The best vegan chili!

You Must Try this Killer Vegan Chili!

November 2, 2015 | Posted in: Dinner, Lifestyle, Quick, Recipes

This recipe for vegan chili has been part of our “go to” meal line up for years. It has made appearances at fund raisers, family dinners and pot luck suppers, getting rave reviews. I love how simple and fast it is to pull together and how easy it is to multiply the recipe.

I originally made it when my kids were young and served it with a bowl of corn chips. I referred to it as “thick enough to sit on a chip chili”. We still often eat it that way, but it is also great with a side of corn bread or rice.

It developed a following at a rowing fund raiser we were involved in for years, with people asking for the “vegetarian chili”. I called it that because I realized that people often associate vegetarian with being healthy and vegan as being extreme. When they asked about the chili, I would smile and say, “It is actually vegan. I just knew some people would be afraid to try it if I called it vegan chili.” I loved the opportunities it has given me to share vegan food with friends, family and strangers.

A year ago, my son and his girlfriend, students at Bowdoin College, used the recipe for a chili cook-off in one of the dining halls. While it did not win, the dining service was impressed enough with the chili to make it part of their regular rotation of vegan offerings in the dining halls. That is a win to me!

As I mentioned, this vegan chili recipe was created when my kids were small so the level of heat and spice in the basic recipe is appealing to the gentlest of palates. We have since turned up the heat by adding hot sauce or red pepper flakes to the recipe. I often add a tablespoon of hot sauce and a tablespoon of agave. You can adjust it to your own level of desired heat quite easily.

Even The Meat Eaters Will Love Vegan Chili

This dish is also a great one for introducing vegan or vegetarian food to carnivores. I have on occasion thrown in a package of veggie crumbles to give them the mouth feel they are used to. I don’t often use the analog meats, but they can be an invaluable transition food for many people and a life saver for vegans who live with and/or cook for non vegans.

So, get ready to really WOW the taste buds of anyone you make this for (I bet they won’t believe it’s vegan). This vegan chili has more than enough taste and heartiness to satisfy anyone!

Vegan Chili Feature Closeup - Serving up the chili with some home-made chips

The Best Vegan Chili Ever
Serves 6
Super delicious, easy to make, crowd pleasing, nutritious, and tasty vegan chili!
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 Tbs olive oil
  2. 2 medium white onions, chopped
  3. 1 bell pepper, diced
  4. 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  5. 1/2 tsp pepper
  6. 1 tsp ground cumin
  7. 2 Tbs chili powder
  8. 1 1/2 cups each of cooked kidney, black and garbanzo beans (or 1 (15oz) can of each - rinsed)
  9. 6 oz tomato paste
  10. 28 oz can crushed tomato
  11. 8 oz tomato sauce
  12. 1 cup frozen corn
  13. 1 Tbs agave syrup or sugar
Instructions
  1. sauté onions in olive oil until tender
  2. add spices and cook additional 1 - 2 minutes
  3. add tomato paste and stir for 1 minute
  4. add remaining ingredients and heat, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 min.
Suggested toppings
  1. chopped lettuce and cilantro
  2. vegan shredded cheese
  3. sliced avocado or a dollop of guacamole
  4. vegan sour cream
  5. When cooking for suspicious carnivores, or nervous "almost-vegans" I have on occasion thrown in a package of veggie crumbles to give them the mouth feel they are used to. It's a good use for the "analogue meats".
Full of Beans http://www.fullofbeans.us/
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Georgia is an unpretentious foodie who, at 50, transitioned from a vegetarian diet to a whole foods plant based diet and is loving it. She works as a nurse, plays as a quilter, loves to run, hates to race. She thinks dogs are actually angels (in dog suits).

22 Comments

  1. Sam
    February 9, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    I made your chili for the first time last night and love it. I had to modify the recipe a little since I misread and cooked 4.5 cups of dried beans. Im a new vegan and this will be a go to recipe. My friend is getting married this spring and im brigning a vegan option and I think this will be it. You cant feel left out of the roasted pig when you have this beautiful chili on your plate.

    • Full of Beans
      February 10, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      hi Sam, wow, that sure is a lot of beans! 🙂 But, we find that the chili is even better left over. Good thing!
      we are so glad that you liked it and thank you so much for letting us know. That’s really exciting about having an opportunity to share it with others. They will absolutely love it, we are sure.
      as for the roasted pig, yes, anything that can keep you away from that is a good thing.

