Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe (2024)

Updated: by Vera Morgan · This post may contain affiliate links · 94 Comments

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My Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe is quick and easy, healthy and has the best flavour. It ticks all the boxes, savoury, spicy, sweet and tangy. It's the ultimate comfort food and it's gluten free!

Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe (1)

I love Chili!! And any dish remotely resembling Mexican food, haha. This is my go to Vegan Chili recipe, and husband approved, woot woot! - he loves this dish. Another Win for me!

I used to make my Chili with beef and pork. So I wanted to recreate this Chili without having to add meat (obviously, lol) and I definitely pulled it off! It's Protein packed and super satisfying and really is the Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe!

Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe (2)

You can easily add your favourite meat crumbles to this Chili for a meatier texture and if you add TVP I suggest pre soaking it first. Once in awhile I'll fry up a block of crumbled tofu in a non stick skillet set to medium. I add a few seasonings and cook for about 20 minutes. It works perfectly for that meaty chew! ( no I did not use tofu in these photos, this is my straight up Awesome Chili).

Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe (3)

I like to serve this Vegan Chili with a side of basmati rice, garlic bread and a green salad. My daughters enjoy eating it with Pico de gallo, avocados, or Guacamole and sour cream and tortilla chips.

My absolute favourite way to eat this Chili is on a Vegan Hotdog with mustard and finely diced white onion- OMG THE BEST!! It's also perfectly delicious on its own?

Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe (4)

Ok let's get to my Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe and how to make it:

Start by sautéing all the veggies till softened. Then add in the rest of ingredients to the pot and cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove a ladle full or so of Chili, blend it up in your Nutria Bullet or Blender and return it to the pot. Give the Chili a stir then taste for seasonings and serve. Yum! Vegan Chili in a jiffy. Check out full recipe in the recipe card below?

Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe (5)

This recipe will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and freezes well.

Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe (6)

Ok let's make some Vegan Chili! You'll love this recipe it’s:

Protein packed
gluten free
A great main dish

Other comforting Vegan Mains you'd like:
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Best Vegan Alfredo Sauce with Fettuccine

Enjoy! ? Happy day to you! Feel free to leave a comment and rate this recipe I'd love to hear from you!



Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe (7)

Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe

★★★★★5 from 29 reviews
  • Author: Verna
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
Print Recipe


My Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe is quick and easy, healthy and has the best flavour. It ticks all the boxes, savoury, spicy, sweet and tangy. It's the ultimate comfort food and it's gluten free!




  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (optional), I use grape seed oil
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red , or orange, or yellow pepper, diced
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 (398 ml) (14 fl oz) can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes or Regular Canned diced Tomatoes (see notes*)
  • 1 and ¾ cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian No Beef Soup Base, ( there is an organic version as well but I have not tried it)
  • 3 tablespoons of Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Ancho Chili Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or substitute maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of yellow mustard
  • 2 (540 ml) (19 fl oz) cans of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (540 ml) (19 fl 0z) can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained


  • cilantro
  • Pico De Gallo or Salsa
  • sliced avocado or Guacamole
  • sour cream
  • green onions
  • finely diced white onion ( my favourite)


  1. Heat a 5-6 quart Dutch Oven or heavy bottomed pot on medium heat, then add the oil ( or water or veggie stock), diced onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Next add in the garlic, peppers and celery and cook for 5-7 minutes, until veggies are softening, stirring a few times.
  3. Now add the rest of ingredients to the pot and stir. Bring the Chili to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for 25 minutes. Stir once or twice.
  4. After 25 minutes uncover the Chili and add one soup ladle full of Chili to your Nutra Bullet or Blender and blend until smooth (optional). Add the puree back to the Chili. Stir and Serve.
  5. Enjoy the Chili by itself or serve with your favourite toppings!


