A simple and hearty bowl of one-pot vegan red lentil chili that's oil-free. It comes together in about an hour on the stovetop or in the instant pot.
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeño, finely diced (remove seeds to reduce heat)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup (200 g) dry red lentils
- 1 can (28 ounces (794 g)) diced tomatoes, not drained
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cans (15.5 ounces (439 g)) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 1/4-1/2 cups (530-590 ml) salt-free vegetable broth (use an extra 1/4 cup if chili is too thick)
- 2-3 tablespoons chili powder (the spice blend not cayenne pepper or chili flakes)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Rinse the red lentils in a strainer and set them aside. Prep the rest of the ingredients (chopping vegetables, measuring out spices, and opening cans) to have them ready before starting the cooking process. The beginning of the recipe can go quickly.
- For oil-free, set your instant pot on saute function for about 6-7 minutes, once hot add the red onion, red bell pepper, and jalapeño, stirring frequently. Add a tablespoon of water at a time if the ingredients start to stick. (Or use a neutral-tasting oil).
- Add the garlic at the end of sautéing (about 1 minute-30 second left) or just add it with the rest of the ingredients. Add water as needed if it starts to stick. If your instant pot is losing some of its nonstick, then sauté in 1/4 cup of water.
- Once the sauté function is done, I like to add 1-2 tablespoons of water to deglaze the pot (if you haven’t done so already).
- Then add the rest of the ingredients (except for the apple cider vinegar) and 2 1/4 cups of vegetable broth reserving the extra 1/4 cup if the chili is too thick at the end of cooking. Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients to prevent the lentils from clumping.
- Move the pressure valve to seal, close the lid, and pressure cook on high for 9 minutes.
- Once the timer has gone off naturally release for 20 minutes, then manually release the rest. You can also naturally release all of the pressure, which can take more than 30 minutes.
- Once done, stir to combine and it will thicken up while cooling. Add the teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, taste, and adjust for seasonings if needed.
- Rinse the red lentils in a strainer and set them aside.
- For oil-free cooking, sauté the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño until soft and the onion is translucent in a preheated pot on medium heat. (Or use a neutral-tasting oil).
- Add the garlic and all seasonings and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. For oil-free, add a tablespoon of water if needed to prevent ingredients from burning. Another option is to just cook the vegetables in 1/4 cup of water.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the apple cider vinegar) and 2 1/4 cups of vegetable broth reserving the extra 1/4 cup if the chili is too thick at the end of cooking, and stir to combine. Stir the red lentils to prevent them from clumping.
- Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, and cook covered for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If it’s too thin, simmer it a little longer with the lid off until it reduces down. If it’s too thick, add 1/4 cup more of vegetable broth to thin it out.
- Stir in the teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Don’t substitute the diced tomatoes with crushed tomatoes, there's not enough liquid for the instant pot. You might get a burn error.
- I use salt-free vegetable broth, if you don't you may want to adjust the salt in the recipe.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes (+20 minutes pressure release)
- Category: main course
- Method: instant pot, stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Red lentil chili recipe, Vegan one pot red lentil chili, Instant pot red lentil chili vegan