The best vegan chili recipe 🥑

I am sure that at some time, you have heard the phrase “around here chili does not have beans” My usual response is that’s why I live where I do. After all, to make the best chili, you must use beans.

To keep the recipe gout friendly, we will use medium-sized chunks of textured vegetable protein or TVP. Beans and TVP make this an economical, low fat and protein-packed dish.

The red beans provide lots of protein and fiber that can make this a diabetic-friendly recipe. If your diabetic, please watch your salt intake and portion size. The dish does have carbohydrates that can spike blood sugar.

A ladle dipping into a pot of vegan chili
Delicious homemade vegan chili ready to serve

A bowl of homemade vegan chili with a spoon and topped with avocado and onions.
A nice bowl of homemade vegan chili

Chili made with meat would be called “chili con carne” or chili with meat. Since ours does not have meat, we will call it “chili sin carne” or chili without meat. Our chili sin carne is faster and easier to make. It is also just as delicious. It does have several steps, but it’s not really hard.

Textured vegetable protein for sale in a market
Great price on textured vegetable protein

The TVP used in this recipe was found on sale at a Mexican market in Dallas, Texas. The price in the picture is for a sixteen-ounce bag. That works out to less than sixteen cents per ounce. For this recipe, we used about sixty cents worth of TVP. Sometimes in Mexican markets, it will be labeled Carne de Soya (soy meat).

If you’re not able to make it to a Mexican market, you can order a different brand from Amazon. But it does cost a lot more than the one that I found.

Textured vegetable protein after soaking.
Textured vegetable protein after soaking.

How to Prepare TVP

To prepare the TVP for the cooking, it into a large bowl and cover with water and soak. The colder the water, the longer with needs to soak. Boiling water takes ten minutes, and cold water takes twenty to thirty minutes. After soaking, pour off the water and squeeze out the excess water, working in small batches. The TVP is now ready.

Ingredients laid out on a table

Ingredients:

Chipotle in adobo: These firey devils bring heat and a smoky flavor to the party. Normally we will add about two Tablespoons of chopped chipotle mixed with some of the adobo (sauce).

Textured vegetable protein or TVP: This will provide a chewy texture to the chili.

Onion: When browned they will provide some sweetness.

Tomato paste: Tomatoes are high in glutamates; when concentrated into a paste, they bring an umami punch to the fight.

Smoked paprika: Provides a different smoky note than the chipotle.

Garlic: Chili needs lots of garlic. How else will we keep the vampires away?

Chili peppers: My preference is to use a mix of dried peppers. Of course, we could use chili powder, and sometimes I do, but by using a mix of peppers, I have control over the flavor. To learn more about dried peppers, check out this list.

Ancho Chili: They are made from ripe poblanos and are slightly sweet with a complex flavor profile.

Guajillo Chili: They are made by drying the mirasol chili. They have a very earthy flavor profile. They are very popular in enchilada sauce.

Chile de Árbol: They are very spicy. If your sensitive to heat leave them out.

Beans: You can use any bean. My preference is red beans or pinto. But white or black beans work. Try different kinds to see which ones you like.

Salt: Salt helps to round out flavors.

Vegetable stock: You could just use water but this adds a little more flavor.

Oil: Use a neutral flavored oil.

Dried chilis on a plate. Using scissors to cut one on the chilis
Removing the seeds

To prepare the chilies, use a pair of scissors to remove the stems and seeds. You may want to use gloves. If you do not use gloves, wash your hands before touching any sensitive part of your body. This includes eyes, lips, and other more private areas.

Dried chili peppers on a flat pan
Ready for toasting

After removing the stems and seeds, place a griddle or pan on medium heat. When the griddle or comal is hot, add your peppers and toast them until both sides have browned and they become pliable. During the toasting, keep them moving around so that they do not burn. After they are toasted, set them aside.

