September 26, 2020

Easy Vegan Recipes

Eat Vegan – Eat Well

Classic Vegan Chili (Stovetop or Instant Pot!)

5 min read

Packed with veggies, spices, and beans, this hearty vegan chili will knock your socks off! Easy to make in the stove or Instant Pot, and perfect for feeding a crowd.

Bowls of Vegan Chili Topped with Avocado with a Blue Pot in the Background

Everyone needs a go-to chili recipe! Personally, I love experimenting with chili recipes by including all kinds of fun veggies, spices, veggie proteins, and maybe beer…but there’s definitely something to be said for good old classic vegetarian chili.

This is my basic, no frills, but also loaded with flavor, vegan chili. Feeding a group of skeptical meat-eaters? Give them this chili! Need something delicious for meal prep that won’t bore you to death by the end of the week? This chili is what you need!

Vegan Chili Ingredients

Wooden Table Set with Two Bowls of Vegan Chili, Spoons, Drinking Glass and Half an Avocado

Here’s what you’ll need to whip up a pot of this chili!

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers (red and green)
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Spices (cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne)
  • Diced tomatoes (preferably fire roasted, but regular diced tomatoes work too)
  • Beans (3 cans of whatever you’ve got!)
  • Frozen corn
  • Salt & pepper
  • Tomato paste (for the Instant Pot only!)

How to Make Vegan Chili

Stovetop Chili

Start by heating up some olive oil in a large pot. Once the oil is hot, add your veggies: onion, peppers, and carrots. Sweat the veggies until they start to soften up, then add your garlic and spices: chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook everything until the garlic and spices become very fragrant.

Steps 1 and 2 for Making Vegan Chili: Sweat Veggies, and Add Spices

Now add your beans and tomatoes. You can use just about any variety of canned beans — I went with black, kidney, and pinto, because that’s what I had on hand. Bring the chili up to a simmer and let it cook for about a half hour. Stir in some thawed frozen corn during the last minute or so.

Steps 3 and 4 for Making Vegan Chili: Add Tomatoes and Beans, and Add Corn

Season your chili with salt and pepper to taste when it’s finished.

Instant Pot Vegan Chili

Vegan Chili In an Instant Pot with Wooden Spoon

Use the “sauté” function on your Instant Pot to sweat the onion, peppers, and carrots in some olive oil. Add the garlic and spices during the last minute or so, then press “cancel.”

Now stir in a cup of water, then add your tomatoes, followed by the beans. Don’t stir! The water and tomatoes need to be on the bottom to prevent the burn warning from going off. Close the pot, set the valve to “sealing” and use the “manual” or “pressure cook” function. Set the cook time to 10 minutes.

Carefully move the valve to the “venting” position when the timer goes off. Let the pressure release completely, remove the lid, and stir in the corn.

If you make this chili using the Instant Pot it will not come out as thick, but you have options for thickening it up! You can press the “bean/chili” button and let it simmer for a bit, or just stir in 1/4 cup of tomato paste.

Season the chili it with salt and pepper before serving.

Vegan Chili Tips & FAQ

  • Is this chili gluten-free? It sure is!
  • Leftovers and storage: Leftover chili keeps great! Store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Switch up the veggies! Feel free to use what you like or have on hand. Sweet potatoes, winter squash, zucchini, and cauliflower are all great in vegetarian chili.
  • What kinds of beans work best in this chili? Just about any canned variety will work! Try black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, lentils, chickpeas or cannellini beans.
  • Is this chili spicy? The cayenne pepper gives it a little heat. If you’re nervous about that, just leave it out. For extra heat, use extra cayenne, or season the chili with some hot sauce before serving.
  • Serving ideas! Top your chili with fresh scallions, cilantro, avocado, or cashew cream. I love my chili with a side of homemade cornbread or beer bread. Or try serving it over a baked potato or vegan hot dog!

Two Bowls of Vegan Chili on a Wooden Surface

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Bowls of Vegan Chili Topped with Avocado with a Blue Pot in the Background

Classic Vegan Chili

Packed with veggies, spices, and beans, this hearty vegan chili will knock your socks off! Easy to make in the stove or Instant Pot, and perfect for feeding a crowd.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes

Total Time 1 hour

Servings 8

Calories 246 kcal

Author Alissa Saenz

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup water (Instant Pot only)
  • 3 (14 ounce or 400 gram) cans fire roasted tomatoes (regular canned tomatoes work too!)
  • 3 (14 ounce or 400 gram) cans beans (black, kidney, pinto, lentils, or chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (Instant Pot only, optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Stovetop Instructions

  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with the oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the onion, peppers, and carrots. Sweat the veggies until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

  3. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture becomes very fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Stir in the beans and tomatoes. Bring the chili to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, until the veggies are soft and the chili has thickened, stirring occasionally.

  5. Stir in the corn and cook the chili for another minute, just to heat the corn.

  6. Remove the pot from heat and season the chili with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Instant Pot Method

  1. Press the “sauté” button on your Instant Pot then add the oil.

  2. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the onion, bell peppers and carrots.

  3. Sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften up.

  4. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Continue cooking until the mixture becomes very fragrant, about 1 minute. Hit the “cancel” button.

  5. Stir in the water. Add the tomatoes, then and add the beans on top of the tomatoes. Do not stir.

  6. Place the lid on your Instant Pot and set the valve to the “sealing” position. Press the “pressure cook” or “manual” button and set the pressure to high. Set the chili to cook for 10 minutes.

  7. When the chili has finished cooking, carefully move the valve to the “venting” position. Let the pressure release completely.

  8. Remove the lid from the Instant Pot and stir in the corn and tomato paste, if using. Let the chili sit for a bit to thicken up, if desired.

  9. Season the chili with salt and pepper to taste.

  10. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Classic Vegan Chili

Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)

Calories 246 Calories from Fat 52

% Daily Value*

Fat 5.8g9%

Saturated Fat 0.8g4%

Sodium 348mg15%

Potassium 866mg25%

Carbohydrates 40.6g14%

Fiber 12g48%

Sugar 7g8%

Protein 11.5g23%

Calcium 106mg11%

Iron 5mg28%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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