This vegan Instant Pot Quinoa Chili requires just minutes of prep before it goes into the pressure cooker. It’s easy to make, keeps well, freezer-friendly and makes a wonderful, hearty plant-based meal.

Bowl of vegan chili topped with tofu sour cream and green onions.

Instant Pot Cooking Times

Making this quinoa chili in your Instant Pot couldn’t be easier. Simply, add all the ingredients, set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 5 minutes and you’re done! That being said, the Instant Pot always takes longer to use than the specified cooking time because it takes time for the pressure to build up.

Once you have all the ingredients in the Instant Pot and have set it to pressure cook for 5 minutes, the timer won’t start right away. You’ll notice the display reads “on”, even after you set the timer. It will stay like this until the Instant Pot comes to pressure, which can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Once it’s at pressure, the 5 minute timer will begin, bringing the total cooking time somewhere between 15-20 minutes.

Once the timer goes off, turn the valve to “quick release” to let the pressure out. This will save time as waiting for the pressure to release naturally can add another 10-15 minutes.

Instant Pot Quinoa Chili Method

You’ll need just 5-10 minutes to prep this recipe, depending on how speedy you are with a knife. To prep the recipe, get your Instant Pot out and begin chopping the veggies.

Start by adding the onion, garlic, bell peppers, jalapeno and spices to the Instant Pot. There’s no need to mix it all up, just add the ingredients in one by one.

Bell peppers, onion, jalapeno and spices in an Instant Pot.

Next, add the chipotle pepper, quinoa, diced tomatoes, broth and kidney beans.

Quinoa, diced tomatoes and kidney beans in an Instant Pot.

Setting the Instant Pot

Now it’s time to turn the Instant Pot on. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Secure the lid.
  2. Make sure the Venting Knob is set to “Sealing.”
  3. Press “Pressure Cook.”
  4. Adjust the time to 5 minutes. After some time, as the pressure builds, the Float Valve will pop up and the timer will begin. It’s normal for the display to read “ON” even after the Float Valve has popped up. It will eventually display 5:00 and the timer will start.
  5. Once the timer beeps, let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes. If the Float Valve hasn’t dropped yet, carefully switch the Venting Knob to “Venting” to quick release the pressure.
  6. Once the Float Valve drops, you can safely remove the lid.
Vegan quinoa chili in an Instant Pot.

Stovetop Method

If you don’t have an Instant Pot this recipe can easily be made stovetop as well. Here’s how to make it in under 30 minutes on your stovetop:

  1. Saute the onions and garlic in a splash of water for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer lightly for 15-20 minutes until the quinoa is cooked.
Two bowls of vegan quinoa chili.

Instant Pot Quinoa Chili Recipe

The best thing about this recipe is you can just throw everything in the Instant Pot and forget it. Instant Pot recipes take about the same amount of time as cooking stovetop but I just love how they’re completely hands-off.

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe is spicy and has a smoky flavour that may not be for everyone.
  • Adjust the amount of heat by using less jalapeno and/or chipotle pepper, or omitting the chipotle pepper altogether.
  • For more heat, add an additional chipotle pepper or 2 tsp of the adobo sauce.
  • The chili may be a little watery when you open the Instant Pot but it thickens up as it sits.
  • You can additional beans such as pinto, black beans or chickpeas, or use a mixture.
  • You can add 1/2 cup of corn for more flavour and texture.

Chili Toppings

Here are some yummy ideas for topping for chili:

  • tofu sour cream
  • crushed tortilla chips
  • cilantro
  • green onion
  • diced avocado

It’s also delicious with a slice of toasted sourdough bread or warm tortilla for dipping.

Bowl of vegan quinoa chili with sour cream and green onion.

More Vegan Soups and Stews

Loving this quinoa chili? You might like these recipes too:

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Bowl of vegan chili topped with tofu sour cream and green onions.

Vegan Instant Pot Quinoa Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 3.7 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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This smoky, spicy chili recipe takes just minutes to prepare. Throw everything in an Instant Pot, set it and forget it!


  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced (approx. 2 cups)
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (I used one yellow and one red, approx. 2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 x 28 oz can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted if you can find them)
  • 1 x 14 oz can kidney beans (1.5 cups), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Start layering the ingredients into the Instant Pot. Start with the onions, peppers, garlic and spices, then add the rest of the ingredients. There’s no need to mix it up.
  2. Seal the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to Sealing.
  3. Press “Pressure Cook” and set the timer to 5 minutes. The Instant Pot will take some time to come to pressure so the timer won’t start right away. This is normal. Total cooking time might be 15-20 minutes.
  4. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes then if the Float Valve hasn’t dropped yet, carefully turn the valve to Quick Release to release the pressure from the Instant Pot (or you can let the pressure release naturally all the way). Once the Float Valve drops, you can carefully remove the lid.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve right away or store in the fridge for up to 5 days for freezer for up to 2 months in a sealed container. Serve topped with fresh cilantro, vegan sour cream and green onion.


This recipe is easily customizable. Try adding pinto beans, black beans, corn or chickpeas.


  • Serving Size: 1/5th of recipe
  • Calories: 178
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 8 g