Best Ever Vegan Chili Recipe (Approved by all eaters!)
This is the BEST vegan chili recipe you’ll ever make! It’s so simply, full of robust and hearty flavor, naturally healthy, protein packed, and so cozy for those fall and winter dinners! Make it in an instant pot, slow cooker, or stovetop and serve with a slice of vegan cornbread for a healthy chili recipe that all eaters love!
Why you’ll just love this vegan chili even if you aren’t vegan!
This is my absolute favorite chili recipe, vegan, vegetarian or not, and I just know you’re going to love it as much as I do. And so will your family, whether they’re vegan, vegetarian, or regular eaters!
Let’s talk basics. This vegan chili is meatless, dairy free, vegetarian-friendly, and full of plant-based protein.
But trust me, you really don’t notice it when you’re having a bowl. It’s the coziest bowl of soup to make for the fall and winter season (aside from this delicious vegan tortellini soup and Tuscan white bean soup!).
This chili also happens to be full of robust flavor, so incredibly hearty and comforting, super thick (like my vegetable stew!), and a crowd pleaser for those who do and don’t eat meat!
So don’t think that just because this vegetarian-friendly chili is “just beans,” that it’s any less flavorful than the classic. It’s just as cozy, comforting, and delicious as traditional chili, but naturally healthier, and perfect for both vegans and vegetarians!
My family, who are not vegan, now specially request this vegan chili. They love it that much- even over the classic!
Not to mention, this chili is incredibly easy to make. You have an option for using an Instant Pot, slow cooker, or even stovetop. Simply sauté the veggies, then add everything to a pot and let it cook. That’s really it!
Easy vegan chili ingredients
This Instant Pot vegan chili recipe is actually also considered a vegetarian chili recipe (and a damn good one at that).
It’s made up of the simplest ingredients, and is heavily based off of the one my mom would make me as a kid (because no one makes chili like her!). For this chili, you’ll need:
- Three types of beans: I use black beans, kidney, cannellini beans, and/or bertolotti beans (all from Jovial Foods!)
- Diced tomatoes: I use unsalted and just add in sea salt, but if you use salted, just be careful and air on the side of caution when adding salt at first.
- Veggies: I dice onions, celery, and carrots for added flavor
- Tomato sauce or marinara: I recommend Jovial Organics or Organico Bello marinara- either of those are my all time favorites!
- Spices: I personally don’t like a chili that’s too spicy- because then I’m just spending an hour cooling down my mouth! For this vegetarian chili, I like to use a mix of chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and just a pinch of cayenne. You can, however, use as much or as little cayenne as you’d like.
- Olive oil: you can use coconut oil too, if preferred, but we’re just using it to sauté the veggies.
- Optional: pea protein + red wine! You can omit or add in if you’d like- I personally choose to because I like adding in a little extra plant-based protein. I recommend using a neutral or unflavored pea protein. For the wine, I think it just adds more of a robust flavor to the chili and really makes the ingredients shine (insert Kevin from The Office reference here 😉 ). Since Jared and I are actually alcohol-free, I use a non-alcoholic vegan red wine.
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Why is there no bell pepper?
You might be wondering that, and truthfully, I just don’t like my chili with bell pepper! I find them a hassle to slice with all of the seeds, so I just omit it. However, if you do want bell pepper in there, you can definitely add one whole bell pepper, diced.
The full ingredients measurements can be found down below in the recipe card, along with the full written instructions. However, we’ll go over the ins and outs of making an Instant Pot vegan chili as well as how to make this recipe if you don’t own an Instant Pot!
How to make the best Instant Pot vegan chili (overview)
For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.
Making vegan chili in an Instant Pot is extraordinarily easy and so quick! Below, I’m sharing the method for making Instant Pot chili, which you can also use a slow cooker for. But I’ve also provided the instructions for the stovetop version in the recipe card below. They’re very similar in method.
To make the best ever vegan chili:
- Start by sautéing the veggies in the Instant Pot.
Add the olive oil along with the carrots, celery, and onions, and sauté them until the onions are translucent. You can actually sauté the veggies in the Instant Pot! Not all IP’s have this option, but if you do, it’s just one less pot to clean at the end. I have the Duo Evo 6, and there’s a sauté option on that. I use this option to sauté the carrots, celery, and onions together until they’re translucent.
- Add in the remaining ingredients, and stir together.
You’ll switch the mode off of sauté for this part. Add in the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, spices, and sea salt. Stir everything together until combined.
- Set your Instant Pot or Slow Cooker, and cook the chili!
I actually cook my vegan chili in an Instant Pot but use the slow cooker mode (that way, I don’t need to buy an extra machine ha!). You can pressure cooke the chili, but I will say, soup is something that tastes much better when it’s cooked longer. There are really no shortcuts there. I recommend using the slow cooker mode on your Instant Pot, or just a slow cooker or stove top! Cook for at least 4 hours then serve!
