Hearty Vegan Instant Pot Chili
This hearty vegan chili with black beans, sweet potato, buckwheat and chipotle tastes like it took all day to make. But thanks to the Instant Pot, it’s ready in about 30 minutes. Makes a big batch that only improves in flavor over the course of the week, so it’s great for batch cooking and meal prep, or for feeding a crowd.
Why we love this recipe
Chili should taste like it’s been simmering away all day. This meal is ready in about 30 minutes, but thanks to a combination of pressure cooking, hearty ingredients, and layers of spice and flavor, it totally achieves all-day-simmer status.
It make a nice big batch and keeps well, so it’s equally at home at a game-day party and for meal prep (think a couple of family dinners or a week’s worth of not-sad desk lunches).
It’s vegan, gluten-free, really good for ya, packed with nutrients, and without any added nonsense. Yet it’s hearty and filling and flavorful enough to please devoted carnivores, too.
Hearty vegan Instant Pot chili ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this chili recipe:
- Sweet potatoes, peeled and diced nice and small
- Canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Whole raw buckwheat groats (see the notes or order through the Amazon link below to make sure you’ve got the right kind)
- Veggie broth
- Chopped tomatoes and their juices
- Chili powder
- Ground cumin
- Canned black beans
- Fresh lime juice
How to make hearty vegan Instant Pot chili
This is a one-and-done Instant Pot recipe, which is our absolute favorite kind. Here’s what you’ll do. See all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post.
- Dice onions and sweet potato (nice and small) and mince garlic and chipotles in adobo
- Rinse and drain whole raw buckwheat groats and canned black beans
- Add onions, garlic, sweet potato, buckwheat, veggie broth, diced tomatoes, chipotles, chili powder, cumin, and black beans to the Instant Pot and give it all a stir.
- Place the lid on the pot, set the vent to the sealing position, and set the Instant Pot to manual, high pressure for 6 minutes.
- The pot will take a while to come up to pressure since it’s full of great, hearty ingredients.
- When the cooking ends and the pot beeps, carefully do a manual pressure release.
- Stir in some fresh lime juice, and you’re ready to serve!
Instant Pot recipe real talk
Around here we like to cook. We like the process. The tinkering with flavors while a pot simmers on the stove. The tasting. The taking a moment out of a busy day, and once in a while taking a whole day out of a weekend. And sure, we like the wine. So although we do have an Instant Pot, we do not have an Instant Pot fetish.
That means we don’t reach for the Instant Pot unless there’s a good reason, like truly saving time and attention on long-cooking or finicky ingredients without losing one ounce of flavor or depth. Or like producing as if by magic a healthy, hearty meal where none existed before, from ingredients easy to keep around, on days when you might otherwise order pizza. Also: none of that multiple-step, sautéeing, crappier-version-of-stovetop-cooking-so-we-can-say-it’s-an-IP-recipe nonsense.
Instant Pot chili
This hearty vegan chili recipe ticks both of those boxes. Chili wants to taste like it was slow-cooked all day and added to a big, heavy pot in layers. Sweet potatoes and buckwheat both need to simmer for a hot sec. Pressure cooking with a robust blend of aromatics and spices magically accomplishes all of these feats in under 30 minutes, and boy is this meal good for both your body and soul.
Here’s exactly what kind of buckwheat you need
Buckwheat may sound like wheat, but it’s a gluten-free seed that cooks up tender and nutty. Look for RAW buckwheat groats rather than toasted ones (kasha), and make sure the groats are WHOLE. Cracked buckwheat sold as a breakfast porridge by companies like Bob’s Red Mill is delicious, but it won’t work in this recipe.
For the chili
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup WHOLE buckwheat groats (see important ingredient note below), rinsed well and drained
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 26.5-ounce box chopped tomatoes
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Lime wedges
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Vegan sour cream
- Place all chili ingredients except lime juice into an Instant Pot and stir to combine.
- Cover, seal vent and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes, then release pressure manually. Stir in lime juice. Chili is ready to eat right away but, like all chili, will only get better over the next 24 hours.
- Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, and vegan sour cream.
- Buckwheat is a grain-like seed that's gluten-free. It adds a mild nuttiness and lots of good texture and nutrition to this vegan chili recipe. Be sure to use raw buckwheat groats rather than toasted ones, which are usually sold as kasha. And be sure to use WHOLE buckwheat groats, not the cracked kind sold as buckwheat hot cereal (by, for example, Bob's Red Mill). The cracked cereal will not work.
- 1/2-inch dice is small, so keep that in mind when you're cutting up the sweet potatoes. This will help ensure they're perfectly tender.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.