Vegan Chili


5 from 8 votes
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This one-pot vegan chili recipe is loaded with two types of beans, sweet potatoes, red peppers, carrots, and even more healthy ingredients! It’s a hearty meatless meal that’s easy to make and perfect for a crowd.

vegan chili.

On cold and rainy days, I want nothing more than a big bowl of steaming hot vegan chili. Easy to make in one pot with two types of beans, hearty vegetables, and a ton of savory, smoky flavors, it’s the perfect meal that fills me up and keeps me warm. It only gets better when there are vegan biscuits for dipping!

Table of Contents
  1. Best vegan chili
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make vegan chili
  4. Tips to make the best recipe
  5. Variations
  6. Storage instructions
  7. What to serve with vegan bean chili
  8. Frequently asked questions
  9. Vegan Chili

Best vegan chili

Just like my Keto Beef Stew and Shrimp Curry, this recipe is easy to make in one pot. All you need to do is dump all of the ingredients in a large pot, leave it to simmer, then enjoy!

  • Made healthy and hearty ingredients. What makes this vegan 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 add vegan meat! There are endless ways you can customize this tasty meal.
  • A perfect freezer meal. Can you believe that this vegan chili recipe freezes well for up to 6 months? It’s the make ahead and meal prep recipe of your dreams!

Ingredients needed

  • Olive oil. For sauteeing the garlic and onion.
  • Onion. It’s sauteed along with the garlic to give the chili a savory baseline.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic cloves, preferably. 
  • Taco seasoning. Make your own taco seasoning or keep this recipe simple with a store-bought packet.
  • 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 chili. They double the amount of protein and add an ultra-meaty texture.

Substitution idea

Don’t have pinto beans on hand? Swap it out for any legumes you like, including chickpeas, white navy beans, or even red beans.

  • Tomatoes. Use canned diced tomatoes or chop fresh tomatoes yourself.
  • Sweet potatoes. I love the sweet flavor these potatoes add to the chili. 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. Because you can never add too many vegetables to chili.
  • Vegetable broth. To help loosen the consistency and add more flavor.

Veggie broth tip

Always choose a pre-made vegetable broth from a carton, not a bouillon cube. The flavor is just so much better and it really makes a difference in a chili.

  • Salt. For flavor.

How to make vegan chili

While I recommend simmering the chili on the stove for a few hours to achieve the best results, the batch is a breeze to make in just one pot. It’s essentially a set-it-and-forget-it recipe! Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1 – Saute the aromatics

Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. 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.

Step 2 – Add the rest

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.

Step 3 – 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.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • 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 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.
  • Batch cook them. Just like a veggie korma or eggplant curry, you can make a double serving and freeze one to enjoy later.
  • Use it in other ways. This chili is fabulous in chilaquiles or a torta!


As simple and easy as this vegan chili recipe is, there is plenty of room for modifications and flavor variations. Here are some recommendations:

  • 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.
  • Use vegan meat. Add vegan ground beef, crumbled tofu, or tempeh instead of or in addition to the beans.
  • Turn up the heat. Make spicy vegan chili by adding a pinch of cayenne or swapping the red bell pepper for a jalapeno.
  • Add bulk with grains. Stir cooked rice, quinoa, bulgur, or any other grain you like in the last 10 minutes of cooking to bulk it up.
  • Add toppings. Customize every bowl of chili by adding a dollop of vegan sour cream, pickled red onions, nutritional yeast, green onions, avocado, fresh cilantro, or shredded vegan cheese on top.

Storage instructions

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.

best vegan chili.

What to serve with vegan bean chili

Frequently asked questions

Can you make vegan chili in the Instant Pot?

I haven’t tested this recipe in the Instant Pot but it should work. Start by heating the oil in the pot using Saute mode, then add the onion and garlic. Saute as normal, then add the taco seasoning.
Deglaze the pot with some vegetable broth and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom. Turn off Saute mode and add the rest of the ingredients. Secure the lid on top and cook on High Pressure for 4 minutes. Quick Release the pressure, then remove the lid and serve the chili.

What about 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.

vegan chili recipe.

Vegan Chili

5 from 8 votes
This vegan chili is chock full of beans, 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 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.
    sauteed aromatics.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and cover the pot and let everything simmer for at least two hours or up to four hours.
    how to make vegan chili.
  • Give everything a good stir, add more salt as needed, and serve with your favorite toppings. 
    vegetarian chili.


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, Mexican
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.