- Serve your vegan chili.
Just because we made vegan chili doesn’t mean we have to skip out on all of the awesome toppings! I love Forager Project’s vegan sour cream and their new vegan cheese. I also top with a few fresh herbs and my homemade vegan cornbread!
How to make this vegan chili WITHOUT an Instant Pot
So you may have clicked on this Instant Pot vegan chili recipe…without actually owning an Instant Pot.
If you don’t own one, I highly recommend considering investing. I use my IP multiple times a week, and I love it! For meal prep, I always prep my quinoa and lentils in there because it makes the fluffiest quinoa I’ve ever had.
You can even make a vegan cheesecake in an Instant Pot!
However, no worries if you’re not into it. I do have some more options for you!
Slow Cooker: my family’s favorite kitchen tool, which can definitely be used for this vegetarian chili as well! Simply sauté the carrots, celery, and onion in a sauce pan, then transfer all of the ingredients over to the slow cooker. Cook the chili for 5 hours at least then serve!
Stovetop: if you’re not a slow cooker person either, not a problem- simply sauté the veggies in a sauce pan, then transfer everything over to a large soup pot. Cover and cook on low for at least 5 hours then serve!
Vegan chili toppings
Traditionally, chili is served with cheese, sour cream, chives, and the like. Being dairy free or vegan these days, we actually lucked out. All of the traditional toppings can be found both dairy free and vegan, and they taste good.
- Sour cream: I recommend Forager Project’s sour cream- it’s my favorite, and tastes just like sour cream!
- Vegan shredded cheese: my favorite brand to use here is So Delicious- any of their options are great!
- Chopped chives
- Toasted bread
- Toasted cornbread
What to serve with this vegetarian chili recipe
I love to prep my vegan chili alongside some quinoa or farro! It’s also great to serve with some roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.
If you have some leftovers, you can also make some vegan chili fries, using regular potatoes or sweet potato fries.
I hope you absolutely love this Instant Pot vegan chili recipe as much as I do!
If you try this chili recipe, be sure to leave a comment down below so that I can hear how it went for you! Let me know if you have any questions down there too 🙂
Happy Instant Pot Chili making!
More vegan soup recipes you’ll love:
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If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!Print
This is the BEST vegan chili recipe you’ll ever make! It’s so simply, full of robust and hearty flavor, naturally healthy, protein packed, and so cozy for those fall and winter dinners! Make it in an instant pot, slow cooker, or stovetop for a healthy chili recipe that all eaters love!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion (about 2 large onions)
- 1 cup diced celery stalk (about 2–3 medium stalks)
- 1 cup chopped carrots (about 3 large carrots)
- 2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more depending on heat preference)
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup marinara or tomato sauce
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 15 ounce can black beans
- 15 ounce can kidney beans
- 15 ounce can white beans
- Sea salt to taste
- Optional: 1/4 cup unflavored pea protein, 2 tbsp red wine
- Measure out all ingredients before beginning. Make sure that the onions, celery, and carrots are chopped and prepared. You can either use an Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or stovetop.
- Sauté: if using an Instant Pot, set the settings to “sauté” and heat the olive oil on medium. Add in the carrots, celery, and onions until the onions, along with the chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne, and sauté until translucent. Then turn the “sauté” mode off. If you’re not using an Instant Pot, transfer the veggies to the slow cooker or large soup pot (Note: the sauté option isn’t available on every Instant Pot.).
- Cook the chili: Once the veggies are in the Instant Pot, add in the remaining ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir until everything is evenly distributed. Secure the Instant Pot lid on top and turn on the Instant Pot. Set the settings to “Slow Cooker” and cook the chili for 4 hours.
- Serve: Once cooked, allow the chili to “stay warm” for 10 minutes to naturally release some pressure. Then make sure the pressure is fully released by releasing the pressure valve completely. Carefully remove the lid and serve!
- Instant Pot: I recommend the Instant Pot Duo Evo 6. However, an Instant Pot will work.
- No Instant Pot? Here is how to adjust:
- Slow cooker: Follow step 1. Then add all ingredients to your slow cooker. Stir the chili with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Then place the lid on the slow cooker and cook the chili for at least 5 hours. Serve as desired.
- Stove top: Follow step 1.Then add all ingredients to a large pot. Stir the chili with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Then place the lid on the pot and cook the chili for at least 5 hours on low. Serve as desired.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 199
- Sugar: 5.1 g
- Sodium: 728.9 mg
- Fat: 4.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 29.5 g
- Fiber: 9.1 g
- Protein: 12.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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