Instant Pot Vegetarian Taco Lentil Chili
This post was sponsored by iHerb. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Instant Pot Vegetarian Taco Lentil Chili is hearty, healthy vegetarian lentil chili with homemade taco seasoning that’s made in only one pot!
Like most people, I’m trying to eat a lot healthier this month to recover from my holiday cookie-fest. I know I overdid it when I don’t miss eating desserts, and I don’t miss them at all right now.
I’m enjoying plenty of winter salads and cozy, healthy comfort food like this Instant Pot Vegetarian Taco Lentil Chili. This chili is wholesome, nutritious food that’s satisfying in every way.
It doesn’t hurt that it’s Mexican-inspired, and piling on the toppings taco-style makes it downright fun. 🙂
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For this vegetarian lentil chili, I received organic red lentils, organic crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and organic chili powder, smoked paprika and cumin. The products are all high quality, and I highly recommend each one.
Chili has always been a favorite of mine, but this is the first time that I’ve ever included lentils in it. Since lentils are pulses just like beans, it makes sense that they would be a perfect fit.
I also included two types of beans to make this chili even heartier for my growing boys. I love it when plant based meals even satisfy them!
They opted to top theirs with cheese, because hey — it has the word taco in the title. 🙂
How to make Lentil Chili
This instant pot lentil chili couldn’t be easier to make. Aside from a few veggies to prep, it comes together very quickly.
Gather your ingredients, and get the onion cooking for 5 minutes while you prep the remaining veggies.
Add the garlic and spices and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the bell pepper, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, lentils, beans, and salt and black pepper to taste.
Stir well, then secure the lid and set to High Pressure for 13 minutes. Quick release the pressure once finished, and once it’s safe to remove the lid, stir in the fresh lime juice and additional salt and pepper if needed.
The lentils are soft but not mushy. If you prefer the lentils to hold their shape more, try cooking them for about 10-11 minutes instead.
The combination of the lentils and beans is truly satisfying, and the bell pepper adds a nice, sweet flavor, which is a great compliment to the smoky taco seasoning.
The lime juice gives this Instant Pot Vegetarian Taco Lentil Chili a big pop of flavor. Serve with extra lime wedges!
While I’ve titled this recipe “vegetarian”, it’s actually vegan. Keep the chili vegan by topping it with the suggested toppings or dairy free versions of yogurt, sour cream or cheese.
I highly recommend making my Homemade Taco Seasoning to have on hand to make chili, tacos, etc. I love making it homemade because I control the sodium and the flavor is so much better! If you prefer to measure out the spices individually, I suggest using a blend of 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika and 2 teaspoons ground cumin.
This meal is freezer friendly and perfect and a meal prep lunch or dinner!
More vegetarian Instant Pot recipes:
Instant Pot Pumpkin Black Bean Chili Mac
Instant Pot Spicy White Bean and Chard Stew
Instant Pot Wild Mushroom Leek Risotto
Instant Pot Vegetarian Taco Lentil Chili
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning*
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 28 ounces organic crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups water or [Easy Homemade Vegetable Stock]
- 1 cup organic red lentils
- 15- ounce can low sodium kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 15- ounce can low sodium black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 lime juiced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: Additional lime wedges avocado, sour cream, green onion, chopped cilantro, grated cheese
- Select Sauté mode on the Instant Pot and select 6 minutes.
- Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot. Once heated, add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and spices and sauté 30 seconds, then add the bell pepper and stir until combined.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, red lentils, beans, salt and black pepper to taste and stir until combined.
- Secure the lid onto the Instant Pot and close the venting valve. Select High Pressure for 13 minutes, then quick release the pressure. If you prefer lentils that are more firm, reduce the cooking time by about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the lime juice and add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve with your choice of additional toppings if desired and enjoy!
- *I highly recommend making my Homemade Taco Seasoning to have on hand to make chili, tacos, etc. If you prefer to measure out the spices individually, I suggest using a blend of 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika and 2 teaspoons ground cumin.
- This chili is freezer friendly, and is a great meal prep lunch or dinner!
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
- While I’ve titled this recipe “vegetarian”, it’s actually vegan. Keep the chili vegan by topping it with the suggested toppings or dairy free versions of yogurt, sour cream or cheese.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
12 Comments on “Instant Pot Vegetarian Taco Lentil Chili”
Chili is one of my favourite things to prepare in my Instant Pot. And I totally gravitate towards vegetarian chilis. As many as I make, I never thought to add lentils. Great idea! And sounds like I should check out iHerb!
I love vegetarian chilis even more than ones with meat as well, and the lentils really make this extra hearty. Thanks Leanne!
Oooo I love that this uses red lentils! They are my favorite of all the lentils! This chili sounds wonderful. haha And I’m with you – I haven’t really wanted any baked treats either – definitely had my fill last month for at least a bit 🙂
Red lentils are my favorite too and they work so well with the taco seasoning! Thanks Ashley!
We love such kind of meals especially when the weather is somewhat nippy. Beautiful pictures
Thank you very much!
Have you had any issues with the instant pot reading “burn”. I have now tried 3 times to restart it after stirring and releasing stuck on red lentils on the bottom. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong. It has not gotten up to pressure and started cooking before it reads “burn”, I even tried adding more broth.
Hi Kaylee. I’ve had this issue in the past when I didn’t have enough liquid in the pot, but I never had an issue with this recipe and I tested it 3 times. How much more broth did you add? I’d try 1 cup…if that doesn’t work turn the Instant Pot off and try again. I hope it works out for you!
I don’t have an instant pot. Can I do this in a slow cooker?
I’m sure you could Chantrel, but I don’t have specific instructions for that method.
Can I use canned lentils instead of dry? All I can find is canned brown
Canned lentils are already cooked so they would be complete mush in this dish. I’d recommend making it on the stove top using the instructions I’ve given (with a lot less liquid), but once you add the lentils simply simmer everything together just until it’s warm, about 15 minutes.