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This Easy Vegan Chili Recipe is healthy, hearty, and a perfect cozy meal for chilly days! It’s packed with protein and fiber thanks to beans & veggies.
What’s your go-to cozy rainy day food? For me it’s chili. There’s nothing quite like a steamy, chunky, meaty bowl of chili to satisfy your cravings (and keep you full!). This Easy Vegan Chili is my fuss-free, plant-based twist on the classic chili. Vegans, vegetarians, and even meat-eaters will enjoy it.
This vegan chili is a perfect weeknight or weekend meal! It’d be perfect for game day or entertaining a large crowd, but it’s also easy enough to make for meal prep for a busy week, too.
INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN CHILI
Not only is this Chili super easy to make, but it’s also full of plant-based protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied for hours and hours. Plus, you only need 11 healthy ingredients to make it! And I’m betting you already have most of them sitting around in your pantry too…
There are a lot of different ways to make chili, but I decided to stick with the classic flavors for this one. This Vegan Chili is a moderately-spiced, tomato-y stew loaded with chunks of celery, onion, green bell pepper, and carrot. Spices like ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, and cayenne pepper add some body to the chili, while kidney beans and pinto beans give a hearty and creamy texture. Once everything simmers together and of those yummy flavors combine, you’ll be left with a chunky and thick chili that has a surprisingly meaty texture. No need to add any animal protein here!
HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN & VEGAN CHILI
Did I mention that this chili comes together in only 30 minutes? It’s the perfect fuss-free dinner that’s simple, but still delicious.
- Sauté the base veggies (onion, celery, peppers) and spices to create great flavor.
- Stir in the beans, tomatoes, and vegetable broth, then simmer until all the flavors combine.
- Top as desired, then serve and enjoy!
But wait! We can’t talk about Chili without talking about toppings…that’s like, almost the best part.
WAYS TO SERVE CHILI
I love to top my vegan chili with freshly sliced green onions for a little bite, as well as some nutritional yeast for a “cheesy” taste. I also enjoy a large dollop of vegan sour cream (or thinned out vegan cream cheese) on top of a steamy bowl, but that’s not a deal-breaker in my opinion.You can also top your chili with shredded vegan cheese, avocado, cilantro, and/or tortilla chips for more of a Southwestern flavor!
But most importantly, don’t forget the side of Easy Vegan Cornbread. You can also serve this vegan chili over roasted sweet potatoes or rice for an even heartier main!
COOKING TIPS + FAQ:
- How can I make this chili even “meatier”? If you’re looking for an extra hearty meal, you can always toss in a package of imitation ground “beef” or some chopped vegan sausage – see the recipe notes for more info.
- How long does vegan chili last in the fridge? Freshly made chili will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Can I freeze chili? Yes! Store it in an airtight freezer-safe baggie for up to 2 months. You can also pre-portion your chili for easy-to-reheat meals.
- Canned Beans: I like to make my chili with canned beans out of convenience. If you don’t have any digestion issues, try draining your beans but not rinsing them – this makes the chili have an even creamier texture
If you’re looking for more Vegan Chili Recipes, you’ll also love this Butternut Squash & White Bean Chili and this Slow Cooker Bean & Quinoa Chili! And don’t forget to serve it all up with a side of some EasyVegan Cornbread for good measure.Print
Easy Vegan Chili Recipe
This easy Vegan Chili Recipe is healthy, hearty, and a perfect cozy meal for chilly days! It’s packed with protein and fiber thanks to beans & veggies.
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 Servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 green bell peppers, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 small carrots, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons ancho chili powder*
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (Optional)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans red kidney beans, drained
- 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans pinto beans, drained
- 2 28-ounce (793 g) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup (235 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth (or water)
- Optional Toppings: green onions, nutritional yeast, vegan sour cream, etc.
- Base Flavor: Warm a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 cup (80 ml) of water (see notes for oil version) to the pot and add the onion, celery, and green pepper to a large nonstick pot. Cook until all the water evaporates, stirring occasionally. Once the pot is “dry” and the vegetables start to turn golden brown, deglaze the pot with an additional 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water. This process should take around 10 minutes total.
- Spices: Reduce to medium heat and add the garlic, and carrots to the pot along with the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and optional cayenne pepper. Sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes, adding a small splash of water if things start to stick.
- Simmer: Finally, add the kidney beans, pinto beans, crushed tomatoes, and the vegetable broth to the pot. Bring everything to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to create a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid from the pot and cook uncovered for 5 to 7 additional minutes, until the carrots are tender and the chili reaches your desired thickness. Stir this mixture occasionally, to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- Serve: Serve warm, and top as desired. Leftovers can be store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days and reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave. You can also store this vegan chili in the freezer for up to one month.
- Chili Powder: Your chili powder should be pure ancho chili powder for better flavor, not a “blend” of various spices and salt. If you use a spice blend with salt, reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon, adding more as necessary.
- Beans: You can swap out the pinto beans or kidney beans for black beans, if you’d like. Or check out my Chipotle Black Bean Chili!
- Oil Version: Sauté the onion, celery, and green pepper in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring only occasionally so they stick to the bottom of the pan. Deglaze with the 1/4 cup of water as instructed in step one, scraping the bottom of the pan as necessary. Continue with the recipe as written.
- Make it Meaty: sauté the vegan “ground” or chopped sausage along with the garlic and spices in step 2.
Keywords: Vegan chili, easy vegan chili, vegetarian chili recipe, healthy vegetarian chili, gluten free chili
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