Today I was lucky enough to have a day off before heading to Long Island for a quick weekend trip. I decided to take the time to make a giant veggie chili I could freeze that would last me for lunches throughout next week.
I absolutely love this chili recipe because it’s the first vegan meal I really perfected. I have always loved cooking chili and was in need of a meat replacement more than just beans! This combination of vegetables turned out to be a tried and true winner, better than any meat based chili I’ve ever tasted. It’s sweet, savory, loaded with flavor, colorful, and incredibly easy. It’s also great to throw in a crock pot or instant pot if you have one!
The secret weapon in this chili recipe is using a can of salsa. It really makes the flavor complex and unique. I also love having sweet potato and corn in here to add sweetness, green bell pepper to balance to the sweeter flavors, and mushrooms to add a “meatiness” so that you don’t need multiple cans of beans.
PS: in my recipe I suggest serving with a spoonful of vegan sour cream (it’s already mixed into the chili in the photo). I find it creates an amazingly creamy texture and tastes FAR better than cheese ever did! I can’t believe I ever wasted my time by putting cheddar on my chili in the dairy days. Once it melts in, the flavor gets masked! Sour cream somehow permeates the entire dish in both flavor and texture. Squeezing a fresh wedge of lime at the end really takes it up a notch too!
This recipe freezes great and tastes even better as leftovers!
Easy Veggie Chili
An incredibly flavorful, incredibly easy veggie chili that's more than just beans!
Feel free to customize this chili to include any ingredients you like! I absolutely LOVE adding in a spoonful of tofutti (vegan sour cream) and a squeeze of lime when serving. When I have lime flavored tortilla chips on hand (which is almost always) I like to throw some of those on top too!
- 1 sweet potato, cubed
- 1 green bell pepper (diced)
- one small package of cremini or white mushrooms (or if buying loose about 1/2 pound/a few handfuls)
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 15 oz can kidney beans (or bean of choice)
- 1 can salsa (any brand)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp chili powder (depending on how strong you like your chili to taste)
- 1-2 tsp cumin (depending how strong you like your chili to taste)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Optional: fresh lime and vegan sour cream to serve with
- In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the onion and sauté until fragrant and translucent (2-4 minutes)
- Add in the garlic and spices and stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes)
- Add in the veggies and canned ingredients, stir, and bring to a low boil.
- Once bubbling, turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally at least 30 minutes for veggies to cook, but the flavor will mature better the longer you simmer it. I prefer to leave it for an hour if on stove top. If using an instant pot- there is a button for bean chili! Either hit that button or set to pressure cook for 30 min on “normal.”
- Enjoy! Serve by itself, with tofutti sour cream, fresh lime, tortilla chips, and/or over rice! Sometimes I get really wild and serve it over vegan mac and cheese
Do you guys have any favorite chili ingredients, tips, or tricks? Drop a comment below to let me know what you think!