This hearty vegan chili recipe is packed with delicious flavors and great nutrition! It’s gluten free and soy free which makes this recipe ideal for serving to larger groups and is a fantastic vegan potluck idea.
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Preparing Vegan Chili: Stove Top vs Slow Cooker
The directions provided in the recipe card are for a stove top vegan chili that takes about 25 minutes to cook! Yes, this recipe comes together is a short amount of time (although you do need to factor in time to chop the vegetables).
While we sometimes want a quicker meal, using a slow cooker has advantages too.
This recipe can easily be made in a slow cooker. You can either sauté the veggies in a pan then add them to the slow cooker with everything else (this will increase the flavor of the chili) or simply dump everything into the slow cooker, set it and forget it!
It takes about 3 hours on high, or 6 hours on low in my slow cooker. I love using my slow cooker to make chili on the weekend to create a delicious meal with minimal work.
How Spicy is this Vegan Chili?
The spice level of this recipe largely depends on the type of chili powder you use. Where I live, chili powder is actually a blend of different spices. While it packs a bit of heat, it’s not overwhelming.
In other countries, chili powder may be pure chili peppers that are dried and ground. This would make for an extremely spicy chili. So, take a look at the chili powder you use before making this recipe.
If it’s a blend of spices, go with the amounts below. If it’s pure chili pepper, I would cut the amount by at least 60% (down to about 2 tsp) or more, if you don’t like it spicy.
I also include cayenne pepper in this recipe. This is completely optional and you can add it to your taste. I’m a wimp when it comes to spicy food so I don’t use this, but my husband will add some to his portion.
Making Gluten Free Chili
Most chili recipes are naturally gluten free since chili doesn’t often contain any wheat, rye or barley. However, if you have a need to strictly avoid gluten, ensuring your spices are gluten-free may be an important step.
Spices and herbs on their own are naturally gluten-free but may be processed in a facility that also processes gluten-containing ingredients. Additionally, some companies add ingredients to spices that may contain gluten (or be contaminated with gluten).
It’s best to double check with the company if you have any concerns.
How to Serve Vegan Chili
There are countless ways to serve your hearty vegan chili. Some of my favourites are:
- Topped with vegan sour cream and sliced green onion
- With a side of corn chips
- Topped with avocado and extra cilantro
- Over a baked potato
- With creamy vegan cheese sauce poured over the top
- Melting vegan cheese shreds into the chili
- As vegan chili cheese fries
Or, any combo of the options above!
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Hearty Vegan Chili (Whole Food, Plant-based)
- 1 medium onion , diced (about 1 C)
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 7-8 large button mushrooms , chopped (about 2 C)
- 1 large green bell pepper , chopped (about 1 ½ C)
- 2 tablespoons oil (olive oil or avocado oil)
- 28 oz can kidney beans , drained and rinsed
- 19 oz can lentils , drained and rinsed
- 28 oz can diced tomato
- 5 oz can tomato paste (150 mL or about ¼ C)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 6 teaspoons chili powder
- 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
- cayenne pepper (to taste; optional)
- 2 cups corn (I use frozen)
- ½ cup cilantro , chopped
- green onion
- Dice the onion, bell pepper and mushrooms. Place them into a large pot on medium heat with the oil. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are wilted and starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Next add in the remaining ingredients except the corn and cilantro. Turn down the heat to low and let simmer for 10-20 minutes.
- Add the corn and cilantro and cook for another minute or until the corn is heated through.
- Serve topped with green onion and avocado.
More Vegan Main Meal Recipes
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.