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.
Craving comfort food without meat or dairy? This vegan chili recipe is your answer.
It’s a cozy, comforting, and healthier alternative to standard chilis. It’s made in one pot and is seriously delicious.
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Why this recipe works
This chili may look incredibly time-consuming but honestly, it’s one of the most hands-off ways to make it ever.
- Made 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 add vegan protein. There are endless ways you can customize this tasty meal.
- 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!
- Even meat lovers adore it. This is the kind of veggie-packed dish that carnivores adore!
This vegetarian chili is so simple, and besides a bunch of veggies and legumes, there isn’t much else that is needed. Here is what you’ll need:
- 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.
- 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.
- Salt. For flavor.
How to make vegan chili
This recipe for vegan chili is easy to make: Just remember to prep everything first so it’s a seamless process.
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.
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.
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!
How to make Instant Pot Vegetarian chili
Did you know you can make vegan chilli in the instant pot? Here is the process to do so:
- Sauté onions, garlic, and veggies in the Instant Pot with olive oil.
- Add beans, diced tomatoes, broth, and spices. Stir.
- Close the lid, set to high pressure for 8-10 minutes, and cook.
- Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release.
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. You can make a double serving and freeze one to enjoy later.
As simple and easy as this vegetarian 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.
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.
What to serve with this dish
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
Yes! Vegan ground beef is a fantastic and flavorful plant-based protein option to enhance this chili. Choose a brand that has minimal ingredients and browns like standard ground beef.
BEST Vegan Chili Recipe
- 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.
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