This Instant Pot vegetarian chili (eggplant chili) is definitely going to be one we make regularly. It’s full of vegetables and healthy ingredients, plus it makes a generous batch; perfect for leftovers!
This recipe is a vegan vegetarian chili made with eggplant; an eggplant chili if you will. It’s so good that even my meat-eating husband loved it, surprisingly so!
It’s full of vegetables, and could really be customized based on veggies you have on hand.
What ingredients do you use to make vegetarian chili?
- Garlic cloves – garlic helps add flavor to any dish and is especially welcome in a chili.
- Seasonings – chili powder, paprika, cumin powder, oregano, kosher salt.
- Eggplants – having extra eggplants is house is what prompted me to create this delicious dish.
- Red bell pepper – I used the vegetables that I had on hand, but feel free to add in other peppers or vegetables; whatever you have available!
- Zucchini – keep this recipe on-hand for when zucchini season comes around and you’re not sure what to cook with all of those zucchinis from your garden! You could substitute eggplants with zucchini.
- Black beans – these are a great way to add protein into a vegetable-based dish.
- Petite diced tomatoes and tomato paste – the base of a great chili.
- Red lentils – I add a little bit of lentils to this recipe because I find that it adds a little texture and helps thicken the vegetable chili. You can certainly opt to not add this ingredient.
- Vegetable broth – mixing with the tomato paste, this helps make the base of the chili. If you’re not vegetarian, you could use beef or chicken broth.
Ben has a book called Eating the Alphabet which we love love reading. I’ve been reading him the book since we was a baby and I’d just turn the pages as I’d hold him in my arms. I was ordering groceries (I use InstaCart for grocery delivery) and asked him which vegetable he’d like to try. He said eggplant.
So here we are with two eggplants. Of course, every time I asked if he wanted to try some, he didn’t. So before they went bad, I decided to let him help me cut them and use them in a soup. He loves using his kid safe knives and was surprised they were white/yellow/greenish on the inside. He really got involved in the making of this chili, based on my vegan red lentil chili recipe.
How do you make Instant Pot vegetarian chili?
- Set Instant Pot to saute setting for 10 minutes.
- Add olive oil and onion. Cook down. Then add garlic, chili, paprika, cumin oregano and salt. Cook for about 4 more minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients and stir. Secure the lid and set value to ‘sealing.’ Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
- Move the valve to ‘venting’ and perform a quick release.
- Stir, serve and enjoy!
I like to serve this Instant Pot vegetarian chili with cornbread and avocado as a topping. And if you have anyone that might want the heat from a chili tamed down ever so slightly, I would suggest adding sour cream or Greek yogurt. I do this for the kids and then give them tortilla chips or pita bread to ‘dip’ into it.
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves pressed
- 1 Tbs chili powder
- 1 Tbs paprika
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 Tbs kosher salt
- 2 medium-large eggplants (~1 lb.) chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 zucchini chopped
- 1 can black beans (14 oz.) rinsed and drained
- 1 can crushed or petite diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.) (or use tomatoes with chiles for extra heat)
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red lentils optional
- 1 container vegetable broth (32 oz.)
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté setting for 10 minutes.
- Add EVOO and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to become translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and chili, paprika, cumin, oregano and salt, stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant.
- Add all remaining ingredients, stir once or twice, then secure the lid, making sure the valve is set to Sealing. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, move the valve to Venting. Perform a quick release, stir and serve.
- Using a large heavy bottom pot (like a dutch oven), add EVOO and onion and cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to become translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and chili, paprika, cumin, oregano and salt, stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant.
- Add all remaining ingredients, stirring occasionally until the liquid comes to a boil. Turn heat down to low and add a lid. Cook for 30-40 minutes until all ingredients are very soft and the lentils are cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and ladle into bowls, enjoy.