October – Black Bean Chili in the Electric Pressure Cooker

October – Black Bean Chili in the Electric Pressure Cooker

I could have called this Instant Pot Black Bean Chili, that brand of electric pressure cooker has taken the internet and Pinterest by storm. But my electric pressure cooker is not an Instant Pot, although it works exactly like one. I got it before the craze hit, and it sat in the garage for several years, sadly unused. I was still terrified by the memories of my mothers old pressure cooker sizzling on top of the stove. I was afraid it was going to blow up at any moment, as children she gave us so many warnings to stay away from it. That fear has dissipated, modern electric pots are much safer. But I pull it out mainly for soups and stews, cold weather foods. During the summer it goes back into storage. I just can’t get behind all the Instant Pot recipes on Pinterest that don’t actually save you any time. I’d rather cook things on the stove, grill, or in the oven. There are additional flavors added with those methods. Why go through the trouble of pulling it out of the cupboard and having it take up space on your countertop? Just my rant.

But, beans are a different story and this recipe is a definite time saver. Why? Because you cook the dried black beans from scratch along with the chili. That’s right, no soaking. The whole thing, start to finish, takes an hour. You end up with both perfectly cooked black beans and a delicious chili. Now that is time saving! Even better, it is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and delicious. All good, eh?

Personally I think this is a perfect meal for Halloween night.

I combined and modified two recipes into one for this dish. The first comes from A Pinch of Yum for instant pot pumpkin walnut chili and the second from Well Plated for Instant Pot Black Beans.

This recipe makes a lot, well over two quarts, so you will have plenty to share or stick in your freezer for nights you don’t want to cook. I love having that kind of meal insurance.

The Pinch of Yum recipe calls for adding 2 or 3 14-ounce cans of black beans at the end. 1 can of black beans is about 2 1/2 cups; 1 pound of dried black beans makes about 5 – 6 1/2 cups of cooked black beans. So I used 1 pound of black beans from the start, adjusting the liquid measurements. Well Plated called for 3 cups of water or broth to a pound of black beans. Using that recipe I found the beans were cooked perfectly, but a little dry to my taste. I wanted something more soupy. Adding a little extra liquid to the Pinch of Yum chili recipe adjusted for that.

There were some other modifications, I left out the bulgur wheat and the pumpkin in the Pinch of Yum recipe; mainly because I wanted something gluten free and didn’t have a can of pumpkin in the pantry (I may try that next time). Feel free to add a 14-ounce can of pumpkin puree at the end, please let me know how and if you like it. Everything is coming up pumpkin in October and November.

I did add the chopped walnuts for texture, they add a meatiness as well as extra protein to the chili. You only need to a salad for this to be a complete meal. Do use some of the recommended finishing options though.

So here goes!

Black Bean Chili


  • 1 28-ounce can of chopped fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 poblamo peppers chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 2 cups of walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder, mild (or hot if that’s how you like it)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound of dried black beans
  • 8 cups of water


  1. Rinse and pick over the black beans to make sure there are no small stones, drain.
  2. Dump everything in your pressure cooker and give it a stir.
  3. Set it to cook for 35 minutes once you get to high pressure.
  4. Let it release naturally for 25 minutes.
  5. Then release the rest of the steam.

Thin it out with extra water if it seems too thick. Check for salt.

Be sure to dress up the chili and finish it with shredded cheese, avocado, lime wedges, sour cream or plain yogurt, chopped cilantro, crumbled tortilla chips. Let your imagination go wild.

That’s all!


Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili

This week I am co-hosting Fiesta Friday on Angie’s website. My partner co-host is Deb at Pantry Portfolio. 

Come join in the fun by checking out the posts by a group of talented cooks, gardeners and crafters. And please add your own, read the instructions for posting in order to be considered for the picks of the week.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and thank you for reading.

January in the Kitchen – Vegetarian Chili with Beer and Butternut Squash

January in the Kitchen – Vegetarian Chili with Beer and Butternut Squash

Vegetarian Chili with Beer and Butternut Squash

Even non-vegetarians will love this chili! Our son, a definite carnivore, said it was his favorite of the three. The chili is better the next day once flavors meld, perfect for a party since it can be made ahead. Reheat gently before serving. party food. This recipe will feed 8 hungry hikers.

The recipe is adapted from the vegetarian-cooking app by Lukas Volger. I used Magic Mineral Broth for the vegetarian stock; you’ll need about 4 cups. If you are gluten free, consider using dry cider in place of the beer.

Start by soaking the beans the day before you intend to make the chili.

  • 1 pound of dried beans of medium size 


    Pinquito beans

  • 4 guajillo or ancho chiles, dried 

    Dried Guajillo Chili

    Dried Guajillo Chili

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 small fresh chilies such as Serrano, stemmed and seeded
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil such as canola or sunflower
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 2 cups of dark brown ale
  • 1 28-oz can of chopped or crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock, such as Magic Mineral Broth
  • 4 cups of cubed winter squash, (1/2 inch cubes) 
  1. Soak the beans the night before you intend to make the chili. Start by rinsing the beans and picking them over to remove any stones. Cover them with plenty of cool water and leave overnight.
  2. Briefly toast the cumin and fennel seeds in a dry skillet until golden brown. Crush in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  3. Cover the dried chilies with hot water and soak for about 10 minutes, until softened. Drain, reserving the soaking water. Stem and seed the chilies, chop them coarsely.
  4. Combine the onions and carrots in a feed processor and chop finely.
  5. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the carrot-onion mixture, cook on medium until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the soaked chilies, garlic, and fresh chilies to the bowl of the food processor. With the motor running, pour in a few tablespoons of the chili soaking water. You want to puree the contents into a smooth paste. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Add the chili paste to the onions and carrots in the pot. Add the crushed cumin and fennel seeds, paprika, cocoa powder, and salt. Cook about 5 minutes until thick.
  8. Add the beer and scrape up any browned bits.
  9. Add the drained beans and stir
  10. Add the can of tomatoes and the stock.
  11. Bring to a boil, partially cover the pot, and cook for 60 minutes or until the beans are almost tender.
  12. Add the cubed squash and cook for another 30 minutes until the beans and squash are cooked. Taste a few beans to make sure they are done.
  13. Add additional stock or water as needed if the chili seems too thick. If you reheat the chili you will probably need to add more stock or water.
Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Serve with rice. Garnish with sour cream, chopped onion, shredded cheese, and cilantro.