Instant Pot Lentil Chili is so delicious and is made with common ingredients such as dried lentils, bell pepper, carrots, canned tomatoes, and seasonings. It is a filling chili, and has lots of flavor. This is an easy pressure cooker Lentil Chili. This Instant Pot Chili recipe is gluten-free, and without the meat is vegetarian and also vegan.
Instant Pot Lentil Chili
If you are looking for a delicious, hearty, healthy meal, try making Lentil Chili in the Instant Pot!
This pressure cooker Lentil Chili can be vegetarian, vegan, or you can use ground beef or turkey.
Lentil Chili in the Instant Pot can be made in about an hour.
Which Lentils Work Best for Lentil Chili?
This recipe uses brown lentils, but you can also use green, red, or yellow. The red lentils break down more and thicken the chili. Don't use black.
If you have canned lentils you can use those in this Lentil Chili recipe. It takes 1 29-ounce can, or 2 14-ounce cans.
Is Lentil Chili Thick?
It does thicken as the lentils cook and break down. The version with meat is thicker than without. Red lentils will make a thicker chili.
How to Make Lentil Chili in the Instant Pot
First gather all of your ingredients for the Lentil Chili together. Brown the meat, if using, then add the vegetables and cook them.
Add the garlic, seasonings, broth, tomatoes, etc. Then pressure cook the Lentil Chili.
Is This Lentil Chili Spicy?
No, but this will depend on the chili powder you use. The typical chili powder is mild, but you can purchase hot varieties. If you do, reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon and add more if you like it hotter.
For more heat you can also add chipotle powder or cayenne pepper if you are using regular mild chili powder.
You can garnish Lentil Chili the same way you would garnish any other chili. We like avocado, cilantro, and sour cream. Use whatever you like!
Instant Pot Chili
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If you make this delicious pressure cooker Lentil Chili recipe, please let me know! Just leave a comment with a star rating below. I'd like to know how you liked it!
Instant Pot Lentil Chili is very flavorful, and can be made with meat or vegetarian/vegan. Have this wonderful Lentil Chili on the table in about an hour!
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 pound Lean Ground Beef or Ground Turkey (optional)
- 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
- 2 Carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs Celery, chopped
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 4 cups Vegetable Broth, or low sodium chicken broth
- 1½ cups Dry Brown Lentils, rinsed, picked through, and drained
- 1 28-ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1½ Tablespoons Chili Powder* (see Notes)
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (or ½ teaspoon table salt)
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Grated Cheddar Cheese
- Chopped Green Onion
- Chopped Cilantro
- Sour Cream
- Avocado, in small cubes
- Lentils: Chickpeas
- Chili Powder: cumin, and garlic powder: taco seasoning
Select the sauté setting on the pot. Once the pot is hot add the meat, if using, and brown it, breaking it up and stirring occasionally as you cook it. Then add the onion, bell pepper, carrots, celery, and bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
If not using meat, select the sauté setting on the pot. Once the pot is hot add the oil, onion, bell pepper, carrots, celery, and bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
Cancel the sauté mode, add the rest of the ingredients, stir, close the lid, and turn the valve to sealing position.
Press the Pressure Cook/Manual button or dial, then the +/- button or dial to select 10 minutes. High Pressure. The pot will take several minutes to come to pressure.
When the cook cycle has finished, turn off the pot and let it sit undisturbed for 10 minutes (10 minute natural release). Then turn the steam release knob to the Venting position to release the remaining steam/pressure.
Taste and adjust salt, if desired. Garnish with the topping of your choice and serve.
How Hot Do You Like It?
- The spiciness of this recipe will depend on the chili powder you use. The typical chili powder is mild, but you can purchase hot varieties. If you do, reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon and add more if you like it hotter.
- For more heat you can also add chipotle powder or cayenne pepper if you are using regular mild chili powder.
Use 1 29-ounce can of lentils, drained. Reduce the broth to 1 cup. Reduce pressure cook time to 4 minutes with a 10 minute natural release.
- You can keep the soup in the fridge for up to 4 days; you can also freeze it for 3 months.
- To reheat the soup, thaw it overnight; this will prevent the vegetables from getting soggy.
Calories are approximate and will vary if you use meat, and by your brand/choice of broth, etc.
Resources to Make this Recipe and More
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This recipe was fantastic. Great way to get lentils into my diet. I'll be making this over and over.
OMG this recipe is awesome! I literally just made it at 9am EST. I used 90% Beef and red lentils in place of the brown. Also, only had a can of San Marzano tomatoes and crushed them up by hand...worked perfectly. This one is definitely going to be a keeper.
I had a 3-qt IP and I was finding it a bit difficult to compensate the recipe(s) for a 3-qt vs. 6-qt. A few of my compensated recipes didn't come out so good. So I bit the bullet and bought a 6-qt. It was on sale 2 days ago for $52.99 (usually $89 but it was apparently a special sale).
Arrived yesterday and this was the first dish I made with it. So very happy!