works, this is just my preferred. If you only have one type of lentil then that will work too but note if you don't add red lentils the chili might be a bit more liquidy.

-This chili is mild, add more jalapenos or wait until the end and slowly add cayenne powder to kick up the heat.