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This Vegan Chili comes together in one-pot and is chalked full of good-for-you plant-based ingredients like mushrooms, walnuts, lentils, and beans. It’s naturally high in protein, gluten-free friendly and makes the best leftovers! Have this on the table with just 30 minutes of hands on prep.

Horizontal image of styled bowl of chili

Every year as the weather starts to cool down, we crave hot stews and soups. This vegan chili has been on the top of our list recently, and for good reason. It’s hearty, packed with protein, and will warm you up even on the coldest days. It’s just simply the best vegan chili recipe.

If you’re looking for more hearty vegan soups to try, check out our archive of vegan soup recipes. The Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup, White Bean and Escarole Soup, Vegan Tortilla Soup and Vegetable Noodle Soup are some of the most popular! 

overhead image of ingredients for an easy vegan chili

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Onion, Garlic, Celery, Bell Pepper, Mushrooms and Carrots: A simple yet essential aromatic flavor base to start this one-pot recipe off right.
  • Walnuts: Helps act as the “meat” in this recipe and enhances the flavor and protein content. If you end up loving the walnuts here, you have to try our Walnut Taco Meat and Lentil Walnut Taco meat next. 
  • Spices: Cumin, oregano, chili powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano are the simple slices that help add a pop of flavor and bring this vegan chili recipe to life.
  • Tomatoes: In this recipe we use both tomato paste and canned crushed tomatoes. If you want to add some extra flavor to your chili you can opt for fire roasted crushed tomatoes. For the tomato paste, we recommend getting it in a tube so it will last longer than the ones in the can.
  • Soy sauce: Provides saltiness and umami flavors to the chili. If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can opt for tamari instead of soy sauce. If you’re not sure which soy sauce or tamari to purchase, we really like this brand.
  • Vegetable broth: Any vegetable broth of choice will work here! Learn how to make your own at home here!
  • Red lentils: A not-so-traditional addition to chili, but red lentils add delicious flavor, protein, and additional fiber.
  • Beans: We use pinto beans and kidney beans in our vegan chili, but you can use any combination of beans that you’d like. Black beans  would be another great choice. 

Equipment Needed

overhead image of bowls of chili styled with vegan cheese and chips

How to Make Vegan Chili 

  1. Cook the veggies. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat, then add in the onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened. 
  2. Add garlic. Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring frequently to prevent burning. 
  3. Add mushrooms,walnuts and spices. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mushrooms soften and release some of their moisture. Next add in the finely chopped walnuts, chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir frequently for 30 seconds to toast the nuts and spices. 
  4. Bring to a boil. Add in the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, lentils, soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. 
  5. Add in the beans. Cook the chili for an additional 30 minutes. 
  6. Serve. Serve this vegetarian bean chili while warm with garnishes of choice. Enjoy! 

Variations and Add-ins

One of the best parts of making a big pot of vegan chili is being able to customize it to fit what’s in your fridge and pantry. Here are some of our favorite ways to alter this recipe:

  • Add sweet potato: If you love a hint of sweetness in your meatless chili, add 1 cup of peeled, cubed sweet potato. 
  • Add greens: If you want an extra boost of nutrition, stir in finely chopped spinach at the end until softened and bright green. 
  • Use vegan ground beef: If you’ve got store-bought vegan ground beef you need to use up, swap it in this meatless chili recipe for the mushrooms and walnuts. Or, if you have leftover Walnut Taco Meat, you can use that in place of the walnuts and mushrooms here, too! 
  • Use taco seasoning: If you’d like, substitute the chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and oregano for 2 tablespoons of your taco seasoning of choice. 
  • Short on ingredients? Try our 5-ingredient Vegan Chili recipe instead. 

Serving Suggestions 

This vegan chili is hearty enough to serve as a main dish. We personally love it garnished with vegan sour cream, vegan cheddar cheese, tortilla chips (try our homemade tortilla chips!), cubed avocado and fresh cilantro. Serve with 4-Ingredient No Knead Bread, Easy Vegan Garlic Bread, or even serve it in a bread bowl like our Smoky Corn Chowder Bread Bowl

Storage Instructions

Vegan chili is one of those meals that gets better over time! Store this vegan chili for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer. Allow the chili to cool completely before storing. 

Reheat leftover chili using the microwave or in a small pot over low heat, stirring occasionally until the vegan chili is warmed through. 

More Easy Vegan One-Pot Recipes You May Enjoy: 

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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Horizontal image of styled bowl of chili

Easy Vegan Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 1 hour 21 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


Cozy up with a bowl of this easy vegan chili. It’s simple to make, requires only one pot to make, and is the perfect cold-weather meal. 


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup red lentils
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Rinse the red lentils in a colander and set them aside. 
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, add in 2 tbsp oil.
  3. Once heated, add in the onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Add in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
  5. Next, add in the mushrooms plus and a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally to prevent burning, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened and released some of their liquid.
  6. Add in the walnuts and spices and toast for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently. 
  7. Then add in the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, lentils, soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Check and stir occasionally to make sure the bottom isn’t burning. Add more water/broth if the chili looks too thick for you.
  8. Add in the beans and cook for 30 minutes more.
  9. Serve warm with garnishes of your choice and enjoy! 


  • Tomatoes: If you want to add some extra flavor to your chili you can opt for fire-roasted crushed tomatoes.
  • Soy sauce: If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, you can opt for tamari instead.
  • Beans: We use pinto beans and kidney beans for this recipe, but you can use any combination of beans that you’d like. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 11 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop

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Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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  1. I made it without soy sauce, tomato paste, or lentils (couldn’t be bothered to run to the store haha) and it was still amazing! Super easy and it turned out delicious. I ate it over rice so the leftovers would last a little longer and that was a great choice it made it even more filling 🙂

  2. It is starting to get cold in the Northeast and this recipe is the perfect thing !!!
    It is a great recipe to use up veggies that need to be used.
    My sister (not plant based) said to me “ this is really good”

    Served with avocado, vegan cheese and vegan sour cream.

    I did see oregano is listed twice and assumed that was a typo and skipped it!