Instant Pot Vegetarian Tomatillo, Bean, and Squash Stew

I haven’t tried this on Nora yet, but it was a big hit with everyone else (my mom and husband). As with all my Instant Pot recipes, quantities are approximate and substitutions welcome.

  • 1 cup dried white beans
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • about 3/4 lb tomatillos
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 large onion
  • several cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 heaping tbsp salt
  • 1 heaping tsp cumin
  • black pepper

Soak the beans and chickpeas in boiling water in the Instant Pot for 2-24 hours (depending on schedule convenience). Drain the water and rinse the beans thoroughly. (The soaking is skippable, but I think it helps with gas.)

Microwave the squash for 5 minutes and let it cool (also skippable, but makes peeling much easier). Halve it, scoop out the seeds (save them for roasting!), and peel the squash (I used a knife to cut away the flesh). Cut the squash into rough chunks and put it into the pot with the beans.

Dice the onion. Mince the garlic. Peel and halve the tomatillos. Seed and mince the jalapeno. Add the vegetables to the pot. Add stock or water to about the level of the beans (I could have gotten away with less, since the vegetables juice out so much). Add the salt, cumin, and a generous grind of black pepper.

Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.

When the stew is done, use a potato masher to mash the soup. The squash and tomatillos will basically dissolve, leaving you with a greenish soup and very soft beans.


Instant Pot Black Bean and Barley Stew

I’m discovering that I like keeping track of my Instant Pot recipes so I know how much beans and salt to put in, and how long to cook for. But the rest is open to improvisation, and it always somehow comes out good. Instant Pot cooking seems to be very, very forgiving.

  • 1.5 cups dried black beans
  • 1.5 cups pearled barley
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (optional, for soaking)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 dried chili pepper, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Soak beans and barley in boiling water with apple cider vinegar in the Instant Pot for 2-24 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly until water runs reasonably clear. (I’m pretty sure soaking is optional, but I’m still in the habit of doing it if I have time.)

Fill the pot with water or broth to 2 inches above the beans and barley. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook on the “Beans/Chili” setting for 25 minutes.

Just before serving, pour the olive oil on top and stir it in. (Optional, but tasty.)

Instant Pot Vegetarian Lentil Stew

This recipe is a work in progress, as my husband was the one who prepared the lentils and veggies and he didn’t do any measuring. I will try measuring more precisely next time in order to have one recipe I can use as the standard.

  • 3 cups dried lentils
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalk of celery, diced
  • several cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp salt

Put the beans in the Instant pot. Pour boiling water over the beans with about two inches of water above the beans. Let soak for 2-24 hours.

Drain and thoroughly rinse the beans until the water runs clear. Add water (or bone broth, for the non-vegetarian version) up to at least an inch above the beans. Add vegetables and and spices. Hit the “Beans/Chili” button and dial the time down to 20 minutes.

Instant Pot Vegetarian White Bean Chili

This is the best white bean chili I’ve ever made. The Instant Pot really concentrates the vegetable flavors.

I also found that soaking the beans for two hours in boiling water and a piece of kombu in the Instant Pot is more than enough to reduce gas, which is the problem I’ve always had with white beans. Even when the Instant Pot is off, it’s great at keeping its contents warm, which is a perfect way to soak beans.

  • 2 cups dried white beans
  • 1 piece of kombu
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf

Put the beans in the Instant pot. Pour boiling water over the beans with about two inches of water above the beans. Add the kombu and a pinch of baking soda and cover. Let soak for 2-24 hours. In the meantime, dice the onions, carrots and celery. Wash and chop the kale.

Drain and thoroughly rinse the beans until the water runs clear. Add water up to at least an inch above the beans, more if you want the chili to be more like a white bean soup. Add the kombu, vegetables, and spices. The kale will reach the top of the pot, but it cooks down, so this isn’t an issue. Hit the “Beans/Chili” button (high pressure, 30 minutes)  and walk away until the chili is done.

Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili

This is very liberally adapted from The Real Food Daily Cookbook by Ann Gentry. The main problem is fitting all the ingredients in the pot! I actually chopped more than could fit. The version below is my best guess as to what actually did fit.

