This easy one-pot vegan chili recipe is ultra hearty and bursting with rich smoky flavors. It's made with a combination of 3 beans, smoky plant-based Beyond meat, thick tomato sauce, veggies, and smoky bold spices. Don't forget the toppings (they're the best!) from cheese and sour cream to avocado and crunchy corn chips - sprinkle them liberally!
Smells amazing, tastes incredible, healthy, easy, and affordable; this chili is second to none!
Keep reading for tips on how to build the flavor, lots of topping ideas, storage and freezer tips, plus what to do with leftovers!
Vegan comfort food at its very, very best, this homemade chili con carne is just like mother used to make, except vegan! A simple, meatless chili that's a big hit at family gatherings, potlucks, and football games; and it's ready to be devoured in under an hour!
Serve it on rice or pasta with a chunk of rustic bread or salted maple cornbread on the side for the most incredible, filling, and satisfying vegan meal ever.
Chili Recipe Ingredients
One of the wonderful things about homemade chili is its totally customizable! Make it thick, rich, light, mild, spicy, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, nut-free, dairy-free, plant-based, vegetarian - you get the picture. No matter your preference, this recipe works. It still includes all the classic chili ingredients - pantry staples like beans, tomatoes, and spices, but customized to your eating preferences!
Here's what you'll need . . .
Beans - add texture, protein, fiber, and heartiness. Popular choices for chili include creamy, tender red kidney beans; small, firm brown or pinto beans; and robust, flavorful black beans.
Tomatoes - crushed tomatoes and tomato paste add the tomatoey richness and flavor that creates the texture and rustic base for the chili sauce.
Green Chilies - mild, diced green chilies are optional, but add great tangy flavor and texture.
Beyond Meaty - Beyond meat patties are a wonderful vegan meat replacement for this chili. I chose them because they bring a meaty texture and slightly smoky, grilled flavor that pairs well with the classic flavors of chili. Other choices could include: tofu or tempeh crumbles, beefless crumbles or mince, crumbled Beyond sausages or Field Roast vegan sausages or similar.
Spices - traditional chili spices like cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, and smoky chipotle powder create a deep, warm (or hot!), smoky flavor profile.
Finishing Sauces - bold, smoky-sweet BBQ sauce and soy sauce enhance and balance the flavors.
Optional Toppings - popular family favorites include green onions, cheese, and corn chips served on rice. Don't miss the whole list of topping suggestions below!
Let's Make the Best Vegan Chili
Top 8 reasons you'll love making this vegetarian/vegan chili recipe: easy, hearty, one-pot, affordable, everyone loves it, leftovers are phenomenal, makes a big batch, fuss-free.
Follow these step-by-step instructions for making your own pot of delicious chili.
- Saute the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in oil in a large Dutch oven or pot.
- Add the Beyond meat patties (thawed), browning over medium heat.
- Sprinkle in the spices and roast off for a minute.
- Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, beans, and chopped green chilies.
- Let warm through until bubbling.
- Stir in the finishing sauces to intensify the flavor and make your chili taste even better.
- Let simmer partially covered for 20 minutes or longer. Pro Tip - for a thicker chili let simmer longer with the lid off. For a thinner, lighter consistency, add more water, reduce time, and leave the lid on.
- Finish with a squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro.
Don't forget the toppings!
Keep your vegan chili con carne simple and traditional or choose all the toppings and make it a fancy feast! Set up a chili toppings bar so everyone can create their own epic chili bowl!
- shredded vegan cheese (dairy-free)
- sour cream (w/chopped cilantro and lime)
- homemade pesto sauce
- sliced green onions
- avocado chunks
- crushed tortillas or corn chips
- rice (family tradition!!!)
- long pasta like spaghetti or spaghettini (Cincinnati style chili!)
- serve with a wedge of rustic bread or salted maple cornbread (coming soon)!
What can I do with Leftover Chili?
This recipe makes a big batch of chili - easily serves 8-10 depending how you serve it (on rice/pasta with a side of cornbread, etc.)! Here are some easy weeknight meal ideas using leftover chili . . .
Chili Cheese Dogs - Field Roast Frankfurter (or similar), bun, mustard, scoop of chili, drizzle of cheese sauce, chopped tomatoes and white onions, sauerkraut and/or pickled peppers.
Baked Sweet Potato Skins - baked with shredded dairy-free cheese until crispy, top with chili, more cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and green onions or load all that onto crispy oven-baked fries instead.
Nachos Supreme topped with spicy vegan chili con carne - big yums!.
Storage and Freezing Tips
Cooking for a large crowd, game day, going to a potluck or just meal prepping for the week? This chili recipe is perfect - make it ahead and store in the fridge for 3 or 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Freeze in individual serving size containers to take for lunches (plus it makes thawing quick and easy).
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Vegan Chili that Everyone Loves!
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, grated and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Beyond meat patties, thawed
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1-2 tablespoons chipotle powder (or chipotle Tabasco)
- 1 tablespoon smoky paprika
- 1-2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- ½-1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- S&P, to taste
- 4-6 oz tomato paste
- 1, 28 oz tin crushed tomatoes
- 3, 19 oz mixed beans, pinto, red kidney, black
- 4 oz tin chopped mild green chilies
- 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1-3 cups water or broth (for thinning)
- 1 lime (to finish)
- 1-2 tablespoons grated cheese (per serving)
- 1 dollop sour cream (per serving)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- cilantro, chopped
- tortilla or corn chips, crumbled
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 2-4 servings long pasta, cooked
Saute the Veggies (mirepoix, sofrito, holy trinity)
- Chop, dice, mince the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic.
- Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or similar large pot. Add the chopped vegetables.
- Saute for 5-8 minutes over medium heat until soft and translucent.
Beyond Burger Patties
- Push the vegetables to the side, add the two thawed Beyond meat patties to the pan. Let them brown for a minute or two, breaking them up with a large spoon.
- Add the spices* and stir to incorporate. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.
- *This chili has about a medium heat index; but it really depends how hot your chili powder is, and how much cayenne and sriracha you add. Add the lower quantity, taste, and adjust as needed.
- Push the ingredients to the side, add the tomato paste (let it cook off for a minute or two to improve flavor - it will start to turn dark rusty red). Add ¼ - ½ cup water to thin out the sauce.
Beans + Tomatoes + Green Chilies
- Add 3, 19 oz tins of beans - use a variety of large and small, firm and soft beans for great texture and heartiness. *I usually end up adding extra red kidney beans (we like beans).
- Crushed tomatoes are a good choice for chili. They create the perfect thick texture and intense tomato flavor. I like the texture of the Whole Foods 365 and Muir Glen crushed tomatoes. If you have 6n1 ground tomatoes at your market, they are always my first choice.
- Add a tin of chopped green chilies (optional but delicious).
- Taste the sauce, adjust seasoning as desired.
Everything Else for the Sauce
- Stir in smoky bold BBQ sauce, sriracha, and soy sauce or Worcestershire.
- Add water to thin out the sauce as it simmers for around 20 minutes over low heat with the lid on or only half way on if the sauce gets too active.
- Stir frequently, adjust the temperature as necessary, and add water when needed to achieve the consistency you like in chili.
- Finish by squeezing ½ - 1 lime (to taste) over sauce and stir to incorporate.
- Spoon into bowls and top with chopped cilantro plus any optional toppings.
- Green onions, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese, crushed taco chips or corn chips, avocado, sour cream or cashew cream and a swirl of pesto.
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