  • this Chili will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days
  • It's totally freezer friendly
  • if you'd like the Chili saucier (or if you're adding vegan meat crumbles) add another small can of roasted or regular diced tomatoes.
  • feel free to add your favourite vegan crumbles. If you use TVP I recommend pre soaking it.
  • I quite often will add 1 and ½ to 2 cups of Gardein Meatless ground crumbles (and yes I definitely add the another small can of tomatoes!)? It's delicious! (add after, or if) you've pureed a ladle of chili and cook for 5 more minutes)
  • this Chili is SO good on a Vegan Hotdog with mustard and a little finely diced white onion!
  • I have made my Chili with Fire Roasted Tomatoes and regular Diced Tomatoes, they're equally delicious.
  • If you use Seasoned Fire Roasted Tomatoes omit the onion powder and granulated garlic.
  • Once in awhile I will add cooked, crumbled tofu to my Chili. I crumble the tofu into a good quality non stick skillet with a few spices and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. It's a great 'Meaty' addition.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Mains, gluten free
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: best vegan chili recipe, vegan chili, spicy, best, easy, recipe,

More Mains

  • Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos
  • Sweet and Savory Summer Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • Vegan Tofu Salmon Rice Bowl
  • The Best Vegan BBQ Ribs

Reader Interactions


  1. Kathy

    This recipe is amazing! My friend recommended it because her whole meat-loving family (including 2 young boys) enjoyed it. I made this with my mom and we both devoured it! Bonus: I love that it uses common ingredients and is a one-pot meal. This recipe will definitely go on repeat!


  2. Deborah Lewis

    My husband loved this recipe! This will be my go to for long cold nights! Thank you for sharing! We adding the gardein crumble and some roasted tomatoes with the 3 beans kidney black beans and pinto amazing. We were a little hesitant about the mustard and maple syrup but it definitely helped with the heat and was a great addition to the chili.


    • Verna Rindler

      So glad you both enjoyed the Chili Deborah, feel free to leave a star rating - really helpful:)


  3. Jane Curtis

    Hello Verna,
    I am new to using Instant Pot & wondered if you could give me timings to make this in it? It sounds so delicious.


    • Verna

      Hi Jane this particular recipe has not been tested in the instant pot so I cannot say. 🙂


      • Jane Curtis

        Thank you Verna.


        • Verna

          You're welcome! I will be adding a instant pot vegan chili recipe in the near future 🙂


          • Jane Curtis

            👍 Look forward to seeing it.

  4. Carole

    The best thing about this recipe is that you can follow it exactly, or tweak it to fit what veggies you have on hand, and it's always delicious! I add a couple of diced jalapenos and I mix up the types of beans that I use. Thank you for an excellent recipe!


    • Verna

      I am so happy you're enjoying the chili recipe Carole. Thanks so much for the wonderful review! 🙂


  5. Jeff

    Wat to go this was amazing chili. It didn't even need any vegan meat!


    • Verna

      thank you so much!


  6. Linda

    Made this for the first time tonight…will definitely make it again! There’s so much flavor, even eliminating the onion and garlic (made it for a guest on a FODMAP diet). We all loved it! Added Beyond crumbles for added texture!


    • Verna

      Thanks for your feedback Linda. I am so happy you all enjoyed the chili!


  7. Isabella

    I’ve been making this recipe for the last 2 years! Obsessed


    • Verna

      You made my day Isabella! Delighted you're enjoying it. Please feel free to leave a star rating, really helpful 🙂


  8. Liz

    AMAZING !!!! Family Friendly and easy peasy !!! We added Beef-less ground beef from Trader Joe’s and it was amazing. My kids and family loved it. Definitely keep this recipe handy. Perfect for crowds, potluck, football season!!


    • Verna

      Thank you for your review Liz, very helpful, and so kind. So happy your family enjoyed it! 🙂


  9. Jackson

    Finally! Look at vegan recipes through the eyes of someone who is not vegan. That's some weird ingredients and very confusing. So I was looking for a vegan chili recipe for company and I found yours!!! It's totally normal!! Thank you!!


    • Verna

      You're very welcome enjoy Jackson!


  10. KM

    Best. Chili. Ever. Thanks for the recipe!

    Happy New Year!


    • Verna

      Thank you so much! Really appreciate your feedback and Happy New Year to you too!! 🙂


  11. Lisa

    I love this recipe!! I used only 1 TBS chili powder and 2 tsp cumin, and I didn't have ancho chili powder. It has such a great flavor! I love the sweetness of the maple syrup. This is one of my favorite recipes on Pinterest.


    • Verna

      Thank you so much Lisa! What a nice compliment! I recommend grabbing some ancho chili powder for next time, it is a really nice addition.


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Ultimate Vegan Chili Recipe (2024)


What is the secret to amazing chili? ›

Elevate your chili recipe by adding an extra layer of flavor. Cocoa powder, bacon, cinnamon, ground coffee and tomato paste will all add a rich sweet & salty flavors that are sure to surprise and delight.

