Instant Pot Quinoa Chili

Vegan, spicy and filling Quinoa chili in Instant pot.

Spicy, Vegan, protein-packed chili loaded with quinoa, vegetables, tons of beans and made super easy and quick in Instant pot. It is the best vegetarian chili you will ever make and a perfect soup for a cold or rainy day!

Quinoa chili in 2 bowls with a garnish of avocado, jalapeno, peppers, onions and cilantro.

I am not a soup person, the only soup I honestly love is the good ol’ tomato soup, but this soup changed my whole perspective, I swear! Its spicy, its filling, its healthy and its sooooo good! And the best part is, its Vegan, protein-rich, gluten-free and sooo delicious. This recipe makes a ton of soup, our family of four eat this chili 3 days straight for dinner and still can’t get enough of it!

This recipe is really important to me, as we are starting a new gluten-free lifestyle for my younger daughter. She has major gut issues and going gluten-free and dairy-free has helped so much with her gut problems. This soup is a perfect combination of both and makes meal planning and my life so much easier!

Quinoa chili in a bowl with a garnish of avocado, jalapeno, peppers, onions and cilantro.

What is a Vegetarian Quinoa Chili?

Chili is a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat(usually beef), tomatoes and often beans. But instead of meat, I added quinoa as it is a complete protein. Quinoa is an edible seed from south America and it has all the nine amino acids. The Incas used to call it “Mother Grain”. Quinoa seeds are covered with bitter tasting saponins that naturally repel insects and birds. So before we cook, its good to wash it nicely under running water or get the “Washed” Quinoa. We also make this chili super healthy by adding tons of different vegetables and beans, just like any chili. Trust me, this chili is so good, you wont miss the meat!

How to make the Quinoa Chili in Instant pot?

We need a ton of ingredients for this chili, but the good thing is you can customize the ingredients as you like. You don’t like Zucchini or peppers in the soup and love string beans? Go ahead and switch them up! You can use any beans you want and reduce the amount of tomatoes used, go ahead and use only half the tomatoes. It will still be incredibly delicious!

All the ingredients used to make quinoa chili and chopped vegetables on a chopping board.
  • Turn on the Sauté mode on “High” or “More” setting. Add Olive oil to the pot and when its hot, add roughly chopped onion. Sauté until the onion is slightly softened.
  • Add minced garlic, diced jalapeno and Sauté them for a minute.
  • Add diced carrot, bell pepper/ mini sweet peppers, diced Zucchini and sauté for another minute. Stir in the “washed” quinoa.
  • Then add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce / crushed tomatoes, 3 cups of water/broth and mix it once.
  • Add Red chili flakes, chili powder / paprika, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Add Frozen/fresh corn and Frozen edamame beans. Mix it all once.
Quinoa chili process: Sautéing all the vegetables.
  • Close the lid and turn the valve in sealing position. Cancel the sauté mode and turn on the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode for 10 minutes.
  • Once the pressure is released naturally(NPR), give the chili a stir. Check and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Pressure cooking the Quinoa chili.
  • Add black beans, kidney beans and 1 more cup of water and turn on the sauté mode on “Normal”.
  • Add the juice of half lemon and cilantro and simmer for 10 minutes. Enjoy this piping hot bowl of chili garnished with cilantro, dollop of sour cream, cheese, avocado, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Quinoa chili process part 2.

A few quick things to know about Instant Pot Quinoa Chili:

What other vegetables can be added to the chili?

Anything you like! You can make the chili without any vegetables and just tomatoes, beans and quinoa. Or you can add beans, peas, Summer squash, butternut squash, sweet potato, etc.

Can I add different kind of beans?

Yes! I like adding edamame, black beans and red kidney beans to maintain the basic flavors of chili. But, feel free to add Garbanzo beans, white beans, navy or pinto beans, etc.

Can I make this chili on stove top?

Yes! Sauté all the ingredients until the vegetables are soft and simmer the soup for 30-40 minutes or until the quinoa is completely cooked.

Can I make the chili in a slow cooker?

Yes! With slow cooker, since you cannot sauté, I suggest dumping all the ingredients in the pot and let it slow cook for 3 hours on High.Quinoa chili in the Instant pot.

Can I use store-bought chili seasoning instead of all the individual spices?

Yes, you can! If you don’t have individual spices like coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, etc., you can use a ready-made chili seasoning mix like the McCormick or any other brand.

How to store the Quinoa chili?

This quinoa chili stores really well for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. I put the whole Instant pot insert in my refrigerator and heat the chili on stovetop. Or you can transfer the chili into an airtight container and heat it up on stovetop or microwave.

Can I freeze the chili?

Yes! Transfer the chili in airtight freezer safe containers for up to 3 months. Reheat in microwave or stove top.

Yield: 10 servings

Instant pot Quinoa Chili

Quinoa chili in 2 bowls with a garnish of onions and cilantro.

Vegan, spicy and filling Quinoa chili in Instant pot

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time(including the time for the pressure to build and NPR) 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Turn on the Sauté mode on "High" or "More" setting. Add oil to the pot and when its hot, add chopped onion. Sauté until the onion is slightly softened.
  2. Add garlic, jalapeno and Sauté them for a minute.
  3. Add diced carrot, bell peppers, Zucchini and sauté for another minute. Add in the quinoa.
  4. Add the 2 whole cans of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce / crushed tomatoes, 3 cups of water/broth and mix it once.
  5. Add Red chili flakes, chili powder, paprika, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt. Add Frozen/fresh corn and Frozen edamame beans. Mix it all once.
  6. Close the lid and turn the valve in sealing position. Cancel the sauté mode and turn on the "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" mode for 10 minutes.
  7. Once the pressure is released naturally(NPR), give the chili a stir. Check and adjust the seasoning if needed. (You can do a quick release 15 minutes after the timer is done)
  8. Add black beans, kidney beans and 1 more cup of water and turn on the sauté mode on "Normal".
  9. Add the juice of half lemon and cilantro and simmer for 10 minutes.

Notes

  • You can make the soup on the stovetop too! Sauté all the ingredients until the vegetables are soft and simmer the soup for 30-40 minutes or until the quinoa is completely cooked.
  • Please go through the Frequently asked questions above the recipe card, I hope I covered all the needed information. Leave a comment below if you have any more questions.
  • If you don't have individual spices like coriander powder, cumin powder, paprika, etc., you can use a ready-made chili seasoning mix like the McCormick or any other brand.
  • You can skip all the vegetables and make this soup with whatever ingredients are available in your pantry.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 196Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 362mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 7gSugar: 12gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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