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Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili

Bowl of lentil vegan chili made in an Instant Pot.

I’m a fan of making a big batch of chili on a cold day. It’s hearty, comforting and a great way to warm up when it’s snowing outside. It’s also one of the most popular dishes to serve at a Super Bowl party.

This chili is made in an Instant Pot, which is my new favourite kitchen toy. It’s a time-saving electric pressure cooker. The tool makes my chili taste like it has been slowly simmering all day long, when it only takes about an hour. But, if you don’t have a multi-cooker, you can make this recipes in a slow cooker. Just sauté the veggies, then add them to the a slow cooker with the remaining ingredients and cook on low for eight hours.

I love using chipotles (dried and smoked jalapeños) in my chili. But rather than using the dried kind, I find it easier to use chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. They’re easier to work with, and they impart a sweet smoky heat to anything you add them to. You’ll find them in the same section as the refried beans and pickled jalapeños at the grocery store.

Intant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili

Yield: 9 cups

Serves 7-9


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chilli powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
4 cups water
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
1/4 cup minced cilantro


  1. Press Saute on a 6- to 8-quart Instant Pot. Add oil, onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and chipotle, and cook and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add water, tomatoes and lentils; stir to combine.
  4. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and make sure the release valve is in the “sealing” position. Press Pressure Cook; set timer for 20 minutes (it will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure).
  5. Once the timer has gone off, leave the pressure cooker to “naturally release” for 20 minutes, and then flip the release valve to “venting” to release any remaining pressure. Remove lid, and stir the chili.
  6. Taste, and season with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt and garnish with cilantro.

Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili Tips

–Serve with rice and garlic bread.

–Diced avocados and crushed tortilla chips make for a fun garnish.

–Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for up to three months for a quick weeknight meal.

–There are 15 grams of fibre in a cup of cooked lentils, and that’s almost half your daily recommended amount.

— Once you open the can of chipotles in adobo sauce, you’ll usually only add 1 chili per recipe (depending how spicy you like things). To store, transfer the rest of the chipotles and sauce to a resealable containers and store in the fridge. They’ll keep for a long time.