How to make the best  Vegan Chili that is packed full of veggies, flavor and depth- hearty, nourishing and completely plant-based.  With a video!

Our favorite Vegan Chili -full of depth and flavor and loaded up with healthy veggies. #veganchili

You are looking at my all-time favorite recipe for Vegan Chili.  It’s smoky and deep and just a little bit spicy. A whisper of cinnamon, chocolate and optional ground walnuts makes this uniquely flavored, in a way that we love. Top it with avocado, cilantro and fresh veggies to add richness and texture.

Though it’s totally plant-based, this vegan chili has delicious depth and complexity that will even please meat-eaters!

Make a big batch on Sunday, then serve it up with vegan cornbread during the busy workweek, or freeze it in batches.  Hearty and deeply satisfying, this vegan meal is full of flavor!

Vegan Chili | 60-Sec Video

A healthy vegan chili recipe that is loaded up with nutritious veggies- a great way to use up all those stray veggies in the fridge. Healthy and FULL of flavor! #veganchili #vegetarainchili #easychili #healthychili #vegandinnerrecipes

What You’ll need:

  • onion (any color!) 
  • carrots
  • celery
  • red bell pepper (or sub a poblano pepper )
  • sweet potato or parsnip (optional)
  • garlic cloves
  • spices:  chili powdercumincoriander,  smoked paprikadried oreganokosher salt,  cayennene ( or ground chipotle),  cinnamon (optional)
  • diced tomatoes – canned or fresh
  • cooked beans – any assortment of black, pinto, kidney or etc. (drain and rinse) 3 cans or  4.5 cups cooked beans.
  •  soy sauce  (or GF Liquid Amino’s) or sub 1-2 veggie bullion paste or cubes
  •  tomato paste
  • dark cocoa powder- or one square of dark chocolate (optional, but good!)
  •  maple syrup ( or brown sugar) to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 cup ground walnuts or pecans,   ground soy meat (or similar).

Fun and Tasty Chili Toppings!

The chili toppings are the best part!  Pick any or all of the following:

Expert Tips

  1. Vegan chili starts with a flavorful Base: onion, garlic, celery, carrot. Cooking the onion until fragrant and deeply golden adds depth here, so take your time.
  2. Then feel free to add additional veggies like sweet potato, parsnip, zucchini,  or winter squash if you like. I find the sweetness of sweet potato and parsnip really elevates here.
  3. Season the chili well: add spices, soy sauce for depth and add chocolate for both depth and subtle sweetness. Add optional walnuts for extra umami. The spices and seasonings will add a deep earthiness, and you end up with a delicious pot of vegan chili that even meat-eaters will enjoy.

Can Vegan Chili be made in an instant pot?

YES! This vegan chili can be made on the stovetop or in an instant pot.  See the recipe notes.

A healthy vegan chili recipe that is loaded up with nutritious veggies- a great way to use up all those stray veggies in the fridge. Healthy and FULL of flavor! #veganchili #vegetarainchili #easychili #healthychili #vegandinnerrecipes

How to store Vegan Chili

The chili will last 4-5 days in the fridge or can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Our favorite Vegan Chili -full of depth and flavor and loaded up with healthy veggies. #veganchili

Whip up a batch of this super flavorful Vegan Chili this weekend with Vegan Cornbread and let us know what you think!

xoxo

Sylvia

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Our favorite Vegan Chili -full of depth and flavor and loaded up with healthy veggies. #veganchili

The BEST Vegan Chili Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine| Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: chili, soup, stew, vegan
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The Best, Veggie-Loaded Vegan Chili  Recipe – loaded up with healthy veggies and beans, this deep and complex recipe will convert meat-eaters! Make a big batch on Sunday, then serve it during the busy workweek!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, diced small
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, diced
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup diced sweet potato or parsnips (or leave out)
  • 46 fat cloves of garlic, rough chopped
  • 3 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or ground chipotle
  •  teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  •  14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, with juices, or 1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced (with juices)
  • 3 x 14-ounce cans beans – any assortment of black, pinto, kidney or etc. (drain and rinse) about 4.5 cups cooked beans.
  • 1 cup of veggie broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce  (or GF Liquid Amino’s) or sub 1-2 veggie bullion paste or cubes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder, or one square of dark chocolate (optional, but good!)
  • 12 teaspoons maple syrup ( or brown sugar) more to taste
  • Optional: add crumbled or ground plant-based meat, like soy crumbles.
  • Optional:  1/2 cup ground walnuts or ground pecans 
  • Optional Garnishes – avocado, pickled jalapeno, pickled onions, chopped tomatoes, radishes, cilantro, scallions, vegan sour cream, vegan cheddar or a drizzle of olive oil

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, and saute in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil, until fragrant and golden. Lower heat to medium, add the carrots, celery and garlic, and saute 5 more minutes.
  • Chop the bell pepper and sweet potato and add to the pot, season with ½ teaspoon salt and continue cooking for 10 minutes, or until veggies are just tender, stirring occasionally.
  • While this happening, line up your spices, rinse and drain the beans. If using fresh tomatoes, dice them saving the juices.
  • When the veggies are just tender add the spices – chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano,  smoked paprika, cayennecinnamon. Toast the spices in the pot for 1-2 minutes to bring their flavors forward.  Add the tomatoes (with their juices), beans and veggie broth.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir,  and then cover with a lid, and simmer gently on medium low heat, for 10 more minutes or until veggies are fork-tender.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, soy sauce , chocolate and maple syrup. Add the optional ground walnuts. The ground nuts add depth and also thicken the chili. If leaving them out, you could blend 1-2 cups of chili in the blender and return this to the pot to thicken.
  • Taste, adjust, adding more salt, spices, or maple syrup as needed.
  • Serve with any of the following: fresh cilantro, diced avocado, scallions, pickled jalapeno, hot sauce, sliced radishes, pickled onions, vegan sour cream or vegan grated cheddar, or a drizzle of olive oil.

