This is by far the best plant-based chili I have ever made. It’s flavorful, healthy, and hearty enough to satisfy even the pickiest meat eater.
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 (Oil-free)
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup carrots, sliced thin or chopped
- 1 cup chopped sweet bell peppers
- 1 fresh jalapeño, diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Chipotle chili pepper
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1-2 dashes cayenne pepper (optional, for added heat)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 14 oz cans beans, drained and rinsed (combination of black, pinto, kidney) (I usually use 2 cans black beans, 1 can pinto)
- 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 large handful cilantro leaves, chopped
- Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add chopped onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and jalapeno. (Add a tbsp of vegetable broth or water to the pan if vegetables start to stick.) Saute for a few minutes to soften veggies. Stir in minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
- 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 20 minutes (covered), and then another 10-15 minutes (uncovered) until it begins to thicken. Stir 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.