Easy Vegetarian Bean Chili (Ultimate Vegan Chili)

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This stovetop recipe for easy vegetarian bean chili is delicious and healthy. It’s packed with flavor and protein. Walnuts give it a great “meaty” flavor!

Vegetarian bean chili in a bowl.

Full disclosure, chili was never my favorite food…until this easy vegetarian bean chili recipe

Chili was one of those foods that I’d eat if someone else made it, but I never liked it enough to go out of my way to make it.

This recipe has changed that forever.

It’s not as tomato-y as other recipes, and I love that about it. It’s completely savory and delicious. The walnuts and lentils give it a delicious “meaty” quality.

Best of all, it’s healthy! There’s no sugar and only a very small amount of oil (which is optional).

If you’re looking for a vegan chili to win you over, this is the one!

Vegetarian bean chili in a bowl.

How to make vegan chili:

This is an easy stovetop recipe with only a couple of steps. First, saute the onion and garlic. Next, add in the remaining ingredients. Boil the chili uncovered on medium heat for 40 minutes (or until the lentils are cooked through). Stir every 10 minutes to prevent any sticking to the bottom of the pot. Serve with your favorite toppings!

This recipe is already vegan as it’s written. Just be sure to use dairy-free toppings.

Are you looking for more easy and healthy vegan comfort food? Try my “cheesy” broccoli and rice casserole recipe. It’s got over ten 5 star ratings, and is such a reader favorite!

Vegan broccoli cheese and rice casserole on plates.
Yield: 8 servings

Easy Vegetarian Bean Chili (Ultimate Vegan Chili)

Easy Vegetarian Bean Chili (Ultimate Vegan Chili)

This stovetop recipe for easy vegetarian bean chili is delicious and healthy. It's packed with flavor and protein. Walnuts give it a great "meaty" flavor!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
  • 2 medium yellow onions (chopped)
  • 6 medium cloves garlic (pressed or minced)
  • 1 cup green lentils*
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (794 grams)
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups cooked kidney beans (drained and rinsed if canned, 4 cups is about two 19 ounce or 538 gram cans)
  • 1 cup walnuts (roughly chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices (diced)
  • 1/4 cup sliced olives
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder blend
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. If using oil, heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the coconut oil once heated. Saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until aromatic, about 30 seconds. If not using oil, skip this step and add the uncooked onions and garlic to the pot with all other ingredients.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and them lower to medium heat.  Boil uncovered for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through.*
  3. After 10 minutes, taste and adjust the amount of salt according to taste.
  4. Stir once every 10 minutes to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Serve with garnishes of choice.  I love topping it with a bit of vegan sour cream and diced green onion.

Notes

*If you substitute red lentils for green lentils, start with 2 cups less water (add more water only if needed).  Try the chili after 15 minutes. You shouldn’t need to cook red lentils for more than 20 minutes for them to cook through.  I prefer this recipe with green lentils because they hold their shape and texture better than red lentils do.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1/8

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332 Total Fat: 11.4g Carbohydrates: 46g Fiber: 11.9g Sugar: 9.8g Protein: 16.3g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Please let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments and on Instagram! @keytomylime #keytomylime

Be sure to pin this recipe for later!

Vegetarian bean chili in a bowl.

Interested in a white bean vegan chili recipe? Bakerita has one that looks delicious.

Try making this easy vegetarian bean chili!

Vegetarian bean chili in a bowl.

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