Vegan Chili Recipe


5 from 10 votes
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This Easy one-pot Vegan Chili is healthy, hearty, and perfectly cozy! Packed with beans and veggies, it’s high in fiber and protein.

vegan chili.

Craving comfort food without meat or dairy? This vegan chili recipe is your answer.

It’s one of my family’s favorite meat-free dinners that is cheap to make and keeps everyone satisfied and happy, and that is saying a lot coming from a bunch of meat-eaters. And like any good curry or stew, the leftovers taste even better the next day.

Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make vegan chili
  4. Can I use an instant pot? 
  5. Recipe tips and variations
  6. Storage instructions
  7. More cozy meat-free dinners to try
  8. Frequently asked questions
  9. BEST Vegan Chili Recipe

Why this recipe works

  • Made with healthy and hearty ingredients. What makes this chili the best is the wide variety of fresh vegetables and hearty beans in every bite. 
  • It’s flexible. Turn up the heat, use the veggies you love, or change up the spices. I sometimes like to add some form of plant-based protein for extra staying power, like crumbled tofu or tempeh chunks. 
  • A perfect freezer meal. Can you believe that this dish freezes well for up to 6 months? It’s the make-ahead and meal-prep recipe of your dreams!
  • Perfect texture and flavor. The texture of this chili is super thick and hearty, with chunks of vegetables and plenty of beans. It’s savory, a little spicy, and thanks to the taco seasoning mix, a little bit smoky.
  • Dietary friendly. Not only is this dish completely plant-based, but it’s also dairy-free and gluten-free.
vegetarian chili recipe.

Ingredients needed

This vegetarian chili recipe is so simple, and besides a bunch of veggies and pantry staples, there isn’t much else that is needed. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Olive oil. For sauteing.
  • Onion and garlic. Must-have aromatics for any good chili. For the garlic, I prefer using fresh cloves over the dried kind because the flavor is unmatched. 
  • Taco seasoning. I used a store-bought mix, but if you have time, you can definitely make your own. If you do the latter, make sure it has plenty of smoked paprika and ground cumin in it. 
  • Black beans. The first of the two beans used in this vegetarian chili! Black beans are packed with plant-based protein (15 grams per 1 cup) to help every serving keep you full for hours. Canned black beans work perfectly or you can use dried beans that you pre-cooked yourself.
  • Pinto beans. This is the second type of healthy bean I love adding to the dish. They double the amount of protein and add an ultra-meaty texture.
  • Tomatoes. Use canned diced tomatoes or chop fresh tomatoes yourself. I recommend adding an extra tablespoon of tomato paste to amp up the flavor if you use the latter. 
  • Sweet potatoes. I love the sweet flavor these potatoes add to stews and soups. If you don’t have sweet potatoes, use white or red potatoes or diced butternut squash instead.
  • Red bell pepper. These also add a nice sweetness! Feel free to use any color of bell pepper as a substitute.
  • Carrots. Finely chopped. 
  • Vegetable broth. To help loosen the consistency and add more flavor.
  • Salt. For flavor.

How to make vegan chili

Saute the aromatics: Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until they’re fragrant. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over top and cook for another 30 seconds.

sauteed aromatics.

Add everything else: Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, stir well, and bring the chili up to a simmer. Place the lid on top and let the chili cook for a few hours.

how to make vegan chili.

Serve: Give the finished chili a good stir, then taste and add more salt as needed. Ladle into bowls, serve with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

vegetarian chili.

Can I use an instant pot? 

Did you know you can make a pressure cooker or instant pot vegetarian chili? It’s just as hand-off and needs little prep time. Here is the process to do so:

  1. Sauté onions, garlic, and veggies in the Instant Pot with olive oil.
  2. Add beans, diced tomatoes, broth, and spices. Stir.
  3. Close the lid, set to high pressure for 8-10 minutes, and cook.
  4. Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release.

Just remember to give everything a good mix before serving.

Recipe tips and variations

Let it simmer. The chili needs to simmer for at least 2 hours or a maximum of 4 hours. You could serve the chili after about 45 minutes if you’re low on time but I find the flavors won’t be quite as deep and layered.

Eat the next day. I’m telling you, the chili tastes even better after it chills overnight! This gives all of the flavors time to get to know each other and meld together. Just reheat a batch the next day and enjoy. Similarly, you can make a double serving and freeze one to enjoy later.

Add more beans. I love this two-bean chili as-is but almost any type of bean can be used here. Try chickpeas, cannellini beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, etc.

Add more protein. As mentioned earlier, I often like to add some plant-based protein to give the chili more heartiness and staying power. Crumbled firm tofu is always a good option, and I’ve also had success with vegan ground beef crumbles. 

Turn up the heat. Make spicy vegan chili by adding a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper or swapping the red bell peppers for chipotle peppers or drizzle on some hot sauce. 

Add toppings. Everyone knows the best part of a big bowl of chili is the toppings! Nothing beats a dollop of vegan sour cream, fresh corn, sliced red or green onions, avocado, crispy tortilla chips, fresh cilantro, and let’s not forget some vegan cheese on top. You can also serve this with a side of my vegan biscuits.

Storage instructions

To store: Keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

To freeze: This chili freezes well for up to 6 months. Keep it in an airtight container or sealed freezer bag, and let the individual servings thaw in the fridge before reheating. 

To reheat: Heat the individual servings or one big batch of leftover chili in a pot on the stove or the microwave until warmed through.

best vegan chili.

More cozy meat-free dinners to try

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can easily make vegan chili in a slow cooker. Saute the aromatics as normal before dumping them and the rest of the ingredients into the bowl of the crockpot. Cook on Low heat for 6 hours.

