As the humidity rises from the air and brisk, cool winds begin to pick up, there is rarely a dish more comforting than chili. Maybe it’s the warming somatosensation of chili’s main ingredient, capsaicin, that we enjoy the most. Or maybe it’s the fact that chili is frequently served at gatherings and parties, reminding us of hospitality and camaraderie. Whatever it is, this ultimate vegan chili recipe never seems to fail as a go-to ‘warm your soul and home’ meal.
The Health Benefits of Chili
Believe it or not, this easy vegan chili recipe is LOADED with vitamin C! Maybe THAT’S why we crave it during flu season; our bodies know that eating the ingredients in chili may help to ward off illness!
Chili is also loaded with fiber. Fiber is not only beneficial for our gut and microbiome, but it also works to regulate the body’s blood sugar levels. The lentils in this dish are a great source of protein and polyphenols, which are packed with antioxidants.
Looking for a large dutch oven to cook your chili in? This 5 1/2 quart Le Creuset is PERFECT for chilies, soups and stews!
30 minute Chili:
This meal prep is SO simple, making this the best vegan chili recipe out there! After you sauté a few vegetables, you pretty much just need to open a few jars of beans and tomatoes/tomato sauce, and you’re free to go watch a little TV or finish up the dishes.
Because the beans are canned, they are already soft and cook quickly. And red lentils cook fairly quickly, making this such a delicious and easy vegetarian weeknight dinner that anyone can make!
One of the best things about this canned bean chili is it’s versatility! I bet you can’t count how many variations of chili that you have tried over the years. There are just so many!
In this specific recipe, feel free to substitute out the beans for any canned beans that you have in your pantry. You also have the option to try a different color lentil, however cooking times may vary.
And you can absolutely use any color bell pepper that you have, however, I find the flavor of the green bell pepper adds the perfect amount of coolness and brightness to this easy vegan chili dish.
More Vegan Recipes You Will Love
Ultimate Vegan Chili
- 1/8 cup olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped or diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed through garlic presser
- 1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
- 1 15 oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1 15 oz can of red beans, rinsed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (use fire roasted for extra spice!)
- 4-6 tsp chipotle in adobo sauce, add more/less depending on preference
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked red lentils
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (more/less for spicy)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 24oz jar of tomato sauce (pretty much any kind works, use organic for better flavor)
- Chop up the bell pepper, carrots and onions. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Once hot, toss in pepper, carrots and onions and saute, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes.
- Add salt, cumin and garlic to the pot. Also add black pepper and cayenne to taste. Stir and cook for about 60 seconds.
- Toss in the rinsed beans, diced tomatoes, jar of tomato sauce, chipotle in adobo sauce and 2 cups of vegetable broth. Add 1 1/2 cups of red lentils and stir to combine.
- Cover the pot and bring the chili to a boil. Simmer on medium high for 12-15 minutes. Taste the lentils and make sure they are fully cooked. If not, stir the pot and continue to cook until soft.
- Scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot; this adds flavor. Scoop into a bowl and garnish with avocado, cilantro, scallions and/or red onions. This chili is GREAT with a good piece of toasted bread!