Easy Vegan Chili

Birdseye view of two bowls of chili topped with avocado and a side of cornbread.

Honestly, I don’t think I have tasted many chilis that I didn’t like. This is my first chili recipe on the blog and it likely won’t be the last. It’s one of my favorites. Plus chili is so easy to make vegan!

I love different flavors and the versatility of chili. Also, I will never turn down an excuse to eat cornbread! I picked a chipotle flavor for this vegan chili because that has been our mood lately.

This recipe is so easy. You can make it on the stovetop or in the instant pot. You can make it in your slow cooker too if that is your jam!

Top down shot of ingredients in separate bowls


Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce-if you don’t love the flavor of chipotle you can omit it and use jalapenos instead. It’s delicious. Change it up depending on your mood. Life is cool like that!

PSA: Do not use a whole can of chipotle peppers. The recipe calls for one pepper in the sauce. Not one can. I forgot to specify when I sent my mother-in-law the recipe and she sent back her review wondering why it was so spicy! We got a big kick out of it.

One pepper plus one tablespoon of maple syrup is the perfect ratio. If you want your chili spicier you can add more peppers. Add an extra tablespoon of maple syrup per pepper added.

Bell Pepper– You can technically use whatever kind of bell pepper you want or have and it would be good. But, when it comes to chili, green is the best. Just trust me on this one m’kay?

Cocoa Powder – I don’t remember what chili recipe I first came across with cacao powder in it. But it would be a pretty dire situation for me to ever make chili without it again. This is a pretty common practice nowadays though. Am I right? Or am I wrong?

Beans – I usually use a can each of black, kidney, and pinto. It’s my favorite combo. But you really can’t go wrong with beans. Unless you don’t use pinto. Then you can go wrong. Pinto beans should always be in chili. That’s all.

Diced Tomatoes – I like the flavor of smoked tomatoes but you can use regular diced tomatoes.

Corn – Sometimes I add it sometimes I don’t. It’s a mood thing.

Spices – This is where the flavor is at! Don’t skimp. especially if you are making vegan chili.

Ok, I realize that I am sounding a bit like a food snob. Confession: I kinda am. But please don’t let that scare you! You seriously can not mess this up. Chili is so comforting to eat that it would just be wrong if it was stressful to make. You got this!

Top Down shot of onions, peppers, and garlic in Instant Pot


Instant Pot: Using the saute function on your instant pot, saute the veggies until fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the corn. Close the lid and turn the vent knob to ‘sealing.’ Manually set the instant pot to high pressure for 5 minutes. At the end of cooking, do a quick release by turning the knob to ‘venting.’ Add corn and salt and pepper to taste!

Stovetop: saute the veggies until fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients (except corn.) Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the corn and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Slow cooker: saute the veggies until fragrant. Transfer to a slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients (except corn.) Cover with lid. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Add corn and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

45 degree shot of bowl of chili with someone taking a spoonfull

We have chili frequently in our house because all of us like it. The kids come for the cornbread but happily eat the chili with it.

Let me know what you think about the recipe in the comments below!



45 degree shot of bowl of chili with someone taking a spoonfull
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Easy Vegan Chili

A great weeknight dinner. Delicious hearty chili. Would be a great recipe for meal prep or to freeze for future meals.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people


  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes see notes
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (not the whole can) diced–or sub 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 3 cans beans see notes
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1/2 tsp salt see notes
  • 1 tsp tamari or coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup corn frozen or canned


  • Saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes)
  • Add tomato sauce, chipotle pepper and spices and saute for another minute.
  • Add rest of ingredients except for corn.
  • If using an instant pot, set to high pressure for 5 minutes. When time is up turn the release valve to 'vent' for a quick release.
  • If you are cooking this on the stove, let simmer for around 30 minutes.
  • To use a slow cooker, add sauteed veggies and rest of ingredients (except corn) to slow cooker. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  • If adding corn now is the time!
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Enjoy! Preferrably with corn bread 🙂


If you want it a tad spicier but not a whole pepper worth, add some extra liquid from the can of chipotle peppers. Yum!
I like using black, red kidney, and pinto beans. You can use separate cans or use the kind that come with all three. Or you can use different beans altogether. 
You can use soy sauce instead of coconut aminos but it is saltier. Adjust the amount of extra salt you add and you’ll be good to go!
Topping options: 
  • avocado
  • vegan cheese
  • vegan yogurt or sour cream

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    September 27, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    5 stars
    So happy I found your recipe, looks so tasty and filling! This is the kind of no-fuss cooking I really enjoy. Printed it for later!

    • Reply
      September 28, 2021 at 2:39 am

      I hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    September 27, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    5 stars
    This easy vegan chili is so delicious and comforting! We can’t wait to make it again, next time we’ll double the recipe so we can take it for work lunches!

    • Reply
      September 28, 2021 at 2:39 am

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you for the feedback!

  • Reply
    September 27, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    5 stars
    I love chili and this was amazing! The flavors were so bold and melded so well together. I am so happy with how it turned out!

    • Reply
      September 28, 2021 at 2:40 am

      Oh I am so happy it turned out well!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2021 at 1:13 am

    5 stars
    This chili recipe is epic! So warm, filling, and absolutely delicious!

    • Reply
      September 28, 2021 at 2:40 am

      I’m so glad you liked it!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2021 at 2:48 am

    5 stars
    Amazing chili recipe! I am all for it! I will never turn down an excuse to eat cornbread either haha

  • Reply
    September 28, 2021 at 7:22 am

    5 stars
    I am loving this hearty vegan chili! I love the kick from the peppers. Great idea adding some extra liquid from the can. It makes it even more flavorful!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2021 at 7:30 am

    5 stars
    Chilli is one of my favourite things. Simple, fuss-free cooking producing delicious results. Your recipe looks delicious, love the three different kinds of beans. Also the cocoa. I always add cocoa or chocolate to mine.

  • Reply
    September 28, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Mmmmmm! This vegan chilli is aaahmazing! So hearty and comforting for a tasty dinner. I need a good cornbread recipe now 🙂

    • Reply
      September 28, 2021 at 2:11 pm

      I’ll have to share mine soon! So glad you like the chili!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    5 stars
    What a lovely vegan chili. Looks amazing. I have to make this for my family. Perfect dinner for colder days. Yum!

    • Reply
      September 28, 2021 at 2:11 pm

      I hope your family likes it! It’s my kids favorite!

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating