Vegan Chili


5 from 6 votes
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This vegan chili is a blend of sweet potatoes, peppers, beans, and tomatoes, all simmered together to make a delicious and comforting meal. A meatless version of traditional chili that is easy to make and perfect to feed a crowd! 

When it comes to vegan comfort food, I love whipping up some kung pao cauliflower, slow cooker korma, and this super flavorful and easy vegetarian chili. 

vegan chili

When the weather grows cooler, there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of chili. It’s so hearty, filling, and ridiculously healthy for you! Now, I grow up eating chili with beef or turkey, but since cutting out meat, I was keen to create a vegetarian and vegan version without sacrificing on taste! After experimenting with different combinations and spices, I came to what I think, is even better than my childhood version

This vegan chili recipe ticks ALL the boxes, it’s truly the best chili recipe you NEED on hand.

It’s packed full of incredible spices that enhance the ingredients, and it has a secret addition into it which takes the whole recipe up a notch- roasted sweet potatoes!

It’s a healthy dinner idea that can easily feed a crowd and freezes very well. Like any good chili, it continues to taste even better the longer it is refrigerated, so you’ll love eating leftovers all week!

How do you make vegan chili?

Once you’ve put all the ingredients together in the pot, it’s a set and forget kind of dish. Even if you cook it longer than intended, it will simply thicken it up even more. Prepare the chili while the sweet potatoes are roasting and once they are done, simply add them in.

The Ingredients

  • Sweet potatoes– My secret ingredient for this chili! The roasted sweet potato gives such a delicious sweet flavor to the chili, without being overpowering. It also gives even more staying power! 
  • Canned beans– I used canned mixed beans, but you can use all kidney beans, black beans, or even garbanzo beans. 
  • Canned tomatoes– Either whole tomatoes or crushed tomatoes. I prefer the whole ones as I’m someone who loves lots of different textures. Do not use fresh tomatoes. 
  • Bell Peppers– I used a mix of green and red peppers. 
  • Onion– A must for any good chili! Roughly slice the onions as they soften nicely after all that simmering.
  • Garlic– Freshly minced garlic or even jarred garlic- whichever is easiest for you to obtain! 
  • Corriander- A must for any good chili recipe! You can also use cilantro. 
  • Olive oil– Just a little bit used to simmer the ingredients together.
  • Cayenne pepper– Adds some fabulous spice. You can go as heavy handed or as little as you want. I tend to go heavy handed, but that is because my spice tolerance is quite extreme! 
  • Cumin– Adds a lovely savory flavor, which intensifies when simmered with the tomato based mixture. 
  • Smoked Paprika- Gives the chili a lovely smokey flavor. Use a good quality smoked paprika, as the cheaper brands lose their smokiness once cooked. 
  • Salt and pepper– To taste! 

The Instructions

Start by roasting your sweet potatoes covered in the spices and drizzled with oil, until tender. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat up a large pan with oil, on medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, and peppers, and cook for 4-5 minutes, ensuring you stir regularly. Add the cilantro and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the beans and tomatoes and mix into the other ingredients, until combined. Once it begins to boil, reduce to low heat, and allow it to simmer for 30-35 minutes. Add the roasted sweet potato and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes. 

vegetarian chili

Tips for the perfect chili

  • For an even thicker and flavorful chili, refrigerate the chili overnight and reheat the next day- All the flavors are mixed and more intense.
  • This is a very mild flavored chili. If you’d like a super spicy one, add extra cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or serve with plenty of hot sauce.
  • While this chili is delicious on its own, it’s fantastic served with some fluffy vegan biscuits or cheese drop biscuits
  • You can prepare this chili up to 1 week in advance before serving it. 
  • If you’d prefer a thinner chili, you can add an extra can of crushed or whole tomatoes.

Chili Variations

This chili is so flavorful and delicious on its own, but feel free to jazz it up with other proteins and vegetables into it! 

  • Protein– Add some firm tofu chunks or tempeh. If you’d like to make this for carnivores, add some ground beef or turkey.
  • Vegetables– Give some fall flavors by adding some pumpkin chunks, zucchini, or even some carrots. 
  • Beans– I used red beans and kidney beans, but feel free to add some black beans or garbanzo beans.

Storing and Freezing Chili

  • To store: Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks. Any longer, and you’d be better off freezing it. 
  • To freeze: Place chili in a freezer friendly container and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. 

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vegan chili recipe

Vegan Chili (The BEST recipe!)

5 from 6 votes
This vegan chili is chock full of legumes, tomatoes, and smokey roasted sweet potato chunks and simmered to perfection! Filling and hearty, you won't miss the meat at all- A fantastic vegetarian meal!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 50 mins


For the roasted sweet potatoes

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large sweet potatoes chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt to taste

For the chili

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 large bell peppers sliced
  • 1/4 cup coriander chopped
  • 2 14 oz cans canned beans
  • 2 14 oz cans canned tomatoes whole or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine your sweet potato, olive oil, smoked paprika, cumin, and salt, until combined. Transfer the sweet potato onto the lined sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until tender.
  • In a large pot, add your olive oil and heat up on medium heat. Once hot, add your onion and garlic and stir fry for 5 minutes, until fragrant. Add your peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add your canned beans, tomatoes, smoked paprika, cumin, and salt. Continue to cook until it begins to boil. Reduce to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, add to the chili. Continue simmering until desired thickness.


Add extra spices, like red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, for a spicy kick.
TO STORE: Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks. Any longer, and you'd be better off freezing it. 
TO FREEZE: Place chili in a freezer friendly container and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSodium: 271mgPotassium: 456mgFiber: 4gVitamin A: 14032IUVitamin C: 57mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 19g
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!

    1. Haha, I should have made it beanless…it would have been bloody curry marinara sauce then!

  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 😛

    1. Hahaha ANGELA! I love it when you comment- hope you’re well. This chili actually tastes like lies.

  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.

    1. My mum makes this amazing Persian dish which is based off a gravy and chickpeas..and a huge lamb shank!

  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!

    1. Thank you! I kind of made wayyy too much. Everyone I have on snapchat saw it multiple times. for BREAKFAST.

  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.

    1. Thanks, Jeanette- I’ve been going crazy adding it to everythng. Maybe I should add it to your chocolate cake 😉

  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.

    1. Dude, I had to add kangaroo after the third bowl..then again, I made enough to feed a damn army!