This version was spicy enough to taste like chili, but not spicy enough to scare Nora off. She loved it, probably because everything cooked up nice and soft.

  • 3 cups dried kidney beans
  • 1 piece of kombu
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 red or green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno chile
  • 4-10 cloves garlic
  • 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp dried sage
  • 2 tbsp sea salt

If you care about Weston A. Price recommendations, bring some water to a boil. And the beans, kombu, and water to the Instant Pot, and soak for 18-24 hours. I discovered that the Instant Pot keeps the boiling water hot for a good long time, which is ideal for phytase activity. To be honest, I’m not fully convinced that soaking grains and legumes really matters nutritionally, but I find the beans very digestible with this method so I’ll continue to do it when I have time.

Dice the onions, carrot, celery, and bell pepper. Seed and mince the jalapeno. Mince the garlic.

Rinse the beans thoroughly until the water runs clear. Add the remaining ingredients, including the kombu (no need to stir). Add water just past the level of the beans. Hit the “Beans/Chili” button (high pressure, 30 minutes) and walk away.

When the chili is done cooking, use a wooden spoon to break up the kombu and then serve.

Instant Pot Black Bean Stew

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from recipe posting because Nora was sick a few weeks ago and not eating much of anything.

At the same time, she made some big developmental leaps. Language is now a big part of the feeding equation. She points at things she’s interested in, wants to eat what I’m eating (including coffee and ice cream), and cries when she doesn’t get her way. She can make a few signs such as “yogurt,” “more,” and “all done,” though not consistently. When a desirable item is within her field of view (egg or yogurt), she will often refuse everything else. So mealtimes require a lot more strategizing than they used to.

That said, she did enjoy this black bean stew, with peanut butter starring as the secret ingredient to make it smooth and creamy. All quantities are extremely approximate. This is a garbage soup; just throw in however much you want to use up and adjust the seasoning of the puree at the end. The peanut butter is somewhat disguised by the other strong flavors and colors, but you can always add more or less depending on whether you want it to be a star.

I used cooked black beans in this recipe because that’s what I had on hand, but if I were starting from scratch, I’d probably use the “Beans/Chili” function for 20 minutes.


  • 1 large onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 32 oz can of tomatoes
  • 1 bunch carrot tops
  • 2 cups bone broth (omit for vegetarian version)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • salt, pepper, savory

Saute the onion at the bottom of the Instant Pot until they begin to brown. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and saute until they just begin to soften.

Add the other ingredients. Add enough broth or water to approximate the desired consistency (about 1 cup the time I did it). Add salt, pepper, and spices. Cook using the “Soup” function for 12 minutes.

When the soup is done (either natural or quick release), use an immersion blender to puree. Add peanut butter and puree some more. Adjust seasoning, adding more peanut butter if desired.

Soaking Legumes

These recommendations are from the WAPF site:

How does all this science translate into perfect beans? Soak legumes in plenty of water that has been brought to a simmer and poured over the beans; add about 1/4 cup of something acidic (lemon juice, vingear or whey) to black beans, lentils and fava beans but soak other types of beans (white beans, brown beans and dried peas) in plain water–preferably soft water or water with a pinch of baking soda added. You don’t need to worry about having the optimal pH if your diet contains animal foods and if the soaking is followed by a long slow cooking. Use the table below to determine approximate soaking times. For beans that require a long soaking time, you may wish to drain, rinse and add more water at least once during the process.

After soaking, drain the beans and rinse well, then add to a pot with more water and bring to a simmer. If digestibility is a problem for you, kombu added to the pot should take care of any pesky oligosaccharides still lurking. Cook those beans gently until completely tender.

Neutralizing Phytic Acid

Legume variety Optimal water pH Soaking time Best Soaking Medium
Black beans 5.5 18-24 hours Water with lemon juice, vinegar or whey added
Lentils 5.0 10 hours Water with lemon juice, vinegar or whey added
Fava beans 4.0 10 hours Water with lemon juice, vinegar or whey added
Dried and split peas 7.0 to 7.5 10 hours Plain soft water with pinch of baking soda
Brown, white & kidney beans 7.0 18-24 hours Plain soft water