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Instant Pot Lentil Chili Recipe Instant Pot Lentil Chili Recipe


Instant Pot Lentil Chili Recipe

Written by: Lucas Johnson

Whipped up a hearty lentil chili in my Instant Pot today. Packed with spices, veggies, and lentils, it's a warm, comforting bowl of goodness. Perfect for chilly nights, and oh-so satisfying!

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Lentil chili in an Instant Pot, you ask? Absolutely! It's hearty, zesty, and oh-so-satisfying. Think a marriage of comforting lentils and fiery chili - all cooked together under high pressure to meld those flavors. Not to mention how the Instant Pot works its magic, tenderizing lentils and infusing them with spices in just a flash. Trust me, you'll want to dive right into a bowl of this goodness - it's a warm hug on chilly nights. I'll show you, step by step, how to make this dish an absolute star at your dinner table. Let's get cooking!

Ingredients for Delicious Lentil Chili

  • Dried brown lentils: High in protein and fiber, they add heartiness and texture to the chili, making it a satisfying and nutritious meal.
  • Onion: Adds depth of flavor and sweetness to the dish, creating a flavorful base for the chili.
  • Garlic: Provides a rich, savory taste and aroma, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the chili.
  • Red bell pepper: Adds a pop of color, sweetness, and a subtle crunch to the chili, balancing out the flavors.
  • Diced tomatoes: Bring a burst of freshness and acidity to the dish, complementing the earthy flavors of the lentils.
  • Tomato sauce: Provides a rich and thick base for the chili, enhancing the overall texture and flavor of the dish.
  • Vegetable broth: Infuses the chili with savory depth and moisture, creating a flavorful and well-rounded base for the dish.
  • Chili powder: Adds a kick of heat and depth of flavor to the chili, giving it that classic chili taste.
  • Cumin: Offers a warm and earthy flavor, enhancing the overall complexity of the chili.
  • Paprika: Adds a subtle smokiness and depth of flavor to the dish, elevating the overall taste profile.

Essential Tools for Making Instant Pot Chili

  • Instant Pot: Essential for pressure cooking the lentil chili quickly and efficiently.
  • Knife: Needed for dicing the onion, garlic, and bell pepper for the chili recipe.
  • Cutting board: Provides a stable surface for chopping vegetables and ensures kitchen safety.
  • Can opener: Required to open the cans of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce for the chili.

Serves: 6 people

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes


  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, lime wedges


  1. Rinse the lentils under cold water and drain.
  2. Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode and add a bit of oil. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bell pepper until softened.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, lentils, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine.
  4. Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 15 minutes.
  5. Once the cooking time is up, allow for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes before quick releasing any remaining pressure.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve hot with optional toppings.

Nutritional value:

Per Serving in Calories: 250 kcal | Carbohydrates: 45 g | Protein: 14 g | Total Fat: 1.5 g | Saturated Fat: 0.2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 700 mg | Dietary Fiber: 15 g | Sugar: 8 g | Calcium: 80 mg | Potassium: 800 mg | Iron: 5 mg | Vitamin A: 120 µg | Vitamin C: 30 mg

Tips for Making Lentil Chili Ahead of Time and Freezing

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Prepare the lentil chili as instructed and let it cool completely.
  • Store the chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Freezing Instructions

  • Allow the chili to cool completely.
  • Transfer the chili to a freezer-safe container or resealable bags.
  • Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Did you know that adding a splash of balsamic vinegar to this instant pot lentil chili recipe enhances the depth of flavor and adds a subtle sweetness to the dish? Give it a try next time you cook this recipe!

Common Questions About This Instant Pot Lentil Chili Recipe

Can I use green lentils instead of brown lentils in this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute green lentils for brown lentils in this recipe, but note that green lentils may take slightly longer to cook.
How can I make this chili spicier?
To make the chili spicier, you can add additional chili powder, a pinch of cayenne pepper, or even some diced jalapeños to suit your taste preferences.
Can I freeze the leftover chili?
Absolutely! This chili freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Is this recipe vegan-friendly?
Yes, this lentil chili recipe is vegan-friendly as it does not contain any animal products. It's a great option for those following a plant-based diet.
Can I use a different type of bell pepper?
Yes, feel free to use a different color of bell pepper if you prefer or based on what you have on hand. The flavor may vary slightly, but it will still work well in the recipe.

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