Instant Pot Vegetable Chili

5 from 3 votes

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The classic perfect vegetarian chili recipe, reinterpreted for the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Vegetable Chili

This vegetarian chili, inspired by the vegetable chili recipe in the beloved cookbook The New Basics, is the best. It’s straightforward, it’s delicious, it’s cheap, it’s just what a vegetarian chili should be. And, I have taken the liberty of translating it for the Instant Pot and the slow cooker function of the instant pot at that. This means, of course, that you can cook it in a regular Crock Pot or slow cooker, but you will have to sauté some of the ingredients first. This is why the instant pot is the first line of equipment choice because you can sauté it right in that appliance. 

Like many, many (MANY) folks, I grew up with The Silver Palate, Silver Palate Good Times, and The New Basics as part of my culinary world. My connection to the books and the authors runs deep (see Chicken Marbella for more on that if your curiosity is piqued at all). I read these books in bed with a flashlight after I should have been asleep. You can call me a nerd; it’s ok — I’m aware.

Serve this vegetarian chili over brown or white rice or quinoa.

Vegetable Chili and rice in a dish ith toppings.

Instant Pot Vegetable Chili from the New Basics Cookbook: The classic perfect vegetarian chili recipe, reinterpreted for the Instant Pot.

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Instant Pot Vegetable Chili Ingredients

  • Eggplant – Eggplant makes this meatless chili hearty and delicious.
  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onions
  • Garlic 
  • Green bell peppers – You can use any color you like, I prefer green in this recipe with its hints of bitterness.
  • Italian plum tomatoes – I use both canned and fresh in this recipe to mix up the textures.
  • Chili powder, cumin, oregano, and basil – The perfect spices to amp up the flavor of this veggie-based dish.
  • Fennel seeds – An earthy and sweet element.
  • Red kidney beans – A vegetarian chili should have beans!
  • Chickpeas – Adding chickpeas, as well as kidney beans, will help make this veggie dish even more substantial and protein-packed.
  • Dill and parsley – Some leafy herbs to bring some freshness to this rich chili.
  • Lemon juice – Adds an extra bit of acidity for balance.

To Serve

Oblong dishes of Vegetable Chili and rice with cheese and sour cream.

How to Make Instant Pot Vegetable Chili

  1. Prep eggplant: Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Let stand for 1 hour. Pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Sauté: In the Instant Pot, press Sauté and use the Sauté or the Adjust button to select the lowest temperature, which might say “Less”. Saute the eggplant until almost tender in two batches. Remove the eggplant to a plate.
  3. Add veggies: In the Instant Pot, saute the onions, garlic, and green peppers and sauté just until softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and spices: Add the eggplant with any juices, the canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, and fennel seeds. Stir well. Close and lock the lid. Set the valve to Venting. Attach the condensation collector. Press Cancel, then Press Slow Cook and use the Slow Cook or Adjust button to select the middle temperature (“Normal”). Use the + or – button to set the time to 4 hours. 
  5. Remove lid: When the cooking time is finished, press Cancel and remove the lid.
  6. Add beans and chickpeas: Stir in the kidney beans, chickpeas, dill, parsley, and lemon juice. Replace the lid and use the Slow Cook or Adjust button to reselect the middle temperature and the + or – button to set the time for another 30 minutes, until everything is hot and tender and your house smells great. Stir well and taste and adjust seasonings.
Adding chickpeas and dill to Instant Pot Chili.
  1. Serve: Serve hot with rice and sour cream, scallions, and lots of shredded cheddar cheese.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Chili in a dish with rice.

Instant Pot Vegetable Chili Cooking Tips and Variations

  • You can also cook this chili in a regular pot on the stove. Once all of the ingredients are combined in the pot, just let it simmer away, stirring occasionally, for an hour or so.
  • The vegetables get simmered for a while, and then the beans and fresh herbs get added in so they keep their texture and freshness.
  • If you don’t have a copy of The New Basics, do yourself a favor and buy it. It is a classic if ever there was one, and while a handful of recipes in the book may feel dated, there is a lot of gold in those pages, and you will find some real joy with this volume at your side in the kitchen.

What to Serve With Instant Pot Vegetable Chili

Ladle scooping Vegetable Chili onto plates of rice.

Meatier Chili Recipes

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5 from 3 votes

Instant Pot Vegetable Chili

The classic perfect vegetarian chili recipe, reinterpreted for the Instant Pot.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 8 people
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Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 medium-size eggplant (unpeeled; cut into ½-inch cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil (divided)
  • 2 medium-size yellow onions (cut into ¼-inch dice)
  • 4 cloves  garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 large green bell peppers (cored, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice)
  • 1 can (35 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 ½ pounds fresh ripe Italian plum tomatoes (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cup canned dark red kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 cup canned chick-peas (aka garbanzo beans; drained)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

To Serve

Instructions 

  • Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Let stand for 1 hour. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Press Saute and use the Saute or the Adjust button to select the lowest temperature, which might say “Less”. Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the inner pot and let it heat up. Add half the eggplant and sauté until almost tender. Remove the eggplant to a plate, and repeat with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil and the rest of the eggplant.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the Instant Pot. Add the onions, garlic, and green peppers and sauté just until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the eggplant with any juices, the canned tomatoes with their liquid, fresh tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, and fennel seeds. Stir well. Close and lock the lid. Set the valve to Venting. Attach the condensation collector.  Press Cancel, then Press Slow Cook and use the Slow Cook or Adjust button to select the middle temperature (“Normal”).  Use the + or – button to set the time to 4 hours. 
  • When the cooking time is finished, press Cancel and remove the lid.
  • Stir in the kidney beans, chickpeas, dill, parsley, and lemon juice. Replace the lid and use the Slow Cook or Adjust button to reselect the middle temperature and the + or – button to set the time for another 30 minutes, until everything is hot and tender and your house smells great. Stir well and taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Serve hot with rice and sour cream, scallions, and lots of shredded cheddar cheese.

Notes

You can also cook it in a regular pot on the stove. Once all of the ingredients are combined in the pot, just let it simmer away, stirring occasionally, for an hour or so.

Nutrition

Calories: 183.37kcal, Carbohydrates: 25.58g, Protein: 6.03g, Fat: 8.4g, Saturated Fat: 1.2g, Sodium: 1500.39mg, Potassium: 880.92mg, Fiber: 8.92g, Sugar: 9.84g, Vitamin A: 2140.79IU, Vitamin C: 59.67mg, Calcium: 130.68mg, Iron: 4.43mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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1 Comment

  1. charlotte says:

    soooo yummy- become a winter staple in our house