This classic recipe is The Best Vegan Chili Ever! Made with basic pantry ingredients, it’s gluten-free and easily ready in under an hour. This hearty one-pot vegan chili can be made on the stovetop, in the slow cooker, or Instant Pot.
Well, I’m breaking that streak today with the best vegan chili EVER! And that’s no exaggeration either!
This chili recipe has been in-the-works since last year and I’m finally ready to share it with you guys. It’s a meatless recipe with a hearty, classic flavor everyone will enjoy.
So, what exactly goes in this vegan chili?
I kept the base simple by using canned beans.
I went with kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, and refried beans, but you can easily swap any of the whole beans out for any variety beans you have on-hand.
To flavor the chili, I added 2 cans of tomatoes (diced and fire-roasted with medium green chilies), chopped onion, green and red bell pepper, and a few simple seasonings (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt) to bring it all together.
For the heat, dice up a jalapeño (or two) and simmer it in the pot with everything else. I left them out for my daughter and opted for the canned tomatoes with added green chilies. The spicy tomatoes kept this chili mild enough for the whole family to enjoy.
How to make vegan chili
It only takes 3 easy steps to make the best vegan chili recipe.
First, chop the onion and bell peppers. Pretty easy and straight forward so far, right?
Second, sauté the onion and bell peppers until they begin to soften. They don’t need to be fully cooked since they will simmer for quite a bit with the other ingredients.
Third, add the remaining ingredients to the pot and mix everything together. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes or until the onion and bell peppers are fully cooked.
The last step is my favorite part…
Enjoy vegan chili topped with diced avocado, chopped cilantro, vegan cheese, sliced jalapeño peppers, and/or vegan sour cream!
This recipe also takes ordinary foods and turns them into delicious filling meals. Use this recipe to create homemade vegan chili cheese fries, chili filled baked potatoes, chili carrot dogs, or chili and rice.
Vegan chili can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
How do you thicken vegan chili?
Chili isn’t chili unless it’s thick!
So, to thicken this recipe I went with canned refried beans. I tested a few other thickening ingredients with results I didn’t find to enhance the flavors.
I had tried flour, quinoa, and tomato paste, but the refried beans kept the taste classic and the ingredients cheap and simple.
Not to mention, using refried beans as a thickener also allows this recipe to remain gluten-free.
Can I freeze vegan chili?
Allow the chili to completely cool to room temperature. Then, transfer it to a lidded freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat the frozen chili, fully defrost it in the fridge or on the counter. Transfer it to a cooking pot and reheat on the stovetop.
How to make vegan chili in the slow cooker and Instant Pot
The recipe instructions below are written for the stovetop, but this chili can be made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
For the slow cooker
Add all the ingredients to the inner pot and stir everything together. Set to low and cook until the onion and bell peppers are tender, about 3-4 hours.
If the chili is thick add more vegetable broth. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
Tips: For easier cleanup use a slow cooker liner. And, for more depth in flavor, sauté the onion and bell pepper before adding them to the slow cooker.
For the Instant Pot
This chili can be made in the Instant Pot, but there is no need to pressure cook it since we are using canned beans.
Instead, you’ll want to follow the below stovetop instructions while using the Instant Pot’s sauté feature.
To cover the Instant Pot while the chili cooks, use the glass lid designed for the IP or a simple sheet of foil across the top will work too.
MORE HEARTY VEGAN MEALS
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Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 304mg Carbohydrates: 29g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 4g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 10g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.