I was originally born in Texas, which is something that even some of my friends don’t realize about me. I moved away so long ago that it’s really not something I personally identify with. Until we get to the topic of chili, and then my inner Texan comes to the surface in about two seconds flat. I’m so excited to share this Best Ever Vegan Chili recipe with you.
Oh chili, you beautiful, delicious, comforting, affordable, nutritious, thing. But here’s the hard truth that we need to get out of the way before we go any further: there are a lot of bad chilis out there. I mean, a lot.
Bye forever, boring chili
If you’ve ever made (or eaten) chili and found it:
- overly heavy
- chock-full of that weird canned tomato taste
- too bean-y
- not bean-y enough
- too meaty, and you’re trying to cut back
- just blah
I’m here to tell you: that just means you haven’t found your chili recipe yet.
Today is your lucky day! I’ve done the work and I can safely say that this Best Ever Vegan Chili is one that you’re going to want to make again and again. And here’s the best part – it’s delicious, and it also happens to be:
The secret to amazing chili
This dish is simple to pull together. However, if you really want to take your chili to the NEXT LEVEL (I mean, who doesn’t?) then you’re going to want to follow a few simple guidelines:
- I like to use Beyond Beef Plant-Based Ground here. It’s soy and gluten-free, it packs a lot of flavor punch, adds in protein, and is full of lots of good fat that really makes this dish singggg! Feel free to sub in another brand of meatless beef crumbles. I also really like Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground. Or, feel free to totally skip the meat substitute, if that’s not your thing!
- Ranch Style Beans are delicious here. If you’ve never used them, they are pinto beans that are canned with an ever-so-slightly spicy sauce. Do not drain these beans, or you’ll lose all their good flavor! If you can’t find these in your area, you can substitute for one can of pinto beans, and you may want to adjust the other seasonings to taste.
- Don’t be alarmed by the lengthy list of spices – many of the spices listed can be swapped out and tweaked based off your taste buds, and what you already have in your pantry. I love the spice blend used here, but like any good Texan woman, I won’t judge if you scrap the whole list and sub in a packet of chili seasoning. Scout’s honor.
Best Vegan Chili Toppings
And now we come to the most important part of any chili experience: the toppings! If you ask me, garnishes are at least half of the fun of chili. Here are a few of my favorites. Try a few (or try them all!) and find your perfect mix!
- Tortilla chips or Fritos (Don’t knock it till ya try it!)
- Dairy-free cheese (I like Chao brand, shredded on a box grater!)
- Cornbread crumbles
- Pickled jalapeños
- Cashew cream or sour cream
Heads up! I may receive a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.
Best Ever Vegan Chili
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup sweet yellow corn, frozen or fresh
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 16 oz. package Beyond Beef (See recipe notes)
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 ½ tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper optional
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes & green chilies
- 2 (14.5 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained but not rinsed may substitute with Ranch Style Beans, not drained or rinsed
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can black beans, drained by not rinsed
- 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- corn chips
- dairy-free cheese
- dairy-free sour cream
- pickled jalapenos
- Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and place over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until onions have started to get soft and have a slight color to them.
- Turn heat up to high. Add corn, and allow to blacken and get some color, about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn heat back down to medium. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and softened, about 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to medium, and add the Beyond Beef to the pot. Gently break it apart with a wooden spoon until you reach the desired level of chunkiness. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the meat has gently browned.
- Add the spices, sugar, and tomato paste, and stir until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), beans, tomato sauce, and fresh tomatoes. Stir thoroughly to incorporate. Taste for seasonings, and adjust if necessary.
- Allow mixture to come to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, add toppings, and enjoy!
- I like to use Beyond Beef Plant-Based Ground here. It's soy and gluten-free, it packs a lot of flavor punch, adds in protein, and is full of lots of good fat that really makes this dish singggg! Feel free to sub in another brand of meatless beef crumbles. I also really like Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground. Or, feel free to totally skip the meat substitute, if that's not your thing!
- Ranch Style Beans are delicious here. If you'e never used them, they are pinto beans that are canned with an ever-so-slightly spicy sauce. Do not drain these beans, or you'll lose all their good flavor! If you can't find these in your area, you can substitute a can of pinto beans.
When you find a good chili, you hold onto it and never let it go. Over time, it will slowly evolve and turn into your chili. Isn’t that the beautiful thing about cooking? Eventually, your most well-loved recipes transform from words on a page to yours: tried, tested and true.