      • kate
        March 25, 2016

        Leave a Reply

        Hi! It seems really delicious and I want to do this for my son’s birthday, but I’m a bit like Sam, I’m not sure about the beans quantity. I want to use beans canned, those you mentionned in your recipe…so is it one of each kind ? or less? Thanks for sharing. And please excuse my english 🙂

        • Full of Beans
          March 25, 2016

          Leave a Reply

          Hi Kate!
          Thanks for visiting our blog. We are delighted that you are thinking about making the chili. The spot that Sam got himself into was because he used the cooked beans measure for DRY beans. Since they expand over twice when cooked he had a LOT of beans!!
          So, if you are using canned beans you simply need 1 15oz can of each of the types of bean. That makes the basic recipe which will be plenty for four with a bit of left over.
          It’s delicious – we know you will love it!

          Greg & Georgia

    • Naomi
      May 30, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      Yummmm!!!! I love it, I swapped out the sugar for maple syrup because I didnt have agave, nor did I want to use white sugar. I also didnt have the tomato sauce so I used a cup of vegetable broth instead. Still tastes wonderful!

      • Full of Beans
        May 30, 2016

        Leave a Reply

        Hi Naomi! So glad that it worked out – sometimes the best results come from substitutions! 😄
        -Georgia

  2. Kaitlin
    February 12, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    This is my go to chili recipe now! Thank you so much!

    • Full of Beans
      February 12, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      Hi Kaitlin! Thanks for trying it and letting us know that you like it. That’s wonderful! 🙂

      Greg & Georgia

  3. veggiesaremain
    March 6, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    It’s 2:00 in the morning here where I live and I just made this chili. It is soooo yummy! I just ate some for .. a late midnight snack and ready to have some for breakfast in a couple more hours 🙂 So easy to pull together and with so few spices I was really surprised at how great it taste.

    • Full of Beans
      March 6, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      Up late, making our chili? Wow! So glad that you liked it and I bet that’s going to be a really good breakfast, too. ?
      -Greg

  4. Cassi Fields
    March 25, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    Do you think I could make this in a crockpot?

    • Full of Beans
      March 25, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      Hi Cassi!
      Oh absolutely! Except for the onions, which are sautéed, you really are only heating all the ingredients. We do find that the chili improves the next day after all the flavors start to meld together. In that sense a nice long cook in a crock pot on low/medium would probably be just wonderful. Let us know what your results are like!
      Thanks for being in touch, Greg & Georgia

  5. Emmy
    May 14, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    Hi! I want to do this recepie tonight and I was wondering if what you call tomato sauce also is ketchup? 🙂 thanks

    • Full of Beans
      May 14, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      Hi Emmy,
      Really sorry that we missed your comment and didn’t respond a little faster. The “tomato sauce” isn’t ketchup, it’s a plain tomato sauce that you can buy just like tomato paste and diced tomatoes. You should be able to find it canned or jarred at your market.
      -Greg

  6. Harpreet
    May 31, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    Hi! Do you have a slow cooker version of this?

    • Full of Beans
      June 7, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      Hi,

      As long as you start with cooked beans (caned or otherwise), you will be fine in a slow cooker. Just add al ingredients and cook for 6-8 hours or so on medium. That’s what I would do.

      – Georgia

  7. Edi
    June 21, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    I’ve been searching the net for days looking for a crowd pleaser to feed all my carnivore friends at a cosy get-together I’m hosting this weekend. I’m definitely serving this as my main meal! Looks delicious and perfect and so simple! Thank you!

    • Full of Beans
      June 22, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      Hi Edi,
      We have brought it to many gatherings and it has never disappointed. We hope it is that way for you, too 🙂
      So glad that you found us and that you are thinking about making the chili. Please let us know how it goes!
      😀
      Peace, Greg & Georgia

  8. Channing
    June 23, 2016

    Leave a Reply

    Hello I’m not a big corn eater what would be a good substitute for that?

    • Full of Beans
      June 24, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      Hi Channing,
      Well, thats an interesting question. You could simply leave the corn out or, perhaps, add another pepper. Give it a try and let us know what you think! Thanks for checking out that recipe – hope you have a chance to take a look at some of the others we have here.
      🙂

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