Vegan Main Dishes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Soups, Stews, and Chilis

A Big Pot of Really Good Chili

Big Pot of Really Good Vegan Chili

When you need a heaping helping of something fast, inexpensive, and hearty, I can think of few things that fit these criteria better than a big pot of chili. Of course, bean chilies—without the carne—have been a  have become a vegetarian standard; this is the recipe I’ve been making for years. Simple, hearty, and warming, this is a great choice for casual winter parties like Super Bowl Sunday, or for everyday meals. If you need fewer servings, cut the recipe in half, or then again, make the whole quantity, and freeze half to enjoy in the near future. Recipe from Vegan Holiday Kitchen; photo by Susan Voisin.

Serves: 12 or more

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • Three 28-ounce cans beans of your choice (try a combination of
    pinto, pink, and black beans), drained and rinsed
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • One 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño or other hot peppers, seeded and minced,
    or one 8-ounce can mild or hot chopped green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Chopped ripe tomatoes for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion sauté over medium-low heat until transluceent. Add the  garlic and sauté  until the onion is golden. Add the remaining ingredients except the last three. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender and the flavors melded.

Season with salt and pepper, and adjust the other seasonings. If time allows, let the chili stand for up to several hours before serving. Heat through as needed.The chili should be nice and thick; if it has gotten too thick, stir in a cup of water. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with tomatoes and cilantro.

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  • Reply
    Sheri Latta
    February 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I added butternut squash and quinoi to this recipe then threw in a handful of chopped kale.

  • Reply
    February 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

    These additions to the chili make it amazingly nutritious — thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Really Good Chili | Kid Tested Firefighter Approved
    February 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    […] recipe comes from Nava Atlas‘s new book Vegan Holiday Kitchen, I highly recommend this book… it’s […]

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 12:59 am

    My husband just loved this! It was super delicious – so I will definitely be making it again!

    After throwing away “countless” pots of chili, because the taste was always off, I was amazed to find this was really great! I followed the recipe to a “T” (except for subbing a poblano pepper for the jalapeno) and let it sit for two nights in the fridge before serving.

    Thanks, Nava for a great recipe! I’ll be trolling our site for more delicious recipes!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Update: This chili gets a FIVE STAR Rating!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Tara, so sorry to be so tardy in responding to your kind comments — so glad you and your hubby enjoyed this. After tossing so many pots of chili it must be a relief to find one you like, and am flattered that it was this one!

  • Reply
    Carol Murphy
    January 4, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I really enjoy your recipes – the ones that I have tried so far anyway. So easy and delicious with regular ingredients. Thank you!! I’m wondering if this is a spicy chilly? My taste buds can’t stand too much heat. 🙂

  • Reply
    Carol Murphy
    January 4, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Oops I mean chili not chilly. It’s late. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Great recipe. Delicious! Added zucchini, sweet potato and corn!

  • Reply
    M D
    June 24, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Can carob be substituted for the cocoa powder, or would it be better to just leave it out?

    • Reply
      June 24, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Hello — I don’t think the carob would hurt, but it’s not absolutely necessary. You can leave it out if you prefer …

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