Spicy Red Lentil Vegan Chili – Instant Pot

Spicy Red Lentil Vegan Chili - Instant Pot


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Spicy Red Lentil Vegan Chili - Instant Pot

We’ve been playing around with our instant pot so much lately and we absolutely love this red lentil chili.

It goes great over brown rice and we love to put some fat free hummus on top for some extra creaminess!

Spicy Red Lentil Vegan Chili

Spicy Red Lentil Vegan Chili

By Hannah Howlett

Printer Friendly PDF For This Recipe

Published : January 11th, 2016

Description : We’ve become totally addicted to this easy to make red lentil chili. Goes amazing over brown rice!

Prep Time : 15 Minutes

Cook Time : 30 Minutes

Total Time : 45 Minutes


  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can (6oz) tomato paste
  • 1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes


  1. Prepare and place all of your ingredients in to the Instant Pot.
  2. Set the cooker to manual and change the time to 17 minutes. Remember to set the valve to sealing.
  3. Once the time is complete, let it naturally release for 15 minutes.
  4. If you do this on the stove top, bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cover, let cook about 30 minutes or until thick.

Bon Appetit!!


The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. We just purchased ours on Black Friday in 2015 and we use it multiple times per day. We absolutely love it and highly recommend it as your next kitchen purchase. We are currently developing an Instant Pot recipe book that will rock the vegan world!

Want some more delicious recipes like this? Make sure to check out our recipe books for some delicious high carb low fat plant-based meal ideas.

About Hannah

I have lost over 50 pounds following a whole foods plant based diet (188-135) and I have shared that entire journey on my YouTube channel. My main focus is helping people achieve their best health through both mind and body. I focus on eating whole foods in their least processed state. I make Q&A weight loss videos, what I eat videos, and I have written 3 recipe books to showcase delicious recipes to assist with weight loss and beautiful photography.

47 thoughts on “Spicy Red Lentil Vegan Chili – Instant Pot

  1. Very inspiring story, i have been plant based for 4 years now …not 100% but about 90%…looking to get there, i was stuck at 199 after losing about 40 pounds and taken off cholesterol, high blood preesure and acid reflux meds, then i limited my gluten and went down to but now been stuck at 186 for about 6 months. Will check.out your videos to see what else i can do

  2. Can I use balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar? I’ve never used apple cider vinegar, so I don’t know what’s the difference. Thanks 😉

  3. Hi Hannah,
    I just made this tonight and I can see why you guys love it so much. I followed the directions for Instant Pot and it came out absolutely perfect! I will probably serve it with pasta as it reminds of a rich spaghetti sauce in terms of its texture. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. depending on what you’re serving it with, if it is just the chili on it’s own like 2 servings, if you’re mixing it with rice then 4 or 5

  4. This looks amazing and so simple, definitely going to try this in my crockpot this weekend! I have a question too, I got a pressure cooker for Christmas called a Power Cooker, how would I cook this recipe in it if there is no manual button?

    Thanks in advance!

  5. Just made this recipe yesterday! So simple to make and taste so good! I initially threw it all in and thought wow this is so much water but it thickened up quickly and tasted amazing! Thanks guys! You are both so inspiring!

  6. I’m pretty new to lentils. I have some brown ones – would you recommend buying some red ones for the recipe for the slightly softer texture or different flavor? Or would you guess that brown ones would work okay if I cook it a little longer?

      1. Thanks for the response 🙂 That was my guess, but I wanted to be sure before buying more lentils! So excited to make this!

  7. Thank you for this recipe! It’s fabulous and I am not (yet) vegan. I got my instant pot today and this was the first recipe I tried! I will be eating it for lunch tomorrow! Amazing how good food can be without meat or dairy in it. I have been watching your videos for a while and it’s because of you that I am thinking about changing my lifestyle. Thank you and keep up the wonderful videos and recipes! I can’t wait for the instant pot cookbook!

  8. I made this for the first time with what I had; brown lentils. Because I was in a hurry, I cooked it on the stove. Even so, it cooked up really quick and is fabulous even on its own! I topped it with Sour Supreme (tofu sour cream). AmazinG Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  9. Can I use brown lentils, I don’t have red lentils? BTW I absolutely love your what I eat in a day blogs. I recently started following you guysand y’all are the best!

  10. I just made this today and served with brown rice, diced avocado and tortilla chips. It was very good, I just added some hot sauce to taste at the table. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe.

