9 Best Vegan Chili Recipes

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Getting burned out on the same-old chili? We’ve got 9 of the best vegan chili recipes with awesomely unique ingredients and flavor profiles to make you fall in love with this dish all over again.

Chili is one of those traditional meat-filled dishes that can easily be made into a vegan masterpiece with a little tweaking. But this hearty comfort dish can also get old quickly if you don’t change it up every once in a while.

To help you keep things fresh, we’ve tracked down the 9 best vegan chili recipes out there. Each of these dishes features a different star ingredient and unique spices so you can indulge in this protein-heavy, nutrient-packed stew more often.

The Best Vegan Chili Recipes

1. Red Lentil Chili

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free | Total time: 55 minutes

1-Pot Red Lentil Chili
Photo: Minimalist Baker

This lentil chili brings together the essences of east and west for an awesome flavor combination and a new take on this classic.

Together with all the traditional bean varieties, you’ll find lentils, a staple of many Indian dishes.

An extra touch of sweetness thanks to some coconut sugar rounds out the curry-inspired flavor without overwhelming the typical chili taste.

2. White Bean Chili

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free | Total time: 1 hour

Best Vegan Chili in a white bowl
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

In addition to hearty white beans, this delicious chili also features homemade tempeh meat crumbles that bring a blast of flavor and tons of protein.

If you are short on time you can always substitute the tempeh for a store-bought meat substitute. Either way, we highly recommend serving this alongside our delicious vegan grilled cheese!

3. Chili with Carrots & Bell Peppers

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free | Total time: 1 hour

Chili with Carrots & Bell Peppers
Photo: Cookie & Kate

Never added carrots to your chili before? You’ve been missing out.

Like all the best vegan chili recipes, vegetables are the stars of this dish but the backup dancers—the spices—play a very important role as well.

The trick to perfecting this simple chili is to take your time sautéing the onions, garlic, and veggies upfront and not skimping on the spices in the end.

4. Pumpkin Chili

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free | Total time: 50 minutes

Vegan Pumpkin Chili

Want to make your chili even more perfect for enjoying on a crisp autumn evening? This unique recipe uses pumpkin puree to add a touch of creaminess and some seasonal flavor.

The pumpkin flavor is not as prominent as you might expect, but when paired with the cinnamon, it elevates the dish quite nicely.

5. Chili with Maple Syrup & Cocoa as Secret Ingredients

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free | Total time: 2 hours

Chili with Maple Syrup & Cocoa as secret ingredients
Photo: Rainbow Plant Life

Sick of boring chili defined by your typical spices? Let me introduce you to the complex flavors of this awesomely unique chili recipe.

With an intensely long list of spices, including cocoa powder, tamari, adobo sauce, red wine vinegar, Mexican oregano, and masa harina, this recipe is anything but typical.

To capture the beauty of all those flavors, you will have to do a bit more work but the final product is well worth the extra effort.

6. Slow Cooker Chili

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, Oil-free | Total time: 6-8 hours

Vegan Chili

This vegan chili has more of a traditional flair and is packed with vegetables for a healthy, yet filling dinner option. Best of all, this slow cooker chili requires very little work to throw together.

Simply chop the veggies, rinse the beans, measure the spices, and toss everything into your crockpot. By the time dinner rolls around, it will be ready to enjoy.

7. Chili with Corn & Millet

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free | Total time: 50 minutes

Vegan Chili with Beans and Millet
Photo: My Pure Plants

This hearty chili uses the superfood millet in place of your typical meat ingredients. Along with a long list of vegetables, this ancient grain brings a ton of nutrients to the table.

Add to that some atypical spices like chocolate, sriracha, and red wine, and you’ve got a flavorful chili like nothing you’ve cooked up before.

8. Chili with Tofu

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free | Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Vegan chili with tofu and beans
Photo: It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

Got a meat eater in the family? Wow them with this absolutely delectable tofu chili.

With a base of ingredients reminiscent of your favorite two-bean chili recipe, this dish has a more traditional flavor.

But the addition of homemade tofu crumbles featuring nutritional yeast and soy sauce adds a whole new dimension that vegans and carnivores can’t get enough of.

9. Chili with Red & Green Bell Pepper

Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free | Total time: 50 minutes

Vegan chili with red and green bell peppers
Photo: She Likes Food

The star of this chili is all the fresh vegetables that go into it. Red and green bell peppers bring the crunch while freshly diced tomatoes add that necessary acidity without bringing too much of that tomato flavor.

Finish with a long list of spices and you’ve got a healthy, hearty chili that takes very little time to make and is perfect for weeknight dinners.

Classic vegan chili in a blue bowl with chopped spring onions on a wooden table

9 Best Vegan Chili Recipes

Getting burned out on the same-old chili? We’ve got 9 of the best vegan chili recipes with awesomely unique ingredients and flavor profiles to make you fall in love with this dish all over again. If you're ready to jump right into a classic vegan chili recipe that everyone will love, try this hall-of-fame version, adapted and veganized from The Recipe Critic.
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
1 Rating
Print Pin Recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: best vegan chili recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Author: Sara Seitz

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add in onion, bell pepper and garlic, and sauté until tender. Add plant-based meatless crumbles and cook until browned, breaking it up into crumbles as it cooks.
  • Add in vegetable broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and all beans and spices.
  • Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes until the textures come together and it starts to thicken.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!
Sara Seitz

About the Author

Hi and thank you for wanting to get to know me and my passions.

I’m a professional freelance writer with decades of experience learning about and living a green, clean life.

I grew up in Colorado under the influence of three generations of knowledgeable women who knew their way around the garden. I graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor of science in biology and a minor in English. A year before graduation, my life was upended by an unexpected diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes.

Facing the reality of living with an incurable autoimmune disease I left to reflect hard on my lifestyle. While this type of diabetes cannot be cured or treated with diet, I was certain that focusing on her health and fueling her body with clean food would help her better manage her condition. As a lifelong animal lover, it wasn’t difficult for me to transition fully to a vegan diet.

Inspired by the changes I felt after going vegan, I sought out a community of like-minded plant-based eaters, gaining knowledge and experience that would fuel my future career.

In 2018, I brought my daughter into the world. Wanting the opportunity to be home to raise her, I decided to pursue a career as a freelance writer, starting my own company in 2019. http://penandpostwriter.com

Today, I’m lucky to have a long list of clients who pay me to write about my many passions. At the top of that list is gardening and eating a clean diet for the sake of my health, the planet, and all the animals I love.

When I’m not constructing articles for clients, you can find me wrist-deep in dirt in my vegetable garden, hiking with my dogs, or back in front of the computer creating imaginative worlds in my quest to become a published fiction writer. More articles by Sara.

sara@cleangreensimple.com