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+ servings
Bowl of best vegan chili served on rice with corn bread and avocado rose.

Vegan Chili Everyone Loves!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 10 cups
Author: Tracy Halasz


Soffritto (sautéed veggies)

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, grated and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Beefless Ground Crumbles and Spices

  • 2 Beyond meat patties*, thawed
  • 4-6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder (or chipotle Tabasco)
  • 1 tablespoon smoky paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • ½-1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 3, 19 oz mixed beans (pinto, red kidney, black)
  • 4 oz tin chopped mild green chilies (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (to taste)
  • 1-3 cups water or broth (for thinning)
  • 1 lime (to finish)

Optional Topping Ideas

  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons grated cheese (per serving)
  • 1 dollop sour cream (per serving)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • tortilla or corn chips, crumbled
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2-4 servings long pasta, cooked


Saute the Veggies (mirepoix, soffritto, holy trinity)

  • Chop the onions, celery, carrots, and mince the garlic.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or similar large pot (crock pot). Add the chopped vegetables and garlic.
  • Saute for 5-8 minutes over medium heat until soft and translucent.

Beefless Ground Crumbles

  • Push the vegetables to the side, add the two thawed Beyond meat patties (or Impossible meat) to the pan. Let them brown, breaking them up with a large spoon as they cook.
  • Stir in 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.

Chili Spices

  • Add the spices* and stir to incorporate. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.
  • *This chili has about a medium-hot heat index; but it really depends how hot your chili powder is, how much cayenne and sriracha you add, and your individual palate - adjust to taste.

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 seasonings as desired.
  • To stretch the chili to feed a larger crowd, add another tin or two of beans, another cup of crushed tomatoes, and more water/broth as needed for thinning.

Everything Else for the Chili Sauce

  • Stir in smoky bold BBQ sauce and sriracha for additional smokiness, flavor, and heat.
  • Add water to thin out the sauce as it simmers for 20+ minutes over low heat with the lid partially on. Stir frequently and adjust temperature as needed.
  • Finish by squeezing ½ - 1 lime (to taste) over sauce and stir to incorporate.
  • Spoon over rice into bowls and top with chopped cilantro plus any optional toppings if desired.

Optional Toppings

  • Green onions, chopped fresh tomatoes, grated vegan cheese, crushed taco chips or corn chips, avocado slices, sour cream or cashew cream or a swirl of pesto.


Building flavor - step one in the recipe is sauteing the soffritto. Don't rush this step, a lot of flavor comes from the vegetables softening, releasing their juices, and turning slightly golden. This will produce some browning in the bottom of the pan - deglaze that with a little water, broth or beer as needed to prevent sticking and to incorporate the scrapings into the sauce.
There are several individual spices to create the complex depth of flavor and smokiness in this chili sauce. In a pinch you could sub in a store-bought chili seasoning blend (~3 tablespoons or more to taste).
Beyond Meat patties - the Beyond patties have a grilled, smoky flavor and meaty texture to them which is a great pairing with this chili.
Mock meat - another popular substitute for ground beef in chili is the incredible, plant-based, Impossible Meat. It browns just like ground beef, looks like it and is meaty - but made without meat!
Vegan/Vegetarian alternative - tofu crumbles, soy crumbles, crumbled tempeh, veggie ground, mince or TVP make a delicious hearty chili.
How to thicken chili - as the sauce simmers, it will thicken naturally. Simmering with the lid on will keep the sauce looser and runnier because the lid traps the steam from escaping. Simmering without the lid allows the steam to evaporate and the sauce reduces and thickens. More ways to thicken chili: simmer for longer, turn the heat up or make the day ahead (the chili will thicken up as it chills overnight).
Storage - store in individual containers in the fridge for 3 or 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Award Winning - the perfect contender to win first place at all the chili competitions - I'm thinking about taking it on the circuit this year! What do you think?