This Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili is made with 15 bean soup mix and vegan beef crumbles, packing this easy dinner with 33 grams of protein per serving without any meat. It’s make ahead friendly, freezer friendly and makes the best leftovers. Try this comforting chili with your favorite toppings and a side of cornbread.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Made with dry beans with no soaking required!
- The best no meat chili suitable for both vegetarians and vegans that’s still very high in protein! Help keep you full!
- Just 10 minutes of prep work, then the Instant Pot does the rest of the work.
- Flavor develops over time! Make a pot on Sunday night and enjoy it as a hearty lunch all week long.
- Just 9 simple ingredients. You’ve probably got a majority of them in your kitchen right now.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- 15 bean soup mix – I use a 20 ounce bag of 15 bean soup mix (ham flavor packet discarded) to make this chili. I love doing this because you get a great variety of beans, giving this chili tons of flavor and texture. Any brand of this soup mix will work, just ensure you use the correct weighted amount. You can also use 20 ounces of Bob’s Red Mill’s 13 Bean Soup Mix.
- Vegan beef crumbles – In this recipe, I typically opt for Lightlife’s Smart Ground Original Plant-Based Crumbles as I find it’s lower in fat than other brands. You can also use 12 ounces of Beyond Meat Ground Beef, Impossible Beef, or any vegan plant-based beef of your choosing!
- Taco seasoning – Most homemade chilis are made with chili seasoning or larger amounts of chili powder, but I find this chili to be far more flavorful when made with mild taco seasoning (more cumin based). I use a pre-mixed packet to make this recipe really easy on busy weeknights.
- Cacao powder – Adding cacao or cocoa powder to chili really boosts the flavor! Highly recommend adding it if you’ve never done so before, but you may leave it out, if necessary.
- Vegetable broth – I almost always use Better Than Bouillon’s Reduced Sodium Vegetable Base mixed with water to make vegetable broth. I buy a large jar of it at Costco for $5.99 and it makes upwards of 80 cups of broth. You can use any reduced sodium vegetable broth you prefer, or even use a Vegan Beef Broth!
- Canned diced tomatoes – A staple in any chili. If you prefer spicier chili recipes, try a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. If you are sensitive to salt, opt for a salt free version.
- Diced green chilies – Adds a bit of heat, a bit of savoriness and great flavor!
Step by Step Instructions
- Turn on your Instant Pot and set it to the sauté function. Sauté the onion and bell pepper in a tablespoon of oil until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
If you are oil free, sauté in a splash of vegetable broth or water!
- Once soft and fragrant, scoot the onion and bell pepper to one side of the Instant Pot and add in your vegetarian beef crumbles. Sauté the vegetarian beef crumbles for an additional 3-4 minutes, until browned and crispy.
- Mix the vegetarian beef crumbles together with the bell pepper and onion.
- Turn off the sauté function and add in the remaining chili ingredients. Stir to combine and then cook the chili on manual high pressure for 45 minutes. Set the valve to SEAL instead of vent. If set to vent, the Instant pot will not come to pressure.
Once cooked for 45 minutes, allow the Instant Pot to naturally depressurize for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
- Serve chili while hot with toppings like guacamole, Cashew Sour Cream or plain yogurt, green onion, vegan cheese shreds, red onion, jalapeno slices, cilantro and a side of vegan cornbread. I even like this vegetarian chili with my Roasted Chili Corn Salsa!
No, this recipe is specifically developed to be cooked in the Instant Pot. Because it is made with dry beans that are not soaked, cooking it on the stovetop would take far longer, and you would risk undercooking the beans. A pressure cooker is needed to fully ensure the beans are cooked.
Nope! This chili is made with dry beans. Simply rinse them thoroughly in a fine mesh sieve under cool water, discard any debris or unfavorable beans and add them to the Instant Pot. Beans cooked in a pressure cooker do not need to be soaked first as the pressure is capable of fully cooking the beans every time!
I do not recommend adding vegetables like sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, etc as these vegetables will overcook and be unfavorable in texture. If you do want to give your chili an additional boost of nutrition, I’d add 1 cup of chopped greens or sweet corn.
This recipe was developed in a 6 qt Instant Pot, however it should cook just as perfectly in the 8 qt. pressure cooker. The only difference is it may take slightly longer to come to pressure.
- Don’t skip the sauté! Sautéing the onion, bell pepper and vegetarian beef prior to pressure cooking adds flavor and caramelization you will lose by skipping!
- Do not use cooked beans! The cook time is for dry beans and results in the perfect thick chili. Using cooked beans will greatly overcook them, resulting in a pasty chili with no texture.
- Use taco seasoning instead of chili seasoning. Taco seasoning has a much higher amount of cumin, and I find it makes this chili much more flavorful!
More Instant Pot Vegetarian Dishes to Try
- Easy Vegan Crockpot Lasagna Soup
- Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup
- Spicy Creamy Instant Pot Ramen
- Instant Pot Oatmeal with Steel Cut Oats
- Vegetarian Green Chili Stew
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili with dry beans
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 large yellow onion - diced
- 1 bell pepper - deseeded and diced
- 1 (12 ounce) package vegan beef crumbles - I used Light-Life Smart Ground Plant-Based crumbles
- 1 (20 ounce) bag 15 bean soup mix - Can substitute 2 ½ cups Bob's Red Mill 13 bean soup mix
- 2 (1 ounce) packets taco seasoning - Equivalent to about 4 tablespoons. Can substitute with chili seasoning, but I prefer taco seasoning.
- 6 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth - **see notes
- 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (4 ounce) can fire roasted diced green chilies
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
Instant Pot Instructions (6 QT Pot)
- Turn on the sauté function on the Instant Pot and heat a tablespoon of avocado oil in the bottom of the pot.
- Sauté the diced onion and bell pepper in the tablespoon of avocado oil over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Scoot the onion and bell pepper to one side of the pot, then add in the vegan beef crumbles. Sauté the crumbles for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy. Once browned, press the off button on the Instant Pot to stop sauté function.
- Discard the ham flavored seasoning packet that comes with the soup mix. Then, in a fine sieve, thoroughly rinse and drain the beans. Next, add bean mixture directly to the instant pot (no soaking) along with remaining chili ingredients and stir to combine.
- Add Instant Pot lid, set valve to SEAL and cook on manual high pressure for 45 minutes.
- Allow instant pot to de-pressurize naturally for 15 minutes before releasing rest of pressure.
- Serve immediately with desired toppings.
- Chili will keep for 3-4 days in fridge in an airtight container. Flavor will deepen over time.
- My favorite taco seasoning packets to use for this recipe are the 365 Whole Foods brand.
- This recipe previously had a slow cooker option, however it has been removed because it is not recommended to cook kidney beans in a slow cooker for food safety reasons.
- If you would like to add a boost of nutrition to your chili, add in 1 cup of chopped spinach, kale, or corn.
- **I typically use Better than Bouillon’s Reduced Sodium Vegetable Base to make vegetable broth. You can get it for the best deal at Costco. You can use any reduced sodium vegetable broth of your choice in this chili. If you have full sodium vegetable broth or want to use a vegan beef broth, I would use 3 cups full sodium vegetable broth and 3 cups of water to ensure it is not overly salty.
General note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
This recipe was originally published on November 18, 2019 and updated on January 7, 2022. This update includes an improved recipe, new photos including step by step process photos, ingredient notes, frequently asked questions and tips for success.