Notes

For faster cooking, be sure to dice veggies small. It helps if you have a large sharp knife. 😉

Chocolate and soy sauce may seem strange for chili, but both add complexity and depth. Using canned tomatoes may make this quite acidic, so use maple or brown sugar to balance it here.

This can be made in an instant pot.  Set to Saute function: saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery in olive oil 4-5 minutes, add bell pepper, sweet potato, salt, spices, tomatoes (with all the juices) drained beans, and broth and soy sauce.  Pressure cook for 7 minutes on high. Manually release. Stir in tomato paste, chocolate, maple and ground walnuts. Taste, adjust salt, sweetness and add chipotle for more heat if you like. Keep on warm, and serve with any of the garnishes.

The leftovers are great the next day- to mix it up a bit, try serving it over a baked potato.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 227
  • Sugar: 6.7 g
  • Sodium: 701.3 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.1 g
  • Fiber: 9.6 g
  • Protein: 9.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegan chili recipe, best vegan chili, vegan chili, vegetarian chili, vegan chili, black bean chili, easy chili recipe, instant pot vegan chili

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Comments

  1. This is really something special. Fabulous depth of flavor from layers including cinnamon, cocoa, tamari and the many other spices. I made mine with home-made black beans that had a rich and thick bean broth. This may be what inspired me to add ¾ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar at the end, and why I didn’t need to add walnuts or puree to thicken. A side note – I baked some Yukon Gold potato spears without oil and just a bit of salt in a convection oven at 450 on a sheet pan until they were crunchy on a couple of sides and soft inside – and eating these with the chili was a big unexpected pleasure. I imagine topping the chili with a bit of simple cashew cream, some pickled onions, and maybe some kind of cilantro sauce would make this even more delicious for me. Thank you, Sylvia! Your recipes and site bring me huge pleasure every week!

  2. This is really something special. Fabulous depth of flavor from layers including cinnamon, cocoa, tamari and the many other spices. I made mine with home-made black beans that had a rich and thick bean broth. This may be what inspired me to add ¾ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar at the end, and why I didn’t need to add walnuts or puree to thicken. A side note – I baked some Yukon Gold potato spears without oil and just a bit of salt at 450 in a convection oven until they were crunchy on a couple of sides and soft inside – and eating these with the chili was a big unexpected pleasure. I imagine topping the chili with a bit of simple cashew cream, some pickled onions, and maybe some kind of cilantro sauce would make this even more delicious for me. Thank you, Sylvia! Your recipes and site bring me huge pleasure every week!

  3. I’ve made vegetarian chili from many different blogs and it always turns out fine or pretty good….but this was finally the recipe that turned out AMAZING. Thank you!!

  4. I love the savory flavor of recipes from this website and this is my first review (sorry, Silvia—I’m lazy!).

    This chili really hit the spot for me and for my family. I used 2 cans of black beans and 1 can of cannelloni beans (it was what I had on hand). I also added ground walnuts and served over quinoa. I made it stove top. Loved the smooth depth and occasional crunch of this chili. We are not vegan. We added sour cream and cheddar cheese to top it off. Leftovers were great too. Thanks for this recipe! I will make this again.

  5. Wow love how this turned out, thank you for the great recipe! Definitely will make again. I made it in the instant pot. I get the burn notice often and was worried I would with the low volume of liquid but it worked out (I’m also new to insant pot so still learning what ratios work). I didn’t have enough carrots so I used 1/2 cup corn to make up the difference. I also added tempeh chunks and doubled the cinnamon.

    1. Perfect Ashley- great to hear the Instant Pot version worked well here! Love your additions- it a very flexible recipe!

  6. Made this tonight, many of the ingredients having come fresh from our garden and with freshly ground spices. My husband and I would both rank this as very good but not incredible. Made it as written. We’ll enjoy the leftovers but will probably try other of your chili recipes next time.

    1. I really appreciate the feedback Mary- can you tell me in your opinion what would make this better? What did it need, do you think? It has been a while since I’ve made it.

  7. Outstanding! Made for vegan guests (left out celery, added more water, tomato paste & spices). Sooo good! Guests made sure they left with the recipe. Thank you 😊

  8. I like the depth of flavor from the smoked paprika. Used black beans and added leftover coarse ground grits for texture.

  9. My husband and I both love this;

    He texted today that he could eat this every day if I could just figure out how to get some meat into it. 🙄 Any ideas?

    1. You can always add some browned seasoned meat at the end. We have another Chili Recipe with ground meat on the blog too- just search Chili. 😉

  10. Just made this for the holiday weekend, only modification was I added a can of green chiles that I had on hand. Vegans and meat eaters both said it was one of the most flavorful chilis they’d ever had. I could have easily made a double batch and still had no leftovers. I refer to this website every week for ideas, particularly vegan options, and cannot recommend enough. For meat lovers reading this, definitely try the za’atar meatballs on the site.

  11. Made this just in time for the coming nor’easter. I prefer not to sub, but I don’t do well with tree nuts don’t like bell peppers, and the store was out of poblanos, so I added mushrooms with the sweet potato to thicken and subbed three (!!!) very stressed jalapenos for the bell. It’s a spicier chili than I anticipated but wow, it is *delicious*. The depth of flavor here is incredible, and honestly the umami of the mushrooms complimented it surprisingly well. So warming and filling but so much deeper than chilis I’ve made before. This is my new go-to!

    1. Glad you were able to adapt this to what you had! 3 jalapenos would make it quite spicy!

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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