  11. Hi! Thanks so much for this recipe! I’m not a vegan but over the last several months I’ve been majorly increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables & starches, etc I’m eating and overall trying to incorporate more plant based dishes into my diet & trying to consume less animal products. Anyway, I made this for myself to eat for lunch with brown rice during the week or for a quick meal on the weekends and WOW, simply amazing. I have to say this was exactly what I was looking for and I’m addicted to say the least! This batch was so huge that I had to split it two large containers and freeze the other half for later. One large container lasted me an entire week (I did pair it with rice) and now I’m finally on the other container. Not only does this taste good & but it’s healthy and easy on the wallet. I want to add that I’ve NEVER tried lentils in my life and had NO Idea how it would taste but I was pleasantly surprised. I’m already going to be buying more ingredients to make another batch when I go shopping this weekend.Thanks again for the awesome recipe! 🙂

  12. Guys, thanks so much for this recipe! I added some cumin, and some red kidney beans – cooking it up now! Otherwise all is the same. I’m so excited to try it! 😉 I also didn’t have red lentils, only the brown, so hopefully it comes out well!

  13. Family loves this recipe! It is one of our mainstays with rice. THIS IS SO GOOD!! Thank you for sharing it. Been starch base for a while and just could not find good recipes until we found YOU! LOVE IT!!!

  14. I am making this for the first time as I am typing this comment lol and I have high expectations since all of your other recipes have been delicious! I will post my final thoughts after tasting but I’m sure it will be 2 thumbs up…. Side note are there any recipes for brown lentils on you guys Vlogs?

  15. So I must be honest and say I followed this recipe to the T from ingredients to cooking and it came out a little bland and the taste that it does have isn’t all that flattering. I even tried adding a lil himalayan salt and hot sauce. It has potential but maybe after the flavors marinate overnight it will taste better to me. Might I add this is the first time I’ve ever had re lentils so I guess this is one of those dishes that’s just not for me.

  16. Just made this tonight. I’m new to vegan and so far have had no success liking lentil recipes I’ve tried. I’m just not used to the taste of lentils I guess. Given I love the herbs in this I thought that I could use this as a sub for taco mince for the week. I wasn’t sure when cooking. It didn’t smell like something I’d like but I gave it a go. It worked a treat!! This will definitely do me dinner for the rest of the week and will go into the recipe folder for future.

  17. Isn’t this Chef AJ’s recipe? I’ve noticed a lot of the recipes you guys put out as your own come from other Whole Foods Plant Based types. I’m not trying to throw shade or make a shit ton of accusations here, I’m just saying it seems like you should credit the chefs and bloggers whose recipes yours are based off of if you’re going to be selling them in your ebooks and such.


    1. sure it’s similar to chef aj’s recipe but there are main differences between the two

      I believe it would only be necessary to mention them if you were using their recipe specifically, in that case you would have to ask for permission

      I’ve seen people make recipes based off of ours on other blogs and websites, doesn’t bother me

  18. I have a different electric pressure cooker and last time I made this it was more of a soup. I adjusted the water the second time to 4 cups and it is the perfect consistency! Yum!

    1. I made in regular stove top pot.. 7 cups was way too much water even after adding an additional 1/2 cup of lentils. Was liquid lentil soup. Bummer!

  19. Oh my gawwwwd!! Now I understand why Derek is so obsessed with this recipe. This is probably the best thing I’ve ever made. I can’t wait to take this to my work tomorrow for lunch. Thank you so much for an amazing recipe and I am counting down for the InstantPot e-book!! ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!!

  20. I want to try this recipe tonight. A couple questions though. Is that 1 can of tomato paste or tomato sauce? What size do I get? I’m assuming the can of diced tomatoes is 15oz. Thanks

    1. the updated recipe is up on the page now, I haven’t updated the PDF

      1 6oz can of tomato paste and a 15oz can of diced tomatoes

  21. Is the tomato paste really necessary? I don’t use any veggies from a can, that said, how many tomatoes should I dice up? 15 oz worth?

    1. If you leave out the tomato paste it turns out soupy, learned that from experience 🙂

  22. Hi! Has anyone tried this on the stove? I do not have an instant pot nor can afford one currently, any ideas?

    1. Hey it says at the bottom that if you cook it on a stove bring it to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for half an hour or until thick.

  23. Hey Hannah,
    I have followed your youtube channel for a long time now and after trying to figure out which diet works out for me best for the last two years, I think I will dig more deeply into the starch solution. As I live in Germany a fruit based diet does not work, as it is cold and rainy all year around. Raw food in bulks does not satisfy me either.

    I am really happy to see that you have so much starch based hclf recipes online! Sadly there aren’t much youtubers and bloggers that write about this kind of diet – it seems like they are all on this 10 banana smoothie diet which is not attractive to me. So in the following days I will definitely try out some of your recipes. I am really really motivated as I just watched Forks over Knifes. 😉

    xx Ana http://www.disasterdiary.de

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