Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner
comments 7

Pressure Cooker 15 Bean Chili

Pressure Cooker 15 Bean Chili

Pressure Cooker 15 Bean Chili

Even though I’m a dedicated omnivore, I occasionally cook for vegetarians – especially at my annual Chili Fest at work. I don’t want anyone to feel left out, so I make sure I have a big pot of vegetarian (vegan?) chili ready for them. 3

This is good when Lent rolls around, and I have to be meat-free on Friday; I’ve got my vegetarian chili game going.

To bulk up the chili, I’m going with all the beans. Forget 13 beans, 14 beans…I’m going for a full 15 bean chili. Of course, I’m cooking it in my pressure cooker – my favorite way to make beans.

Bean mixes solve one of my pressure cooker chili problems – thin sauce. Pressure cookers are a sealed environment , so they can build pressure. Water in the pot can’t evaporate, so the sauce does not thicken like it would in a traditional pan. A bean mix has some quick cooking beans, like lentils and peas, and some long cooking beans, like kidney and lima beans. By the time the long cooking beans are tender, the quick cooking beans have cooked into mush, dissolving into starch and thickening up the whole pot of chili. And then, I puree some of the beans to thicken it up even more. 4

Looking for a vegetarian treat? Try 15 bean chili.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker 15 Bean Chili




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Pressure Cooker 15 Bean Chili

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 8-12 1x


Pressure Cooker 15 Bean Chili recipe. Thick, hearty, bean-filled chili for vegetarians – or bean lovers.



Brined beans

  • 20 ounces (1 bag) of 15-bean dried bean soup mix, sorted and rinsed (discard the spice packet)
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 quarts water


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste (2 teaspoons more kosher salt?)
  • Lime wedges for serving


  1. Soak the beans: Soak the beans overnight: Sort the bean mix, removing broken beans, stones, or dirt clods. Rinse the beans and put them in a large container with the salt. Cover with 2 quarts water. Let the beans soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  2. Sauté the aromatics and the spices: Heat the oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat until it stops foaming. Add the onion, jalapeño, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté until the onions are softened and browning around the edges, about 8 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cocoa powder, and cloves. Toast the spices for one minute.
  3. Pressure cook the chili: Drain and rinse the beans. Pour the beans into the pressure cooker, sprinkle with the baking soda and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, then stir to coat with chili powder. Stir in the water and tomatoes. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 18 minutes in an electric PC, or 15 minutes in a stovetop PC. Turn off the heat and let the pressure release naturally, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot.
  4. Thicken, season, and serve: Puree 2 cups of beans and liquid – I use a 4 cup measure and my stick blender – and stir back into the pot. Stir in the brown sugar and black pepper. Taste the soup, and add salt until the soup tastes sweet and full bodied, and you can just feel the taste of salt on the tip of your tongue. (I need 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to get the taste I want.) Serve.
  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian


Brining the beans

Brining the beans


Ready to make chili

Ready to make chili


Toasting the spices

Toasting the spices





What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Chili
Pressure Cooker Bean Mix Soup
Pressure Cooker French Lentils


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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Excellent! I am a dietitian and always trying out new recipes to share with clients – this was really easy and the flavors came out wonderfully. Thank you!

  2. Nancy travers says

    I have quite a few jars of beans, can I mix my own – whatnam punt would I use? Thanks, nt

  3. Jay Schmallen says

    I’ve made this twice now, the second time added 1 tsp. Chipotle powder, which I”ll keep. Does the baking soda remove the acid common to pressure cooked tomatoes? I enjoy your blog. Thank you.

    • That’s right – because baking soda is alkaline, it balances the acidity in the chili ingredients.

  4. J. White says

    Wondering if a quick version of this with no overnight soak is possible, with a, say 35 minute cook time? My only concern would be what happens to the lentils/peas, but it seems they’re being used for thickener anyway.

    I actually like the bean-base idea for use in a non-vegetarian chili. If using stew meat, seems as if a straight 35-min cook time might work for all ingredients? Thoughts?

    • Yes, 35 minutes without pre-soaking is about right for unsoaked beans. (Check some of the big beans, like the limas, when it is done cooking – if they’re not done yet, stir everything and give it another 5 minutes under pressure.) And, yes, go ahead and add the stew meat to the pot – it will cook in 35 minutes.

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