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 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
More vegan comfort food recipes you’ll enjoy
Vegan Chili (The BEST recipe!)
For the roasted sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large sweet potatoes chopped finely
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt to taste
For the chili
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 tbsp 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 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp 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.