Three Bean Vegan Chili

By September 23, 2015

three bean vegan chili 600x450 Three Bean Vegan Chili

Submitted by Amy T.

This is by far my family’s favorite. I make it generally once a week. It is 100% vegan as well as oil, salt, sugar, and gluten-free. while the recipe is fantastic straight out of the pressure cooker, I find that the flavor and spices are enhanced even more the next day as leftovers.

With this recipe I have mixed and matched over 10 different types of dried beans with great results. So, feel free to change the types of beans and ratios of each if you desire. In the end, the recipe needs 2 cups of dried beans total.

Also, try not to skip on the cumin seeds! They give this chili unique and fantastic flavor. Whole cumin seeds can be found inexpensively in the Mexican food section in most grocery stores and come in plastic bags.

Three Bean Vegan Chili
Time:10 minutes prep, 12 minutes high pressure, natural pressure release
Servings: 6-8

2/3 cup dried black beans, soaked for 8 hours (or 1 1/2 cup cooked black beans/1 can)
2/3 cup dried pinto beans, soaked for 8 hours (or 1 1/2 cup cooked pinto beans/1 can)
2/3 cup dried red beans, soaked for 8 hours ( or 1 1/2 cup cooked red or kidney beans/1 can)

1.) Rinse and pick over all of the dried beans. In a large bowl combine all of the dried beans and cover with water. Allow to soak for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse after soaking. (Skip this step if you are using canned beans. Make sure to drain and rinse if you are.)
2.) In the pressure cooker, saute the cumin seeds, onion, and minced garlic for 5 minutes, adding vegetable broth or water to prevent burning as needed.
3.) Add the remaining ingredients, reserving the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce for after pressure cooking. Stir well and lock lid into place, with the venting valve closed. Set to manual high pressure for 12 minutes (6 minutes if using canned beans). Once 12 (or 6) minutes are up, allow for a natural pressure release.
4.) Stir in the can of diced tomatoes and can of tomato sauce. Allow to cool and thicken with the lid off if time allows. If you find the chili isn’t thick enough, blend 1-2 cups in a high speed blender and return to the pot, or use an immersion blender.
5.) Serve hot with any of the topping ideas below.

1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cups onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic

3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth, boiling
3/4 cup carrots, chopped, about 2 carrot sticks
1/4 cup celery, chopped, about 1 celery stick)
1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp mild chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional

After Pressure Cooking:
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1-14.5 oz can tomato sauce

Topping suggestions:
fresh cilantro
fresh parsley
cashew sour cream
green onions
nutritional yeast
roasted red peppers
black olives
favorite hot sauce
shredded vegan cheese

Amy’s Notes:

With the pressure cooker method, you can decrease the cooking time even more by using canned/cooked beans. If this is the case, I would reduce the cooking time at high pressure to 6 minutes with a natural pressure release. Just use your best judgement as you change the recipe!

I like the chili on its own with any of the toppings above, but it is also be great served on any type of baked potato; with a cooked whole grain like brown rice, barley, or quinoa; or with tortilla chips on the side. In this picture, I served mine with nutritional yeast, cilantro, green onions, and roasted red pepper.

Print Friendly


11 Responses to “Three Bean Vegan Chili”

  1. Melanie says:

    Do you drain the can of chopped tomatoes before adding, or just dump in the whole can? Thanks!


    Amy Reply:

    Hi Melanie, I don’t drain my diced tomatoes but you could if you wanted an even thicker chili. All personal preference :)


  2. Tracy says:

    I’m curious if this can be made from dried beans without the soaking. That is why I got my instant pot, yet most of the recipes I see still say to soak. BUT I JUST got mine and so I do not know enough yet to experiment. How would not soaking effect the time to cook??


    Amy Reply:

    Hi Tracy, You could make this recipe with unsoaked dried beans, but you would need to increase the cooking time to 20-30 minutes or more. I find that I get more evenly cooked beans when I give them time to soak. You could also use a quick soak method I like. Take the dried beans and cover with water in the IP. Set to cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Once the timer goes off, allow one hour to sit before starting your recipe.


  3. Paul Reynolds says:


    Just cooked this and consistency was like a thin soup and not a chilli! Help? What have I done wrong? Tastes great though.



    Amy Reply:

    Hi Paul, In the recipe I say to blend a cup or two in a blender if you want a thicker chili, but I find that mine thickens up when it sits overnight in the fridge.


  4. Mikey says:

    Your ingredients section should include all the ingredients, not just the beans!


  5. cindy says:

    I measured this and it made 7 cups for me. My cookbook software indicates this recipe, per cup, has 209 calories, 15.2g fiber and 15.5g protein. Even though I did heaping spoonfulls of the spices, I found the chili really bland. The texture was perfect cooking in the Instant Pot using the “bean” program button adjusted to 20 minutes.


    Amy Torres Reply:

    Hi Cindy, thank you for sharing the nutrition calculation for the recipe. I’ve always been curious about that and never took the time to measure before we chowed down!
    I’m sorry you found it a bit bland with the spices. I’ve been no salt vegan for a few years, so my taste buds have adjusted to be accustomed to that. Please feel free to add some salt or additional seasonings to make it fit better for your family. :)


  6. Mona Wachsler says:

    Amy, this looks like a delicious recipe with all the yummy spices! I’m curious to know why you wait to add the tomato products, ? other than that it will take the beans a bit longer to cook? Have you ever made this with the tomatoes added at the beginning?


    Amy Torres Reply:

    Hi Mona, I have never tried it with adding the tomato products from the beginning. When I first started using a pressure cooker, a few of my reference cookbooks warned that adding in acidic ingredients like tomatoes with uncooked beans would cause longer cooking times and that the beans might cook unevenly. I’ve never wanted to risk a pot of yummy chili to try!
    Plus, my family loves this chili so much that when I open the lid and add the cooler tomatoes to the steaming hot chili, it makes it eating temperature faster. I’m all about FAST! 😉


Leave a Reply