Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot* (to the default "Normal" — not high or low). Once hot, add water, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and red bell pepper. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onion is translucent and fragrant. Add a little bit more water as needed to prevent sticking.*See notes for stovetop instructions.
Turn off the sauté function by pressing "Cancel." Then add diced sweet potato, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika, and stir.
Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, kidney beans (slightly drained), black beans (slightly drained), vegetable broth (or water), coconut sugar, and another healthy pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
Put on the Instant Pot lid and turn to seal. Pressure cook on HIGH for 20 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the steam release naturally, or carefully press the quick release if in a hurry. NOTE: To keep this chili thick, we add less liquid so it is possible you may get a burn message. It is unlikely, but if it happens, leave it be for 1-2 minutes to see if the burn message fixes itself. Otherwise, take note of the remaining time, press cancel, quick release pressure, add 1/2 cup more broth or water, and return to pressure cook for the remaining time. Repeat if needed.
Carefully open the lid and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more chili powder for depth of flavor, cumin for smokiness, smoked paprika for smoky sweetness, salt to taste, or a bit of coconut sugar to balance the heat and draw out the other flavors. Stir and add more to taste as needed
If your chili is too thin, turn on the sauté function and cook with the lid off, stirring occasionally, to allow it to thicken (up to 5-10 minutes).
Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
*If not using Instant Pot, simply sauté ingredients in a large pot or dutch oven as the first 2 steps recommend, then add broth, tomatoes, beans, remaining spices, etc. and bring to a low boil. Once bubbling, reduce to low/simmer and cover to cook for ~30-45 minutes so the flavors can meld and the potatoes will soften. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients. *Recipe adapted from our 1-Pot Red Lentil Chili.