This easy three bean instant pot vegan chili is the ultimate comfort dish this fall and winter! Ready in less than 30 minutes, it's the perfect plant-based option for a quick yet flavorful weeknight meal or meatless Monday.
Is there anything more cozy and comforting than homemade chili in the fall and winter months? Let's be honest, no, no there isn't. It's hearty, satisfying, and loaded with flavor from warm spices!
This three bean chili uses the ease and convenience of canned beans and an instant pot to make the cook time faster than your standard chili. But don't worry, if you don't have an instant pot this recipe can still be made and is still incredibly easy and fast to make!
This is seriously the best vegan chili recipe ever. I eat it so much that I'm surprised I haven't turned into a bowl of chili yet. It makes a big batch, so perfect for a crowd or just for us lazy or busy people who don’t want to or don't have the time to cook every night of the week!
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's quick and easy to make. This instant pot chili is a hands-off recipe for the most part and is ready to serve in less than 30 minutes.
- This meatless chili recipe is allergen-friendly! It's healthy, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free and can be made oil-free.
- It's super satisfying! This chili is high in plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals while still being low calorie. This a high protein chili has 25g of plant-based protein per saving!
- You can make it several ways - in the instant pot, in a dutch oven or large pot on the stove, in a Crockpot/slow cooker. Whatever equipment you have or like to cook with, you'll be able to make this chili!
- It's perfect for meal prep, lunch, dinner or to feed a crowd! This vegan chili makes a whopping 6-8 servings. If you don't eat it all right away, don't worry, the leftovers actually taste even better and it's freezer-friendly.
- It's incredibly customizable. If there's something you don't like or something you want to add, you can easily do so without messing up the recipe!
Beans: it wouldn't be a proper three bean chili without 'em! This recipe calls for canned red kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans, but you can use whatever beans you prefer or have on hand. You could use dry beans, but I don't really recommend it as the cooked beans keep this recipe easy.
Corn: I love adding corn to my chili, I feel like it adds a touch of sweetness to help balance the flavor! This recipe calls for canned whole kernel corn.
Tomato Sauce: as our liquid! This chili does not use diced tomatoes but depending on the tomato sauce you choose, you may some chunks of tomato in your chili.
Garlic: of course.
Yellow Onion: for added flavor! You could use a red onion for more intense onion flavor or a white onion for less.
Vegan Ground 'Beef': I used Gardein's meatless crumbles for this recipe. I have also made this with Beyond Meat Beyond Beef plant-based ground and it works perfectly. This is a great source of plant-based protein!
Taco Seasoning: feel free to use 1 packet of taco seasoning or make our taco seasoning with chili powder, paprika, cumin, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
You might be asking where the bell peppers are - I just don't love them, but you can totally add them if you do!
You can make this meatless chili in the instant pot, on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Take your pick!
Add the olive oil to the instant pot and press the sauté function. Add the diced onions, garlic and vegan ground beef and sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
Sprinkle in the spices over the meatless grounds, onions, and garlic and stir to coat, sautéing for another 1 to 2 minutes. Then add in all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Turn off the sauté function by hitting cancel.
Close the instant pot and make sure it’s sealed. Then, select manual mode and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Then press cancel to allow for natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then carefully set the valve to 'venting' to release any remaining pressure. If you're in a hurry, carefully press quick release. Only remove the lid when it finishes releasing, you should see no more steam coming out!
Give a good stir and taste to adjust according to your preference. If the chili is too thin, close the lid and let it sit to thicken for 5-10 minutes. If it's too thick, stir in ½ cup of vegetable stock at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Dutch Oven or Stove Top
In a large pot or 5 quart dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the plant-based ground beef, diced onion and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent. It's okay if the vegan beef isn't fully defrosted yet, it'll continue to cook with the rest of the chili.
Add in your spices, or your taco seasoning packet. Stir to coat the onion and garlic and let it cook for a minute or two to toast the spices and release the aromatics.
Add in pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, corn, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine and then let simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust, as desired. If the chili is too thick for your liking, add in ½ cup of vegetable broth at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Sauté the meatless ground beef, onions and garlic in a pan on the stove for 5-6 minutes until the onion is translucent, then add them to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours, or cook on high for 4 hours.
In my opinion, choosing what toppings to pair with chili is the best part (aside from eating it). The possibilities are endless!
- On top of quinoa, brown rice, pasta, spaghetti squash or vegan mashed potatoes
- Wrapped up in a tortilla like a chili burrito
- In corn or flour tortillas
- Veggies like roasted broccoli, cauliflower or brussel sprouts
- A side salad
- Tortilla chips
- Vegan cornbread
- Vegan sour cream
- Vegan cheddar shreds
- Diced tomatoes
- Lime Juice
- Fresh cilantro
Variations & Substitutions
I love this recipe as is, but there are so many ways you could successfully switch it up!
