Sure, you can buy vegan chili in a can from the supermarket. But, making your own vegan chili from scratch is a gamechanger. It tastes so much better, you know exactly what’s in it, and the whole family loves it.
Reasons you’ll love this smoky vegan chili recipe
- It’s slow-simmered and extra tasty. Better than anything you would find in a can.
- The whole family enjoys it, even the picky kids!
- You can customize it any way you’d like. Add or remove veggies, or top it off with your favorite garnishes.
- It’s one of my favorite meals for meal prepping. You can make a huge batch ahead of time and freeze the leftovers. Then, thaw as you decide you want to eat it.
- Even though it’s from scratch, it’s not that complicated to make. Even newbie chefs will find this recipe a breeze.
About the ingredients
- Cooked black beans – If you really want to make this recipe from scratch, soak and cook the black beans. But, not everyone has time to do this. Canned beans will also work in this recipe. This is the “meat” of the recipe.
- Carrot – Carrots are a staple in any of my stews and soups. They add color, texture, and a bit of sweetness.
- Celery – Another staple. Celery contributes a lot more flavor than you would think!
- Red onion – If you don’t like red onion, you can use yellow or white. But, I enjoy the bite that the red onion brings to the table.
- Garlic – I’m a huge fan of garlic. Feel free to scale back on the cloves in this recipe, or even add a few more.
- Pepper – Green bell peppers add quite a bit to this recipe. Use a spicy hot green chile for some extra heat as well.
- Tomato paste – Tomato paste helps add a level of sweetness and acidity to this vegan chili. You can also add 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes instead of the tomato paste.
- Vegetable broth – This is another base in this recipe. You can use an animal broth if you’re not vegan. Try to get one that is low sodium. Then, you can adjust the salt levels as you see fit.
- Smoked paprika, cumin, and coriander – Here is where the smokiness comes from! These spices work so well together in this chili recipe.
Tips for making the best vegan chili
- Don’t be afraid of spices! It’s amazing how much flavor you can add with chili powder alone. Some of the best chilis I have made had quite the heavy hand of chili powder. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and go heavy.
- Let the chili sit overnight in the fridge for all the flavors to come together. Similar to lasagna, it’s just better the next day.
- Add some fresh hot peppers to kick up the flavor and add a little bit heat as well.
- For an even smokier flavor, char the bell pepper on the grill or in a cast iron pan for a couple of minutes before using.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro, vegan sour cream, shredded vegan cheese or hot sauce.
Vegan Black Bean Chili From Scratch (Smoky & Tasty)
- 4 cups black beans cooked and drained
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bell pepper red or green
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp chili powder use your favorite brand
- Cut the carrot and celery into 1/2 inch cubes. Dice the onion and mince garlic.
- Remove the seeds of the bell pepper and chop into larger pieces, about one inch.
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot and add the onion, celery and carrot along with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes until the onion gets translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 30 second till fragrant.
- Add the bell pepper, spices and 1 tsp of salt. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the tomato paste and broth and beans. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
- Cook over medium-low at a simmer for about 1 hour until desired thickness. Stir in additional salt as desired.
- Serve hot with rice or bread.