If you don’t have a go-to vegan chili recipe in your repertoire yet, we’ve got tips to make your best bowl yet. When done right, a vegan chili can appeal to anyone—even those who aren’t strictly following a plant-based diet. That’s because when you remove the meat, you make room for even more ingredients (think squash, quinoa, and jackfruit) that can liven up this comforting meal, no matter the season. And here’s the best part: Not only is vegan chili a healthful option that’ll satisfy a variety of taste buds, but you can cook it a few different ways. Simply choose the method that works best for your lifestyle. Whether you prefer low and slow stovetop cooking on a lazy Sunday or a “set it and forget it” approach during the workweek, there’s no excuse not to include the best vegan chili in your regular rotation.
When you’re throwing together a comforting pot of vegan chili, follow this guide to help layer flavors in the right order for maximum impact.
To cook vegan chili, you have three options: on the stove, in a slow cooker, or in a pressure cooker.
No matter which recipe you use, the basic method will be similar. Here are some simple instructions to keep in mind. Add 1 tablespoon neutral oil to a large stockpot and warm over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and stir, cooking for 1 minute more. Add chopped veggies and stir, followed by the spices, then your stock. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has reduced. Before serving, add your proteins and grains of choice and cook 5 minutes, until warmed through.
If you’re heading to work or running errands, get dinner started before you leave. From My Bowl has a delicious slow cooker recipe featuring quinoa and kidney beans. You have the option to cook it on low for 4 to 5 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours. You can either throw everything into the pot and go, or add a bit more flavor by sautéing the aromatics and vegetables on the stove before adding them to the crock pot to finish cooking.
If you’re using an Instant Pot, you’ll want to follow a recipe closely and use the recommended amounts of liquid to ensure the finished dish comes out just right. But don’t let the rules hinder your enthusiasm, because letting the pressure cooker do the work for you means you don’t need to babysit the chili on the stove. Here’s a recipe from Detoxinista that’s ready in just 40 minutes. (The chili only requires 10 minutes of cooking time, but you need to account for the time the Instant Pot needs to warm up and release the steam after cooking.)
There are a few ways to thicken chili that are completely vegan.
You’ll need some fresh produce to make the best vegan chili recipe, but your pantry is a real workhorse to help get you prepped.
This can does the work for you, offering black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans in a convenient mix you can just add to your favorite chili recipe.
Here’s a pouch that stacks easily in the pantry and delivers 7 grams of protein per serving.
Add extra heat to your stock pot with fire-roasted tomatoes that have been charred over an open flame and packed with a hint of sea salt.
Veggie stock is a must-have for any pantry. It’s been slow-simmered using a base of onions, leeks, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and garlic for maximum flavor and nutrition.
Spice things up with a pinch (or a tablespoon) of ground cumin seed. This jar comes pre-ground so it’s ready when you are.
You’ll love this blend of organic chili pepper, oregano, cumin, and sea salt, which adds extra heat to vegan chili, tortilla soup, tacos, and more.
A little crunch is a vegan chili must-have. Crumble these organic tortilla chips on top of your bowl—you’ll love the natural citrus flavor.
A tasty dinner is in the bag. Gluten-free and ready for your next fiesta, this snack has been stone-ground from USA-grown blue corn and adds a nice color contrast to your plate.
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