Make this chili spicy by adding in jalapeño peppers, chiles in adobo, chipotle pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or red pepper flakes. As is, this recipe is not spicy (coming from a girl who cannot handle the heat).
I know not everyone likes to use vegan alternatives so feel free to swap out the meatless grounds with red lentils, diced mushrooms, tofu, seitan, tempeh or textured vegetable protein (TVP).
Feel free to add in whatever veggies you like! I love adding diced tomatoes, zucchini, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, mushrooms, celery, red bell pepper, green bell pepper or anything else you might like.
Change up the beans! If you don't like certain types of beans, feel free to omit or replace them. Canned white beans or chickpeas would work well in this recipe too.
Turn this into a no bean vegan chili (a similar idea to Texas chili or Chili con carne) by replacing the beans with hearty vegetables and meat alternatives!
Make this recipe oil-free by sautéing the garlic, onions, and meatless grounds in a splash of vegetable broth.
Make your own taco seasoning! This way you have full control over the level of spice and how flavorful the chili is.
Add the spices early on. Adding the spices during the sauté stages allows for the spices to 'bloom,' making them more potent and complex, ultimately adding more flavor to the end product.
If the chili is too hearty, add 1 cup of vegetable broth. This will not only add a bit more liquid, but it will also add more flavor. If you don't have vegetable broth, water will work just fine.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Refrigerator: Store leftover chili in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Freezer: This vegan chili is freezer friendly! Allow the chili to cool completely first then freeze in airtight container or freezer-friendly storage bags for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature on the counter or in the fridge.
Reheat: You can either reheat the chili in a pot on the stove or a microwave-safe bowl covered with a paper towel in the microwave. I recommend adding a splash of vegetable broth to revive the consistency of chili.
You can! If you choose to use dried beans for you chili, I recommend soaking them overnight, or at least 12 hours, before cooking them. Once soaked, drain the beans and add them to the pot with the marinara sauce, simmering for 20 minutes.
Yes! This instant pot chili is loaded with wholesome, healthy ingredients that contain numerous health benefits. This recipe is also low in calories, but high in protein and fiber, which makes it ideal for filling lunch and weeknight dinners!
More Instant Pot Recipes
Vegan Three Bean Chili
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) avocado oil or any cooking oil
- 4 cloves (20 g) garlic minced
- 1 (200 g) medium yellow onion diced
- 1 ¼ cup (140 g) plant-based ground beef (Gardein Ground B'ef or Beyond Meat)
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can (28 oz) marinara sauce
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) corn, drained & rinsed
- OPTIONAL: ½ cup up to 1 cup vegetable broth to thin - I typically do not use this
- Vegan sour cream
- Vegan cheddar shreds
- Tortilla chips
- Fresh cilantro
Instant Pot Instructions
- Add the olive oil to the instant pot and press the sauté function. Add the diced onions, garlic and vegan ground beef and sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.1 tablespoon avocado oil, 4 cloves garlic, 1 medium yellow onion, 1 ¼ cup plant-based ground beef (Gardein Ground B'ef or Beyond Meat)
- Add in the spices and stir to coat, sautéing for another 1 to 2 minutes.2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt
- Add in all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Turn off the sauté function by hitting cancel.1 can marinara sauce, 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed, 1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed, 1 can pinto beans, drained & rinsed, 1 can corn, drained & rinsed
- Close the instant pot and make sure it’s sealed. Then, select manual mode and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Then press cancel to allow for natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then carefully set the valve to 'venting' to release any remaining pressure. If you're in a hurry, carefully press quick release. Only remove the lid when it finishes releasing, there should not be any more steam coming out.
- Give a good stir and taste to adjust according to your preference. If the chili is too thin, close the lid and let it sit to thicken for 5-10 minutes. If it's too thick, stir in ½ cup of vegetable stock at a time until desired consistency is reached.OPTIONAL: ½ cup up to 1 cup vegetable broth
Dutch Oven/Stove Top Instructions
- In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, vegan ground beef crumbles, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Add in all of the spices, stir to coat the onion, garlic, and crumbles and let cook for another minute or two.
- Add in pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, corn, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine and then let simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. If a thinner consistency is desired, add in the cup of vegetable broth.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Sauté the meatless ground beef, onions and garlic in a pan on the stove for 5-6 minutes until the onion is translucent
- Add the cooked onions, garlic and meatless crumbles to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook on low for 8 hours, or cook on high for 4 hours.
- Regardless of the cooking method you used, serve over rice or quinoa and top with your preferred garnishes. I personally chose lime juice, vegan sour cream, vegan cheddar shreds, and avocado.