This is by far the best vegan chili I have ever made. It’s flavorful, healthy, and hearty enough to satisfy even your pickiest meat eater. I found this recipe a few years ago before I started cooking plant-based meals regularly. I had no idea what to serve my out of town vegan guests, but I figured chili would be a safe bet.
After trying other vegetarian chili recipes in the past that were only so-so, I didn’t have very high expectations. Thankfully this recipe did not disappoint! I still make this at least twice a month and will often experiment with some of the ingredients. Here is my take on this recipe. Hope you like it too!
Perfect Vegan Chili
- 1 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, sliced thin or chopped
- 1 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh or pickled jalapeno, diced (optional)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Chipotle chili pepper (sub for another tsp smoked paprika if not on hand)
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1-2 dashes cayenne pepper (optional, for added heat)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cans beans, drained and rinsed (combination of black, pinto, kidney, or garbanzo) (*original recipe states 2 cans black beans, 1 can pinto; I use this combo or whatever I have on hand always works too)
- 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 large handful cilantro leaves, chopped
- Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add chopped onion, carrots, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Saute for a few minutes to soften veggies. Stir in minced garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Sprinkle all spices (except bay leaf) over veggies and stir to combine. Allow to cook for a minute or so more. Stir in vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, beans, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Discard bay leaf. Put about 1½ cups of the vegan chili in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Pour back into pot of chili and stir to combine. (This allows for a nice hearty texture that is thick, without having to add anything extra to achieve it.)
- Stir in chopped cilantro. Serve and enjoy with your favorite chili toppings! Suggestions include vegan sour cream, vegan grated cheese, sliced green onion, or jalapeno slices.