Can I make this oil-free?

This recipe is naturally low in fat so keeping the oil helps keep this chili rich and flavorful. If you must omit it, add some cashew sour cream or avocado to the finished dish.

vegan chili recipe.

BEST Vegan Chili Recipe

5 from 10 votes
This Easy one-pot Vegan Chili Recipe is healthy, hearty, and perfectly cozy! Packed with beans and veggies, it's high in fiber and protein.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 14 oz black beans canned and drained
  • 14 oz pinto beans canned and drained
  • 14 oz canned tomatoes diced
  • 3 small sweet potatoes cubed
  • 1 small red bell pepper sliced
  • 2 small carrots chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or deep pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the taco seasoning and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and cover the pot and let everything simmer for at least two hours or up to four hours.
  • Give everything a good stir, add more salt as needed, and serve with your favorite toppings. 


TO STORE: Keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
TO FREEZE: Vegan chili freezes well for up to 6 months. Keep it in an airtight container or sealed freezer bag, and let the individual servings thaw in the fridge before reheating. 
TO REHEAT: Heat the individual servings or one big batch of leftover chili in a pot on the stove or the microwave until warmed through.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 208kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 10gFat: 2gSodium: 752mgPotassium: 769mgFiber: 11gVitamin A: 9524IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 28g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Haha your mum is the best! Please veganise her lamb roast 😉 just kidding.
    I like that the recipe seems do easy and has relatively few ingredients. Even I with my annoyingly busy schedule could make it!
    I’m boring and only have frozen strawberries, green beans and chopped ginger in the freezer. As an excuse, it’s a tiny freezer!
    I swear the chili in one of the pictures looks like a mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream on top on first sight 😀

    1. Haha, I’ll have to ask her how she does it! It does look like hot chocolate, doesn’t it. I should trick someone with it!

  2. Always ESSENTIAL to have a good bean filled chili recipe 😉
    My family was never a big MEAT eating family, so we really only ever eat chicken and fish (but not my mom…she has a seafood allergy!) So I am always introducing them to the wonderful plant protein out there instead!

  3. Arman this recipe is perfect for the chilly day’s we have been having here in the US! Your mom sounds hilarious 🙂 Your freezer sounds like mine! Full of homemade treats! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wait, do people really eat kangaroo?? I have never heard of such a thing. This chili looks super good though…no kangaroo though 🙂

  5. Your Mum is so hilarious – love it.
    This chilli looks right up my street. Super simple but tasty.
    I find when you simmer those pesky legumes for ages they are much less harsh on the digestion!

  6. That sounds delicious- curry powder is such a great flavor. I’ve never heard of it in a chili before, but why not?

    My dad and I were the only ones who liked seafood other than salmon and whitefish at my house too– when I would come home from college, he would always take me to the seafood shop, and we would buy scallops, crap legs, clams, you name it, and have a seafood fest– while my mom enjoyed her chicken 🙂 Because he liked having someone to enjoy it with!

    1. Right? I’ve been obsessed with adding it to absolutely everything! Our mums are clearly missing out- they would probably be very good friends!

  7. The “Best” Vegan Chili – quite a daring choice of word! It looks good but I hope it measures up to its title 😛

  8. Ha. I’m not the biggest into Vegetarian and Vegan food but this looks good, simple and easy. Nothing appeals to me more on a cold day than chili and soup.

  9. Where’s the meat, Arman?? I thought your mum’s lamb roast qualified as vegan food 😉 .Okay, back to being real: I’m happy to see some legume-lovin’ on your blog and that looks like a nice basic hearty chili. I’d say I’m quite picky about my protein choices because I will only buy a certain brand of chickpeas. Sure, I’ve bought others before but they disappointed.
    My parents’ nutritional knowledge is sufficient for their needs, I’d say. Meaning they don’t stress about anything but naturally gravitate towards healthier food. They wouldn’t pass the test of identifying dishes as paleo or not, though :D. Not a big deal for me.

  10. mmm…chili. I made a vegan chili a few weeks ago – I should do it again. Especially considering how damn cold it is here. As for my parents nutritional knowledge…decent, I suppose? although if I asked either of them about eating paleo or vegan, they’d probably ask if cheese was acceptable.
    in my freezer…ice cream?

    1. Look at us- two of perhaps the biggest meat eaters in blog world going all vegan!

      Why do you still have ice cream in your freezer?

  11. LOLing at the “bacon to top my steak with”…. I think you’re basically describing me. MEAT LOVERS UNITE. I’ve never tried kangaroo (didn’t even know that was a thing 😯 ) but it sounds interesting… the most exotic I get is octopus/sea urchin/moose. Anywhooooo this looks good enough to forsake my much-loved meat for! I love me some warm chili on a frigid 65F Californian day. Brrrrrrr

    1. This is why we needed to hang out buddy!

      Also, your weather was amazing- I was practically shirtless (shirtless with a jacket).

  12. So easy and classic! I love to make a big batch of chili and have it ready for dinner all week long 🙂 And I love your commentary in this! haha. Have a good day!

  13. Haha! Isn’t it funny how our taste buds and eating habits change once we move out of our parents’ house? I still get a craving every now and then for good ole homestyle comfort food, though. And this chili looks craveable…as in, I’m craving it today. You got out of town just in time, too…because it’s flippin’ cold in New York now!

    1. Argh! Next time I come-
      a) It will be Summer
      b) just kidding, it will be halloween and you will have received a Cabot shipment and I will knock on your door a few times. By a few, I mean 30.

  14. My freezer and my families freezers very much differ too.
    I actually think I prefer vegan chilli to meat chilli, I just love the heartiness of the beans.