Healthy Hearty Vegan Chili in an Instant…Pot!

You can imagine a nice Texan girl like myself loves a good, hearty chili! Of course, the best ones take time to develop those deep flavors. But, I’m a city girl now and time is one thing that most New Yorkers are short of! Enter the Instant Pot (affiliate link)

The What Pot?

If you’ve been trapped on an island, or just not on the culinary internet lately, perhaps you haven’t heard of this ingenious product to consolidate space on your counter top. Basically, it’s a one pot cooking stop that combines a pressure cooker with a slow cooker, toss in a yogurt maker and rice cooker and a few other things for a complete cooking machine.

Needless to say, I was excited when the box arrived at my doorstep a few weeks ago! However, my first experiments were not my best work–I had to apologize to my husband for some embarrassingly bone dry chicken in my first trial recipe. But after a few more attempts, I began to find my footing with this little robot chef.

Soon after receiving, the internet was flooded with images of all sorts of chili recipes–despite the the unusually warm temps in the northeast.  I lamented as I haven’t been able to enjoy a good chili since my doctor diagnosed me with acid reflux.

With a little determination, and research, we found some alternative ingredients that would keep my stomach happy and my taste buds impressed. We mashed together a few different recipes . We originally saw a recipe that used walnuts, but using pecans really brings me back to my childhood where we had pecan trees in our backyard.

Not only were we impressed with how quickly it all came together, but how my husband came back into the kitchen for a second serving–even knowing that it was meatless!

The pumpkin is such an awesome ingredient to use in this dish, as it doesn’t impact the flavor, but it really helps give that creaminess that you would usually get from the animal fat–making this a much healthier chili that’s is not missing any heart.

This is a great option for your meatless Mondays, or any day of the week that you want to skip the animal products, the indigestion and the simmering time! It’s also perfect for a group, and adding a toppings bar makes it fun for everyone to be able to customize the dish to their liking–of course, if they’re not vegan you can always include regular sour cream and perhaps some cheddar if you’d like to indulge.

What about a Slow Cooker?

This recipe can work for a slow-cooker as well, if you haven’t gifted yourself an Instant Pot, yet! We recommend three hours on high or 6 hours on low–also you may want to reduce the liquid added by about 2 cups–you can always add more later if it’s reducing down too much. Generally, the Instant Pot requires more liquid to cook.

Pumpkin Pecan and White Bean Vegan Chili
Pumpkin Pecan and White Bean Vegan Chili
Print Recipe Pumpkin Pecan and White Bean Vegan Chili
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Comfort, Fall, Instant Pot, Vegan
Servings: 8 people


Instant Pot Chili

  • 26 1/2 ounces white beans, drained of their liquid and rinsed
  • 2 15 oz cans pumpkin puree
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 chipotle pepper, diced
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups pecans, crumbles or whole and pulsed in a food processor
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 poblanos, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced


  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into rounds
  • 1 vegan sour cream
  • 1 avocado, peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 bunch, cilantro, cleaned and stemmed
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


Vegan Chili in an Instant!

  • Toss all ingredients into the Instant Pot
  • Set on Soup Mode for 30 minutes
  • Release steamer and open Instant Pot to stir
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Distribute into bowls for serving and set up a toppings bar so that your guests may add their own chili garnish.