This pressure cooker chili is a one pot meal made with items you can find in any pantry. The black beans add depth and the lentils add a little spice – the mushrooms tie everything together into savory, satisfying dish.

This recipe fills a six liter/quart pressure cooker half-way – that is the maximum fill level for beans and legumes – so don’t double it (unless, of course, you are using a 12 liter/quart pressure cooker).

In the video, I mention how you can also make the quick-pickled peppers that garnish this chili in the pressure cooker, here’s the recipe for those (it’s easy, too!).

Before we get right into the recipe, I’m going to anticipate a couple of questions based on the feedback I’ve received over the years from new cooks.

What’s the deal with the cooking time?

Most of the things you’ve read and seen so far about the difference between electric and stove top pressure cookers is that stove top pressure cookers reach a higher pressure and thusly cook “hotter” and faster than electrics.  So for a dense food like beans, why give the same cooking time for both types of cookers?  The answer lies in the pressure release.  Stove top pressure cookers average a “Natural Release” opening time of about 10 minutes. Instead, because of their thermos-like construction and ceramic heating disk, electric pressure cookers average a “Natural Release” opening time of about 20 minutes.  Because of the fill level, and type of food being cooked the actual opening time in this recipe is closer to 15 for stove top and 30 for electrics.  Even though there is no additional heat or pressure, the food in the cooker is still cooking with the residual heat and steam during the natural release time.  So, the extra time the electric pressure cooker takes to open makes-up for the fact that the lentils were actually pressure cooked at a lower pressure (temperature).

Why does the “keep warm” program not matter? 

My standard recipe instructions always instruct the cook to turn off or unplug an electric pressure cooker when the pressure cooking time is finished.  This has lead to some readers to mistakenly assume that if they don’t do it, the cooker will take longer to loose pressure.

Here’s the deal: “Keep Warm” is not a pressure program so it won’t actually kick-in until after the cooker has lost pressure.  Even though the program light turns on right after pressure cooking, the heating element isn’t actually heating the food until after the pressure cooker has cooled enough to loose pressure.

So, the real reason I instruct you to turn off  the “Keep Warm” program or unplug the cooker is to prevent the food from cooking more after the cooker has lost pressure.

Bottom line: Don’t worry, leaving the “Keep Warm” on when pressure cooking is finished will not prolong them time it takes for your pressure cooker to perform a “Natural Pressure Release”.

Now that we’ve cleared-up this bit, let’s make some chili!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger none 10 min. High(2) Natural

4.3 from 9 reviews
Pressure Cooker Black Bean & Lentil Chili
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 6 to 8 servings
  • Serving size: ⅛th (about a cup)
  • Calories: 144.9
  • TOTAL Fat: 2.5g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 24.4g
  • Sugar Carbs: 3.2g
  • Sodium: 362mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 7.5g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: African
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe fills a 6L/qt pressure cooker half-way - this is the maximum fill level for beans in a pressure cooker. Do not double this recipe unless you're using a 12L/qt pressure cooker. As-is this recipe feeds 6-8 people. Substitute the lentils with any variety of whole lentil. The same pressure cooking time is given for both stove top and electric pressure cookers in this recipe because although the stove top pressure cooker cooks "hotter", at a higher pressure, than electrics the natural release is actually a bit faster. So, the electric pressure cooker compensates for this cooking temperature difference by actually cooking the food further during the longer Natural Release (almost 30 minutes for electric versus about 15 for stove top).
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons powdered cumin
  • 1 ounce (30g) dried mushrooms (any kind, I prefer Porcini)
  • 1 cup (200g) lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 cups (400g) dry black beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 1 - 14 oz. can (400g) chopped tomatoes (or 1¾ cups freshly chopped tomatoes - about three tomatoes)
  • 4 cups (1L) water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
optional garnish:
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • quick-pickled jalapeño peppers
  1. Pre-heat the pressure cooker by pressing the "Brown" or "Saute'" program - meanwhile gather the ingredients and chop the carrots and onion.
  2. To the pressure cooker add the oil and onion.
  3. Then, add the spices (paprika, oregano, garlic powder and cumin), dried mushrooms, carrots, and chopped tomatoes. Mix well.
  4. Mix-in the lentils, black beans and water. Mix well.
  5. Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position.
  6. Electric pressure cookers and stove top pressure cookers: Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  7. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural pressure release.
    Electric pressure cookers: Disengage the “keep warm” mode, or unplug the cooker, and open the lid when the pressure indicator/lid-lock has gone down (about 20 to 30 minutes).
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 15 minutes).
  8. Add the salt and Worcestershire sauce and mix well.
  9. Serve and, optionally, garnish with grated cheddar cheese and quick-pickled jalapeño peppers.


CONTINUE to next lesson.



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  1. I used your receipt, I had only soaked one cup of black beans to I ended up using your quick method on one cup of black beans and added the soaked beans.
    I used smoked flavored paprika, some chili powder, and celery. My son ate 4 bowls of the bean and lentil. He added a bit more salt. Thank you for sharing you receipt. Easy and tasty.

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