Easy Vegan Chili

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to share a very Easy Vegan Chili recipe with you! This recipe is super customizable, so you can follow along or substitute whatever you have in your pantry. I know that times are tough right now so I want to share as many customizable, pantry friendly recipes as I can.

This chili recipe is super simple but packs a ton of flavor. My husband and I both love to make a huge pot of chili and eat it throughout the week. And I personally love chili because you can make it so many different ways!

You can have a super vegetable-filled chili, you can have a vegan meat chili, or you can have an all bean chili. You can throw in some lentils, corn, vegan cheese, scallions, corn chips, basically whatever you have!

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I kept this recipe super simple as I know that some people are having issues finding groceries and I hope that everyone can make this simple recipe.

I did choose to use Beyond Meat, which I know is totally not pantry friendly or something that everyone would have on hand. Again, this recipe is super easy to change up. If you don’t have Beyond Meat you can skip it altogether or use another vegan meat substitute.

Read ahead for the recipe or watch me make it on YouTube!

Best Way to Make Chili

Not only are there so many recipes you can use to make chili but there are also so many ways that you can cook it!

You can make your chili in a crockpot (slow cooker), instant pot, or the traditional stovetop method. I use all of these methods still and it just depends on how I’m feeling. I have some notes in the recipe for how to make this chili with any type of cooker.

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I prefer the slow cooker or instant pot methods. They are the simplest because you add everything in, set the timer and forget about it. 

I love to let my chili simmer for a while to let all of the amazing flavors really combine and develop. With the stovetop method I’m worried about burning the chili if I forget to check on it. But if you don’t have a slow cooker then the stovetop method still works just as well, just don’t forget about it.

All About the Beans

For me, chili is all about the beans. Choosing the kind of beans you want to use can transform a chili in so many ways. My personal favorite beans to use in chili are pinto beans. I just love the way that they taste when combined with all of the chili seasonings.

That being said I’m a fan of basically all beans in chili at the end of the day. In this recipe, I chose to use three different kinds of beans to add multiple flavors and textures. I used black beans, great northern (white) beans, and pinto beans. This combination is delicious and gives you plenty of texture and flavor.

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You could also use kidney beans, but I’ve never really been a fan. They are kind of dry and tasteless to me, anyone else?

I also love some lentils in chili. They have a totally different flavor profile than beans when combined with the seasonings and can add a much different texture, depending on the type of lentils you choose to use.

Vegan Meat

Do you need vegan meat in chili? Absolutely not! Does it add some flavor and texture? For sure. I chose to use vegan meat in my chili for one simple reason. I had it in my fridge and I didn’t want it to go bad.

I love Beyond Meat and now that they sell it by the pound I grab it every now and then. It’s not something we eat often, so when we do we love it

You could also use some of the classics like Gardein beefless ground or Lightlife ground. Additionally, you can take your chili in a whole new direction and add a vegan chicken or sausage substitute. One of my favorite vegan meat substitutes in chili is good old soyrizo (I actually have another chili recipe using soyrizo here).

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Another option is to make your vegan chili with TVP (textured vegetable protein). TVP comes in dry chunks and it expands with liquid and takes on any flavor you pair it with. If you didn’t know the Nalley brand vegetarian chili is actually vegan and they use TVP to add texture and protein! Pretty cool.

So use vegan meat or not, it’s really up to you! I say if you have it and want to get creative, throw it in! If you don’t have it or want to stick with just beans you’re going to have a delicious bowl of chili either way!


And of course, without amazing seasonings we would only have a bowl of beans and vegan meat at the point. Gulp.

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But fear not! I’ve put together a super simple chili seasoning blend with this recipe. It’s easy and uses minimal ingredients that you probably have in your pantry.

I, of course, use chili powder as the main base of seasoning and add onion powder, garlic powder and more! It’s really simple and you probably already have these spices!

The Recipe

Without further ado, let’s get into this recipe! 

As always please share your recreations on social media and don’t forget to tag me! I love to feature your recreations on my Instagram stories!

Easy Vegan Chili
A delicious, vegan chili packed with protein from beans and vegan meat and flavor from a simple blend of spices. It’s also very easy to customize this recipe to what you have on hand.
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ pound vegan ground beef*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp chile powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cans beans any variety
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup salsa any variety
  • ½ cup water
  1. Select the saute function on your instant pot
  2. Dice the onion and add it to the instant pot – you will want to add a little bit of water or oil to prevent sticking
  3. Let the onion saute for 5 minutes
  4. Mince the garlic and add it to the pot
  5. Saute for another 2 minutes
  6. Add the vegan ground to the pot and saute for 5 more minutes
  7. Add all of the spices to the pot and saute for 1 minute
  8. Add the beans, tomatoes, salsa and water to the pot
  9. Put the lid on the instant pot and cook on the soup setting for 20 minutes – you can also use the slow cook setting on high for 3 hours or low for 6-7 hours
  10. When the instant is done let the pressure release naturally
  11. Serve the chili hot with any toppings of your choice
Recipe Notes

*The Beyond Meat can be left out or you can substitute another vegan meat

Cooking Methods:
You can also make this chili in your slow cooker or on the stove top.
To use the slow cooker method simply combine all of the ingredients in your crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6-7.
To use the stove top method saute the onion in a large stock pot for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.

Talk to you soon!

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