Easy Vegan Chili

This easy vegan chili is loaded with beans and veggie crumbles and is full of flavor! Chili is the best comfort food for a cold winter’s night.

Serve chili with your favorite bread, like Vegan Cornbread or Vegan Garlic Bread.

A bowl of vegan chili is topped with sour cream, and vegan cheddar shreds. A bowl of tortilla chips and a blue kitchen towel is behind it.

I love cooking, but there are times it’s just not possible. You know, like those busy days when you just don’t have time? That’s why I love this vegan chili. It comes together so quickly and even creates leftovers for tomorrow. I feel like the food prep queen these days, but fixing a meal that lends itself for lunch tomorrow is the way to go.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Using veggie crumbles means this recipe comes together quickly and has lots of plant-based protein
  • Adding chili-ready tomatoes adds even more of that chili flavor you’ve come to love
  • A little bit of corn adds texture, flavor, and color, making this the most irresistible bowl of chili ever

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Olive Oil — Using a neutral oil helps tenderize the onions. For an oil-free recipe, substitute water.
  • Onion — I use a yellow onion, but you can use white or even red onion.
  • Garlic — Use fresh garlic or soft, tender cloves from Garlic Confit.
  • Veggie crumbles — There are many plant-based crumbles to choose from these days, like Gardein, Beyond Beef, and even plant-based meats like Impossible or Pure Farmland that resembles hamburger.
  • Chili beans — You can use plain beans here (like black beans or kidney beans work great), but you can also buy chili beans that have chili seasonings added.
  • Chili ready tomatoes — The same is true for tomatoes. You can add plain stewed or diced tomatoes, or you can buy chili-read tomatoes that have seasonings added.
  • Corn — I prefer frozen corn because the flavor is better, but canned will work too.
  • Chili powder — If you use chili-ready beans and/or tomatoes, the amount of chili powder you need to add will vary.

How to Make Easy Vegan Chili

I love making vegan chili recipes — they’re so versatile and tasty. Besides, this recipe comes together so quickly, you’ll be ready to serve it in no time!

  1. Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent around 3 minutes. Add veggie crumbles and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, and corn. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 to 20 minutes. If using chili-ready tomatoes and beans, you may not need to add more chili powder. Taste and determine at this stage. If more is needed, add one tablespoon at a time. If you’re not using chili-ready tomatoes and beans, you may want to add up to 3 to 5 tablespoons of chili powder based on your taste preferences.
  3. Serve warm with cornbread, crackers, or your favorite crusty bread.

Here are the step-by-step instructions to make this super easy vegan chili recipe:

Step One: Cook Aromatics

The first step for this vegan chili recipe is to add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent around 3 minutes.

A saucepan holds onions, garlic, and veggie crumbles.

Step Two: Add Veggie Crumbles

Next, add veggie crumbles and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. The goal is to get the crumbles firm and maybe even slightly browned.

Beans have been added to a saucepan full of onions, garlic, and veggie crumbles.

Step Four: Add Beans & Tomatoes

Once the crumbles are cooked, add the beans, tomatoes, and corn.

Give this a good stir to combine and then continue cooking over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer, and then reduce the and simmer (where the liquid is gently bubbling, just below the boiling point) for 10 to 20 minutes.

If using chili-ready tomatoes and beans, you may not need to add more chili powder. Give it a taste and determine at this stage if more is needed. If so, add one tablespoon of chili powder at a time. If you’re not using chili-ready tomatoes and beans, you may want to add up to 3 to 5 tablespoons of chili powder based on your taste preferences.

Marly’s Tips

Add-ins: You can other tasty ingredients to this chili, like jalapeños or diced green/red peppers.

Serve bowls of chili warm with cornbread, crackers, or your favorite crusty bread. You can also add dollops of vegan sour cream or plain vegan yogurt on top too. And don’t forget the hot sauce!

Best Veggie Crumbles

Let’s talk about veggie crumbles for a moment. I love using either Gardein veggie crumbles or Beyond Meat Beefy because they’re vegan and gluten-free.

These days you can also purchase plant-based meat, like Beyond Beef Plant-based Ground and Pure Farmlands Protein Starters which is also a package of “ground meat”-like product. I like both of these products and they can be used in this chili recipe. Simply follow the instructions on the package and cook the veggie meat according to the package directions.

You can incorporate the cooked veggie meat crumbles into the chili as it cooks or reserve it to add immediately before serving. The advantage to adding it before serving is it retains that crispy, browned flavor even longer. This makes the best vegan chili ever!

A hand holds a spoon dipping into a bowl of vegan chili.

Tofu Chili Recipe

Don’t want to use a veggie crumbles or ground veggie meat product? Vegan chili with tofu is actually easy and tasty too! Simply make a batch of my 10-minute Tofu Scramble. Be sure to break the pieces down into small bits and cook them in a skillet until nice and firm.

Then, immediately before serving, add the tofu and stir it into the chili. Believe it or not, tofu chili recipes are delicious!

Two spoons sit between two bowls of chili, both topped with vegan sour cream and other toppings. A blue kitchen towel is beside it.

More Chili Recipes

That’s it for this easy vegan chili recipe!

A bowl of vegan chili is topped with sour cream, and vegan cheddar shreds. A bowl of tortilla chips and a blue kitchen towel is behind it.

Easy Vegan Chili

Make this easy vegan chili for a quick winter meal. Serve it over vegan hot dogs, baked potatoes, and more!
5 from 1 vote
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 304kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 cups veggie crumbles
  • 2 15 oz cans chili beans
  • 1 15 oz cans chili ready tomatoes (see note)
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon chili powder

Instructions

  • Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, around 3 minutes. Add veggie crumbles and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add beans, tomatoes, and corn. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 to 20 minutes. If using chili-ready tomatoes and beans, you may not need to add more chili powder. Taste and determine at this stage. If more is needed, add one tablespoon at a time. If you're not using chili-ready tomatoes and beans, you may want to add up to 3 to 5 tablespoons of chili powder based on your taste preferences.
  • Serve warm with cornbread, crackers, or your favorite crusty bread.

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Notes

If you don’t have chili ready tomatoes, simply used diced tomatoes and add additional chili powder to taste.
See post tips for ideas on veggie crumbles.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegan Chili
Amount Per Serving
Calories 304 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 1423mg59%
Potassium 1257mg36%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 12g48%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 1393IU28%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 121mg12%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2019 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

2 Responses to Easy Vegan Chili

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKiran @ KiranTarun.com Reply

    Love the use of turmeric here. Looks like a comforting bowl of chili 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Turmeric is my favorite spice to add! Love those anti-inflammatory properties!

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