Full of bold, mouthwatering flavors, this vegetarian chili is so easy to make! Perfect for game day, tailgating, or a great weeknight dinner. Not feeling the vegetarian vibe? Feel free to add some additional protein!
On the hunt for other great game day recipes? Check out my BBQ Beer Lil Smokies, Creamy Bacon Cheese Dip, Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip, and Dry-Rubbed Chicken Wings!
INSTANT POT VEGETARIAN CHILI
The calendar may say it’s nearly Fall, but our Midwestern weather sure doesn’t know it! But that doesn’t stop me from craving one of my favorite Fall recipes… chili.
I’ve shared several chili recipes here on the website, like this competition winning White Chicken Chili, Turkey Chili, Beef and Poblano, and more… but this is the first vegetarian one.
Even without the meat, this 3 bean chili is incredibly hearty!
HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN CHILI
Making a vegetarian chili is really easy, especially in an Instant Pot!
- Saute pepper and onion.
- Add all remaining ingredients, pressure cook.
- Release pressure.
In case you don’t have an Instant Pot, or would prefer another method, below the recipe I’ve included slow cooker instructions and stovetop instructions.
COOKING TIPS FOR VEGETARIAN CHILI
Even though this recipe is easy, there are still a couple of tips and tricks I can share.
- Drain the beans. The liquid that comes in a can of beans is incredibly starchy, and not too appetizing, so I always drain the beans when making chili.
- Use a quality vegetable stock. Or broth. But I usually go with a stock for a more robust flavor.
- Don’t skimp on the toppings. A great chili still needs great toppings! I load mine up with cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro, red onion and sometimes green onion too.
VARIATIONS OF 3 BEAN CHILI
- Increase the heat level – instead of a green bell pepper, use a jalapeno or two. Use the full amount of cayenne pepper, and top with shredded pepperjack cheese!
- Add additional protein – if you’re not feeling the vegetarian vibe, feel free to use some ground turkey, beef or chicken.
- Don’t feel limited to ground meats – a quick and easy way to add extra protein is to add some shredded rotisserie chicken to the chili. Leftover shredded pork is great too!
MAKING 3 BEAN VEGETARIAN CHILI AHEAD OF TIME
Like most other chili recipes, this recipe is great when made ahead of time! The longer the chili gets to sit and let all the flavors meld, the better it gets. I would make this 1-3 days ahead, then gently reheat.
This recipe also freezes really well! Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to gallon sized ziploc bags. Seal well, then lay flat on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, remove the baking sheet. This way, the chili can be stored vertically or horizontally, and will take up less room in the freezer.
STORING VEGETARIAN CHILI
Keep any leftovers in an airtight container, refrigerated, for 3-4 days.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Instant Pot – if you don’t have one, this is a great model!
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- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow or white onion, diced
- 15 oz can black beans, drained
- 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
- 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained
- 2 - 3 cups vegetable stock or broth (depending on how thick you want your chili)
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 15 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- shredded cheese
- diced red onion
- sliced jalapenos
- sour cream
- minced cilantro
- sliced green onions
- Set Instant Pot to saute and cook pepper and onion with canola oil, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients, stir, cover and seal. Set to high pressure for 12 minutes.
- Let pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then slowly release the steam until no more remains and you can remove the lid.
- Stir, serve hot and top as desired.
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SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS
- Saute pepper and onion in canola oil, then transfer to slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients, stir well.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, or LOW for 6-7.
- Top as desired.
STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS
- Saute pepper and onion in canola oil in a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, over MED heat. Stir in spices and and cook 30 seconds or so.
- Add all remaining ingredients, stir well, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 seconds.
- If chili gets too thick, you can add a splash of beef stock.
- Top as desired.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
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