What can I substitute for meat in chili? ›

Here are just a few ideas.....
  • An extra can of beans (pinto, kidney, or black)
  • Seitan.
  • Bulgur.
  • Portobella Mushrooms.
  • My Cauliflower Taco Crumbles.
  • Butler Soy Curls.
  • Any of the new burger crumble products in the store.
Jan 15, 2023

How long does homemade vegan chili last in the fridge? ›

How Long Does Vegan Chili Last? If you want to make a large batch of vegan chili for meal prep, you can store it in the fridge for three to five days or freeze it in jars for two to three months, making sure to leave at least an inch of headspace in each jar. Defrost vegan chili in the refrigerator overnight.

Should chili be thick or soupy? ›

Traditionally, we expect a robust, spicy base, meat and/or beans, perhaps some bonus veggies, and a thick, rich consistency. Unlike soups, which are brothy, or even bisques, which are creamy yet thinner, chili is meant to be more stew-like; it's a definite stick-to-your-ribs creation.

What not to put in chili? ›

Beans and non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed." If that sounds a bit uptight, the ICS's Homestyle Chili competition defines chili as: "any kind of meat, or combination of meats, and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, various spices, and other ingredients.

What is the most important spice in chili? ›

Most Common Chili Spices. Cumin, Chile Powders, and Paprika are the most common spices in chili followed by garlic, onion, coriander, Mexican oregano, and bay leaves. These ingredients can be combined to create a savory and well-balanced pot of top notch comfort food.

How do you thicken vegan chili? ›

You can use polenta, arrowroot powder (a gluten-free vegetable root flour), or masa harina as a thickening agent if you don't have cornmeal. In Latin American cooking, chefs use masa harina—a type of cornflour—to make tamales and tortillas.

What is my homemade chili missing? ›

Sometimes after a long simmer, your chili will taste wonderful be maybe missing one little thing you can't figure out. Try a tad bit of vinegar or a squeeze of lime! The acidity in vinegar & limes bring a good roundness to the pot and binds all the flavors together.

What is vegan chili made of? ›

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.

What kind of beans go in chili? ›

The best beans for chili are pinto, kidney, and black beans, like in this easy and tasty recipe. This 3-bean chili freezes great for meals later in the week. If you prefer thinner chili, add an extra can of tomato sauce. The green chiles are not hot and add a wonderful flavor, so don't be afraid to use them.

Does celery go into chili? ›

To make the chili:

Stir in the onions, garlic and celery cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Sprinkle in the spice mix, stir and cook for an additional two minutes.

Is it safe to eat vegetarian chili left out overnight? ›

The USDA says food that has been left out of the fridge for more than two hours should be thrown away. At room temperature, bacteria grows incredibly fast and can make you sick. Reheating something that has been sitting at room temperature for longer than two hours won't be safe from bacteria.

What adds depth of flavor to chili? ›

You can always add additional spices to taste, but this could give you a solid foundation to work from. Try adding spices like paprika, chili powder, cumin, coriander, Mexican oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, cayenne, or even chipotle.

Why do you put cornmeal in chili? ›

Cornmeal does an excellent job of absorbing extra liquids so adding a tablespoon of it to the chili will thicken the final dish. Mix 2 parts of cold water and 1 part of cornmeal, make it a slurry, and add this to the pot. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes after you add the slurry.

What liquid to add to chili? ›

Chili cooks low and slow, so you need enough liquid to tenderize the meat and keep everything from drying out. That liquid should also add flavor to the chili, so use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or beer.

Why would you put vinegar in chili? ›

With only about 1 tablespoon per pot added toward the end of the cooking process, the vinegar will make the flavors more vibrant without overwhelming the dish with its biting tang. Through just a splash, everything becomes a little brighter, and the chili's flavors are more balanced.

Why do you put brown sugar in chili? ›

The brown sugar gave it a sweet/tangy flavor that reminded me of BBQ-sauce! Th chili was so good - it was hard to stop eating it! I did had some extra veggies (1 cl. garlic, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot, 1 bell pepper, 1 hot pepper) and used a can of diced tomatoes rather than tomato juice.

Why do you put baking soda in chili? ›

In this chili recipe, baking soda (that same thing the fluffs up cakes and cookies) tenderizes the ground beef while making it brown better. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is alkaline.


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