Instant Pot Red Lentil Chili with Pumpkins and Black Beans will wow your carnivores with its flavor and texture. This easy dish makes a perfect meal on Halloween night – keep it on the warm setting and grab a bowl before or after trick-or-treating.
Red Lentil Chili your Carnivore will Adore
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this cookbook for free. All opinions shared are my own.
The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook by Jane Bonacci and Sara De Leeuw is filled with comforting, nourishing, simple recipes that use easy-to-find ingredients and pantry items you will likely have on hand. You don’t need to be a gluten-free eater to enjoy this book. While Jane and Sara always offer ingredient choices to satisfy gluten-free requirements, every recipe is just as appropriate for a gluten-based diet. And if you are tentative about how to use your pressure cooker, Jane and Sara take all the fear and guesswork out of it with excellent instructions.
I started with this red lentil chili because it is a tradition in our house to eat chili on Halloween. And what better chili to eat for Halloween than one with pumpkin in it?!
At first I was skeptical that it might taste sweet or just not savory enough to satisfy my carnivore husband’s beefy chili expectations. But I was wrong. This Instant Pot Red Lentil Chili is a really smart recipe. It looks and tastes hearty and substantial like a traditional beef-based version. But it is vegan (if you don’t put the yogurt on top) and gluten-free if you use Jane and Sara’s recommended ingredients.
How to Make Instant Pot Red Lentil Chili
- The recipe doesn’t require you to saute the onions, garlic and peppers, but I chose to in the pressure cooker on sauté mode.
- As they caramelized and softened, I gathered my other ingredients – the walnuts, lentils, seasonings, and stock.
- Once the veggies were softened and slightly browned, I added everything except the pumpkin puree and the black beans.
- This mixture cooks at pressure for 30 minutes, then you add in the pumpkin and black beans and just let it heat through on keep warm.
- You end up with a deeply-colored and richly-flavored vegan and gluten-free chili.
- They suggest topping with avocado, lime wedges, and cilantro and to serve it with cornbread. A dollop of sour cream or yogurt is also excellent if you are not vegan.
What Ingredients are in Instant Pot Red Lentil Chili?
In the book, they call this recipe Pumpkin Black Bean Chili. But I think every carefully chosen ingredient in this recipe matters.
- Two cups of red lentils give it protein and so much wonderful texture and color. Plus red lentils cook quickly.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes are the perfect addition for liquid, color, and flavor.
- Vegetable stock is used to cook the red lentils under pressure. I think you could use chicken stock or beef stock if you are not trying to make this dish vegan.
- Fresh peppers – jalapeno and poblano – give it flavor and heat but not too much heat if you take out the seeds.
- Canned chipotle pepper adds a bit more spice and lots of smoky flavor, enhanced further by the smoked paprika.
- The surprise ingredient for me are the walnuts. They are toasted up and coarsely chopped and cook in the instant pot with the lentils. When you serve the chili, they still have a crunch to them – adding an even more interesting texture to the dish.
- Pumpkin puree (unsweetened) and the 2 cans of black beans are added after the pressure cooking is done and just get heated through. Turns out you can’t really taste the pumpkin but it brings together the expected chili consistency just perfectly.
- And it has all the expected chili basics – onion, garlic, chili powder.
I highly recommend making this Instant Pot Red Lentil Chili with Pumpkin and Black Beans, even if you are used to making beefy chili con carne. And if you are looking for inspiration to take that Instant Pot out of the box and use it, buy this book and get going! What are you waiting for?
Don’t have a pressure cooker yet? We bought the 6 quart Instant Pot and are happy with it even though we mostly cook for two people these days. If you are cooking for a large family, you might consider the 8 quart version.
Other OMG! Yummy Pumpkin Recipes:
- Pumpkin Pie Granola Sweetened with Date Syrup
- Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes
- Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good
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Instant Pot Red Lentil Chili with Pumpkin and Black Beans
- 1 28-ounce (or 784 g) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes including juice
- 1 large poblano pepper seeded and finely chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and minced
- 1 chipotle pepper from canned gluten-free chipotle in adobo chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups (or 210 g) chopped walnuts toasted
- 2 cups (or 400 g) red lentils
- 1 tablespoon (or 15 ml) sauce from the chipotles in adobo, or more depending on your heat preference (La Costeña brand is gluten free)
- 2 teaspoons (or 12 g) salt
- 3 tablespoons (or 24 g) gluten-free chili powder (Penzey's and McCormick clearly label their products)
- 2 tablespoons (or 14 g) smoked paprika (Penzey's brand is gluten free)
- 7 cups (or 1645 ml) vegetable stock divided (recipe included in book)
- 1 14-ounce (or 392 g) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 2 15-ounce (or 438 g) cans black beans well rinsed and drained
- Avocado slices
- Lime wedges
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Savory Gluten-Free Corn Bread (page 110)
- Place the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, walnuts, lentils, and seasoning in the inner pot of your electirc pressure cooker. Stir in 6 cups (1410 ml) of the vegetable stock.
- Close and lock the lid, making sure the steam release knob is in the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
- When the cooking time is complete, do a quick release by opening the release knob and venting all the steam. When the float pin drops, unlock the lid and open it carefully.
- Stir in the pumpkin puree, black beans, and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of remaining stock. Lock the lid back in place and allow the beans to warm through, about 5 minutes. If the chili is too thick, add the remaining 1/2 cup (120 ml) stock and stir well.
- Serve with avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, and corn bread as desired.
- Jane and Sarah add the note that "red lentils have been hulled and split, showing their lovely golden-orange color. They are easier to cook and make for a very smooth consistency."
- This dish would be delicious without the walnuts or you could sub another nut, if you don't like or can't eat walnuts. Susan from Wimpy Vegetarian used pumpkin seeds and loved it.