Scrumptious vegan chili recipe made for the stove, Instant Pot, or slow cooker. 3 beans, everyday veggies, tomatoes, and classic chili seasonings make this plant-based vegetarian chili rich with flavor and tons of texture. Truly, one of my favorite vegan recipes!
You guys know I’m not a diet-restricted vegan or vegetarian, but I love to conquer carnivore-approved, plant-based recipes. This tried and tested chili recipe is so deeply flavored, delicious, and filling, it'll have people not believing it’s vegan or vegetarian chili. We love when that happens!
3 Bean Vegan Chili Ingredients
- olive oil
- canned beans (black, red kidney, and cannellini beans)
- canned diced tomatoes
- vegetable broth
- tomato paste
- chili powder
- salt and pepper
How to flavor vegan / vegetarian chili
This plant-based chili has a classic, deep, flavor from all of the vegetables, tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin, so it's utterly delicious exactly as it is...I promise. But, if you want to mix things up a little and play with some other interesting flavors, try any of these ideas alone or in combination with each other...
- use beer instead of vegetable broth, or add a few splashes of wine
- add 1 Tbsp of very finely ground coffee along with the cooking liquids
- add 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder along with cooking liquids
- add a cup of mushrooms or bell peppers when sautéing the veggies
- swap a teaspoon of chili powder for chipotle powder to get a deeper smokey flavor
What are the best beans for vegan chili or vegetarian chili?
Canned beans make this recipe SO easy because they're pre-cooked, so you can get dinner on the table in under an hour. You can use dried beans, but you'll want to cook them before adding them to this recipe, otherwise the produce will get overcooked during the process.
Also, you can use any beans for a vegan or vegetarian chili recipe. For this recipe, I love the colors, flavor, and texture combination of black beans, cannellini beans, and red kidney beans. I also love to use reduced-sodium, canned beans and control the amount of added salt in this recipe.
Instant Pot Vegan Chili
- Sauté veggies in olive oil using the Instant Pot 'saute' setting.
- Add remaining ingredients (beans, tomatoes, etc).
- Secure lid and pressure cook on HIGH for 2 minutes followed by 10 min natural pressure release.
- Turn pressure release valve to "Venting" position to release any remaining steam.
- Open the lid, serve, and devour!
Vegan chili slow cooker instructions
- Place 10” skillet on medium-high flame and add olive oil.
- Sauté fresh veggies and garlic until tender.
- Transfer veggies over to a 4 quart slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, cover with the lid, and set the crockpot on HIGH 2 hours or LOW 4-8 hours.
How to make Vegan Chili on the stove
- Place 4 quart soup pot on medium-high flame and add olive oil.
- Sauté veggies and garlic until tender.
- Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to boil for a few minutes.
- Reduce heat to LOW and simmer for an hour, stirring as needed.
Vegan / Vegetarian Chili Storage and Reheat
Store chili in an airtight container up to 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 90 days in the freezer.
To thaw, transfer frozen chili from freezer to refrigerator 48 hours before reheating and serving.
Reheat chili via microwave in a heat-safe container, or on the stove. Add a little water or vegetable broth to the chili if it’s too thick.
Vegan / Vegetarian chili toppings
There's nothing like some cilantro, fresh or pickled jalapeno, and fresh lime squeezed over a hearty bowl of vegan chili. If you're not vegan, drizzle on some sour cream and shredded cheddar or cotija cheese. The chili topping possibilities are endless, but those are some of my favs!
Is vegetarian chili vegan?
If you want to make vegetarian chili vegan, it must have no animal products. A vegan chili, however, is most certainly vegetarian because, by default, it has no animal products.
- chef knife and cutting board or mat
- can opener
- 3.5-quart soup pot or 6-quart Instant Pot or 10” skillet + 3-quart Crockpot
Vegetarian chili and soup recipes
Vegan Chili Recipe
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, or any olive oil
- 1/2 Onion, (1 cup) diced
- 2 large Carrots, (1 cup) diced
- 2 stalks Celery, (1 cup) diced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz can Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup Corn, frozen, canned, or fresh
- 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes, keep juice
- 3 oz Tomato Paste
- 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
Vegan Chili Instant Pot Instructions
- Select "Sauté" on the Instant Pot and heat the OLIVE OIL.
- When the display reads "Hot", add ONIONS, CELERY, GARLIC, and CARROTS; sauté a few minutes until tender.
- Add BEANS, CORN, VEGETABLE BROTH, DICED TOMATOES (with juice), TOMATO PASTE, CHILI POWDER, CUMIN, SALT, and PEPPER.
- Press the "Cancel" function on the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and turn the pressure release valve to the "Sealing" position.
- Select "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" and set the cooker on HIGH for 2 minutes.
- When the cycle completes, allow the Instant Pot to sit undisturbed for a 10-min natural pressure release (NPR). Carefully turn pressure release valve to "Venting" position to release any remaining steam.Note: The cooker automatically goes into "Keep Warm" mode until you shut it off.
Vegan Chili Stove instructions:
- In a 3.5 quart soup pot on medium-high, heat OLIVE OIL (about 2 minutes).
- Add ONIONS, CARROTS, CELERY, and GARLIC; sauté until tender and fragrant (3-5 minutes).
- Stir in BEANS, CORN, VEGETABLE BROTH, DICED TOMATOES (with juice), TOMATO PASTE, CHILI POWDER, CUMIN, SALT, and PEPPER.
- Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to low; cover, and simmer 30 minutes to 1 hour, until chili has thickened to your liking.
Vegan Chili Crockpot Instructions
- Place 10” skillet on medium high flame; add OLIVE OIL and heat until shimmering (about 2 minutes).
- Add ONIONS, CARROTS, CELERY, and GARLIC; sauté until tender (3-5 minutes).
- Transfer veggies over to a 3 quart Crockpot.
- Stir in BEANS, CORN, VEGETABLE BROTH, DICED TOMATOES (with juices), TOMATO PASTE, CHILI POWDER, CUMIN, SALT, and PEPPER.
- Cover and set Crockpot on HIGH 2 hours or LOW 4-8 hours.Note: Crockpot cooking times may vary.
Serving, Storage, and Reheat Instructions
- Serve warm. Garnish with your favorite chili toppings.Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 5 days.Freeze up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.To thaw, transfer frozen chili from freezer to refrigerator 48 hours before reheating and serving.Reheat chili via microwave in a heat-safe container, or on the stove. Add a little water to the chili if it's too thick.
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.