Chili is of my favorite things to make at our house. I joke that I’m the Queen of “WHATEVER CHILI”. That’s where you throw together whatever you have on hand into a pot, and make a bomb-diggity chili out of it! I’ve been seriously (and pleasantly) surprised at some of the things I’ve made just by having fun with it and getting creative (or lazy…depending on how you look at it 😛 ).
We’ve had a lot of pantry staples around here lately (things like beans, lentils, etc.). I started experimenting with my own versions of plant-based chilis. This PLANT PROTEIN CHILI does a pretty good job of satisfying my chili-cravings.
Chili is also amazing because it stretches and fills you up! You can easily save leftovers for the next day or freeze for later.
Don’t let the list of ingredients intimidate you- it’s basically a few types of beans, lentils, veggies, some broth, and spices. Get creative with it and put your own spin on it!
- You can use canned beans for this recipe or home-cooked ones. If using canned, just rinse and drain them. I like soaking or sprouting beans beforehand to make them more digestible and reduce anti-nutrients.
- Lentils on their own usually take about 20-30 minutes to cook. I have used cooked lentils and added them in towards the end and I have also used uncooked lentils before (I just cooked the chili a little longer so they fully cook).
PLANT PROTEIN CHILI
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 4 minced garlic cloves use more or less depending on preference. I like garlic 🙂
- 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 16 ounces pinto beans cooked or canned (drained and rinsed)(about 2 cups)
- 16 ounces black beans cooked or canned (drained and rinsed) (about 2 cups)
- 12 ounces lentils (about 1.5 cups) If possible, only partially cook these beforehand. If they're already fully cooked, they'll turn mushy.
- 1 chopped bell pepper
- 3 chopped carrots
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes with juice I used a large can for this batch but have also used less with tasty results
For spices, I usually eye spices and flavor to preference. I suggest you do the same!
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a large pot, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and carrots and cook on low-medium heat. Cook until vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent ( about 7 - 10 minutes).
- Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring (about 1-2 minutes).
- Add in diced tomatoes with their juices, drained black beans and pinto beans, lentils, vegetable broth and the bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking and stirring occasionally. Reduce heat as necessary to a simmer, for 40- 45 minutes.
- Add oil and onions to the Instapot and hit "saute". Add carrots and pepper and cook for just a few minutes until onions are translucent. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring (about 1-2 minutes).
- Add all other ingredients to the Instapot, hit the CHILI button, and let the magic happen. Don't forget to turn the SEALING knob on the top.
- Great toppings for this: Cilantro, sour cream, plain yogurt, roasted chickpeas, or whatever you'd like!
Seriously though, have fun with chili! It’s one of those dishes that’s hard to mess up. 🙂