Vegan Chili Recipe


5 from 10 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.

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.

Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make vegan chili
  4. How to make Instant Pot Vegetarian chili
  5. Tips to make the best recipe
  6. Recipe variations
  7. Storage instructions
  8. What to serve with this dish
  9. Frequently asked questions
  10. BEST Vegan Chili Recipe

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!

Ingredients needed

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.

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.

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:

  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.

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.

Recipe variations

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.

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 this dish

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.

Can I add vegan ground beef?

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.

vegan chili recipe.

BEST Vegan Chili Recipe

5 from 10 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.
  • 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. Right now my freezer has way too many popsicles because they had a sale on them and Darryl bought them at the end of the summer. But who wants to eat popsicles now that it is cold out? No one. This chili looks awesome, Arman! I would love this today for lunch!

    1. I think it would be criminal for you and the boys not to polish them off..before Thanksgiving! Maybe make popsicle soup? (I totally didn’t do that as a kid….)

  2. Cool idea to add curry to chili! I’ve never heard of doing that before.

    I’m not too picky about protein – I like pretty much everything! It’s my family who are the picky ones haha. So for family dinners we’re pretty much limited to chicken, beef, and pork, which are the only proteins we can all agree on. I’ve offered to cook them all up some tofu but they turned me down. 😛

  3. Your sister’s beef demands are way too funny! Had me cracking up. This chili sounds delicious! If I wasn’t vegetarian I’m sure I would love kangaroo sausages too. I remember visiting Australia when I was a child and trying kangaroo. I thought it tasted a bit like beef, but I could be wrong 😛

  4. well my parents always tell me they ate baked chicken, brown rice, and some sort of salad while in reality, its chicken curry (in creamy sauce), white rice pilaf with nuts and butter, and vegetables…and they never tell me about desserts.. i have banana slices in my freezer.

  5. i actually think that vegan chili can be heartier than that with beef or chicken. Maybe it’s the fiber? Either way, this looks good!

    p.s. when you move to US bring us some Kangaroo sausage!

  6. Kangaroo sausage!?!? That frightens me. This chili however does not. I’ve had giant pots of chili in my fridge for the last couple months with all of this goodness and also with quinoa. My mom has a good idea about nutrition, my dad…kinda? Which is funny because he is a doctor, but let’s be real most doctors sadly don’t know shit about nutrition.

  7. oh yes! so perfect for a poor college student! AKA moi! saving this recipe for when i move into my apartment!!!

  8. All I really have to say about this is… your first vegan recipe AND meeting me all in the same couple of days? Too big of a fan of this. And I need to make it. And eat it with kale 😉 (obvi…) Safe flight home todayyyy get your booty back here asap!

  9. Kangaraoo sausages?! Are those a real thing? I’m scared. My fam still loves their meat, but they also beg me to make them vegan creations whenever I come home to visit. Winning!

    1. YES. Alchemy needs to stock it. I think your family are more awesome than you. Well, you’re mum at least. Say hi from me please.

  10. I make my chili in a very similar way. Two “extra” ingredients I mix in at the end are cocoa powder and PB. The take the flavor to another level!

  11. My parents are good cooks and will make/eat just about anything! Growing up we did eat way too much barbecued chicken breast though.

    Right now I have a huge costco sized box of edamame beans that i keep forgetting to eat. Oh – I also have filet mignon ☺ I don’t like steak but my husband loves it. I have never tried kangaroo – I am not sure I would like it.

  12. Hah, I love your mom for wanting to call her lamb roast vegan! One time, when I was at my mom’s for dinner, I didn’t feel like eating any of the meat dishes. All of a sudden, she asks me in this worried voice, “are you vegan now”? I’m like, no, I am your daughter, after all.

    You know what goes well with this delish chili? Marble rye!


      You are NOT her daughter. I am totally linking her to your ‘baked’ potsticker recipe. You brought ME shame. She probably will disown you!

  13. Poor poor kangaroos… if you can open the freezer without getting hit by a flying pack of chicken my “portion” has a mysterious bag labeled greens (I think it’s chard and a ton of kale from the summer) and a baggie of lentil soup.

  14. Chili is one of those foods that I love but don’t make nearly often enough. Just like soup. Love that stuff too, but I forget how much I like it because I’m not usually willing to put in the work to make it. Then I have some while I’m out somewhere and wonder why I don’t eat it more. I miss living at home when my mom would almost ALWAYS have a delicious soup on hand. This cooking for yourself stuff is for the birds…