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Bowl of Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili made with pinto and black beans, tomatoes, corn and spices

Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

  • Author: Jenny Meier | Kitchen Skip blog
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Richly flavorful vegetarian chili, cooked in the Instant Pot for just 8 minutes! Serve Instant Pot vegetarian chili with lots of toppings - avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno and chips. 

Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 15 minutes to reach pressure + 8 minutes cooking time + natural release


  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire or soy sauce
  • 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup frozen diced bell pepper or 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (regular or fire-roasted)
  • 2 cans beans, drained (your choice - kidney, pinto, black)
  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth (or a combination of the two)
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina (optional)


Ingredients Notes

  • If you prefer thicker chili, then only add 2 cups water or broth
  • Cocoa powder gives the flavor of vegetarian chili a little more oomph and richness.  Try it! Don’t worry, you won’t taste any chocolate flavor. 
  • I buy frozen, chopped bell peppers because they’re easy to add to soup and chili. Check your grocery store’s freezer section. Or, just buy 1 fresh bell pepper.
  • Masa harina can be stirred into chili to thicken the broth slightly and add a subtle corn flavor. Completely optional, but delicious. You can also use masa harina to make homemade corn tortillas



  1. Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, to soften and lightly brown the onion. If the onion begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, add a drizzle of water. Turn off the saute function.
  2. Add the next 12 ingredients: chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, fresh parsley, cocoa powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, bell pepper, beans, tomatoes and water/broth. Mix well. 
  3. Secure the lid. Make sure the steam release valve is in the sealed position. Press the Manual button and program the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure.
  4. When the cooking time is complete, let the pot release pressure naturally (about 20 minutes) before opening the lid.
  5. If you’re adding masa harina to thicken the chili slightly, stir it in now.  Let the chili set for about 10 minutes before serving. 
  6. Add more salt, to taste. 
  7. Serve Instant Pot vegetarian chili with your favorite chili toppings, like sour cream, grated cheese, chopped green onion, jalapeno, avocado and chips.


This is kid-friendly chili, which means it's not spicy. Adults (and kids who love some heat) can spice up their individual bowls with chopped jalapeno peppers, hot sauce or salsa.  

Leftover chili freezes well. Put the chili in a Ziploc freezer bag, removing as much air from the bag as possible. 

If you've previously cooked a batch of dried beans, you can used homemade cooked bean to replace canned beans in this recipe. 1 ½ cups cooked beans equals one 15-oz can of beans.

  • Category: Chili
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Keywords: vegetarian chili, instant pot chili, Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili