Easy Vegan Chili Recipe

By Rena |

This Easy Vegan Chili Recipe is the perfect cozy meal for winter days! It’s a hearty, healthy, and delicious chili, packed with protein and fiber – thanks to lentils, beans & veggies.

easy vegan chili in a white bowl

Who doesn’t crave a mouthwatering chili that’s rich and packed with flavor? Warm-up your soul as the chilly days roll in with this Easy to make Vegan Chili recipe! It is filling, healthy and so simple to put together. It is loaded with plant-based protein from lentil and beans, and prepared with flavor bursting ingredients. Make this wholesome homemade chili recipe part of your weekly rota, you’ll be so pleased you did! Not keeping a vegan or vegetarian diet? You may add any protein of choice like shredded chicken, ground beef, or ground turkey.

If you’re looking for other vegan recipes, why not also try my Vegan Black Bean Burgers and my Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese!

Why you’ll love this easy vegan chili recipe

  • A Cajun chili. Loaded with Cajun spices, adobo, and a twist of honey this hearty soup packs a smoky-sweet punch, so good!
  • Loaded with goodness. This chili is made healthy and hearty with lentils, black beans, and veggies. Only 370 calories per servings and loaded with protein while keeping it plant-based!
  • An easy chili. Easy to prep, all made in one pot – this goes from pantry to table in around 30 mins,
top view of chili in white bowl with lime and dairy free yogurt garnish. Spoon in bowl

ingredients you’ll need

  • Olive Oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Honey for vegetarian and maple syrup or agave for vegan
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Black Beans
  • Split Red Lentils
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Lime
  • Chipotle in Abobo
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garnishes – vegan sour cream, cilantro, jalapeno.
top down shot of ingredients

how to make this easy vegan chili recipe

  • First, heat your aromatics – In a large pot with oil, cook the onion and garlic, then add the Cajun seasoning.
  • Then, combine your ingredients – In the pot, add your rinsed lentils, beans, tomatoes, and all other chili ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are tender.
  • Finally, season to taste, serve, and enjoy!
chopped onions om a white board
overhead shot of beans and lentils

recipe notes and tips

  • Be sure to remove any small dust/debris from the lentils and rinse them well with cold water.
  • Use canned beans for this Vegan Chili, drain them but don’t rinse them. The starch on the beans will help with chili thicken.
  • If you don’t want the chili too hot, make sure you deseed and remove the ribs from the jalapeno.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled for a large crowd!
  • This chili recipe is vegan as it’s written. Be sure to choose vegan/dairy-free toppings, such as avocado and tortilla chips.
  • Vegetarian option, you may top with yogurt or sour cream.
  • Top with chopped cilantro for a lovely pop of freshness.
top down shot of easy vegan chili in a white bowl.

faq’s

what are some good topping for this vegan chili?

This chili is dairy free and vegan and you can keep it that way be choosing vegan toppings. Here’s some popular vegan toppings

  • Grated vegan cheese
  • Coconut yogurt
  • Sliced or diced avocado
  • Crumbled Tortilla chips (crumbled if desired)
  • Additional cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced jalapeno
  • Cilantro

can i freeze this vegan chili?

This chili recipe will serve 6-8 people. If you have leftovers, you can bring the chili to room temperature, place it in an airtight container then freeze up to a month. Let the chili defrost in the fridge a day before you are planning to serve it.

why use red lentils?

Lentils are one of the most nutritious and versatile plant-based proteins and there are different types.

I’ve used red lentils in this Vegan Chili recipe, they break down nicely, they’re are great for stews and chili. Red lentils help give the chili this lovely deep red color, they are slightly sweet and nutty, working great with all the other flavors.

One-half cup of uncooked red lentils provides 22g protein, 10g fiber, 40mg calcium, 6mg iron, and 600mg potassium,

chili with vegan cream topping in a bowl.

How to make this vegan chili in an instant pot

  • First, place the instant pot in sauté mode. Add the oil and then add in the onions. Cook for about a minute and add in the garlic and the cajun seasoning. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Next, add all the other ingredients– In the same pot, add the rinsed lentils, beans, tomatoes, and all other chili ingredients.
  • Then, close the lid of the instant pot. Make sure it is set to sealing and pressure cook (on manual) and cook for 10 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally. Turn to vent.
  • Open, serve with your favorite toppings.

How to make vegan chili in the slow cooker

  • The preferred method for best taste: sauté the onion, garlic, and cajun seasoning on a skillet on your stovetop until fragrant and translucent. Then, transfer to the slow cooker. (alternatively, you may skip cooking the onion, garlic, cajun, and just add them right into the slow cooker.
  • Next, add in the lentils, beans, tomatoes, and the remainder of the ingredients.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.
  • Finally, serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
top view of chili in white bowl on a blue plate with lime and parsley garnishes

other easy recipes to try

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top view vegan chili in a bowl with spoon in it

Vegan Chili

This Easy Vegan Chili Recipe is the perfect cozy meal for winter days! It's hearty, healthy and so delicious.
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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Calories: 376kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 3-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar honey for vegetarian
  • 1 x 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 x 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle in adobo minced
  • 2 x 15 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup uncooked split red lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes:
  • vegan sour cream or coconut yogurt
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • sliced jalapeno

Instructions

  • Remove any shriveled old lentils or any stones from the lentils.
  • Place the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water to remove any dust or debris. While washing, scrub them by rubbing your palms together.
  • In a large pot, add oil and heat until shimmering hot. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Stir in garlic and sauté again until just fragrant. Add Cajun seasoning and cook for a minute.
  • Immediately stir in the tomatoes, honey, chipotles in adobo, black beans, lentils, tomato sauce and broth. Season with some salt and pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender. Add in the lime juice and stir well.
  • Taste and adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste. Pour the Cajun chili to a large serving bowl.
  • Garnish with sliced jalapeño and cilantro if desired. Top with vegan sour cream or coconut yogurt and serve.

Notes

  • Be sure to remove any small dust/debris from the lentils and rinse them well with cold water.
  • Use canned beans for this Vegan Chili, drain them but don’t rinse them. The starch on the beans will help with chili thicken.
  • If you don’t want the chili too hot, make sure you deseed and remove the ribs from the jalapeno.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled for a large crowd!
  • This chili recipe is vegan as it’s written. Be sure to choose vegan/dairy-free toppings. Also, add avocado and tortilla chips.
  • Vegetarian option, you may top with sour cream or plain yogurt. Honey used as a vegetarian option. Maple syrup or brown sugar for vegan.
  • Top with chopped cilantro for a lovely pop of freshness.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 934mg | Potassium: 1226mg | Fiber: 24g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1670IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 7mg
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Reader Interactions

Comments

    • Rena says

      Hi Pam. You are absolutely right. Sorry about the oversight. Its maple syrup or brown sugar for vegan or honey for vegetarians. I went ahead and fixed it.

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