The chili peppers in a blender
Blending the chilies

Place the toasted chiles in a blender with some vegetable stock and blend. After blending, add the chili sauce to a small pot and bring it to a boil. Boil for five minutes and remove from the heat. Allow to cool.

Note: Use a little vegetable broth to get all the chili out of the blender and also add that to the pot—no reason to waste all that flavor.

Cooked red beans in a bowl sitting on a towel.
Cooked Red Beans

My preference is to use dried beans, but you can use canned beans. To use canned beans, you will need four fifteen ounce cans.

These red beans were cooked in an Instant Pot. The complete recipe can be found here. But this is a quick run down.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Onion diced
  • 1 pound Kidney Beans dry
  • 2 each Bay Leaves Remove after cooking
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chicken flavored bouillon Vegan
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning No salt type
  • 6 Cups Water

Instructions

  • On your Instant Pot, Press the “Sauté” function key.
  • Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent.
  • After the onions have become translucent, add all of the other ingredients and put on the lid. Turn the venting knob to sealing.
  • Turn the venting knob to sealing.
  • On your Instant Pot press, the “Keep warm / cancel” function key. Then press the “Manual” function key. Then using the + and – keys, set the timer to 40 minutes.
  • When the Instant Pot comes to temperature, confirm the vent seals and is not blowing steam.
  • After the Instant Pot seals, the timer will start to count down; when the timer reaches 0, press cancel. This will ensure that the unit will depressurize. Let it cool down for twenty minutes or so.
  • Turn the vent to venting (be careful of steam coming out). Remove the lid and take out the bay leaves.

To cook them on the stovetop, place a pot on medium flame, add oil and onion, and cook until the onion is translucent. Then add in all other ingredients and bring to a slow boil, cook until tender (about ninety minutes). During the cooking time, add water as needed.

Cooked onions with tomato paste in a pot
Cooked onions with tomato paste in a pot

To a pot on medium heat add oil and the chopped onions. Cook until they start to turn brown.

After they onions start to turn brown add the tomato paste and cook for two to three minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until the tomato paste starts to change color. Browning the tomato paste will really bring out the umami punch.

A strainer over the pot of chili with a spoon straining out bits of chili seeds and skin.
Straining out bits of chili seeds and skin.

After the tomato paste starts to change color, add the TVP, and mix it in. Add a little vegetable stock, so nothing burns while adding the chili sauce.

You can dump the chili mixture in, but I like to strain out the bits of skin and seeds. To do this, add the chili sauce to a stainer. Use a spoon to scrape the sides to get all of the liquid out. Pour some vegetable stock over the chili sauce and stain again.

A strainer over the pot of chili with all of the left over bits of chili seeds and skin.
Straining the pepper skins and seeds

After straining the chili sauce, add salt, smoked paprika, and beans. Cover with the remaining vegetable stock (if needed some water) and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for thirty minutes. Close to the end of the cooking time, give a taste test, and add more salt if needed.

Always add salt a little at a time. You can add more but you can not take it out.

A ladle dipping into a pot of vegan chili
Delicious homemade vegan chili ready to serve

The chili is now ready to serve.

I like to top mine with raw onion and avocado.

You can keep left chili in the refrigerator for four days. Yes, it is better the next day. You can store leftover chili in the freezer for six months.

Leftover chili is great add to mac and cheese.

A ladle dipping into a pot of vegan chili. This is a pin for Pinterest

If you think this is the best vegan chili recipe then please share it with your friends.

A ladle dipping into a pot of vegan chili

The best vegan chili

The best vegan chili recipe using textured vegetable protein, dried peppers and red beans.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili, Gout Friendly, Vegan
Servings: 12
Calories: 110kcal
Author: James Strange

Ingredients

TVP

  • 100 grams textured vegetable protein Medium sized / 2 Cups
  • 4 Cups Water

Red Beans

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Onion
  • 1 Pound Kidney beans
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chicken flavored bouillon Vegan
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
  • 6 Cups Water

Chili mixture

  • 2 Ancho Chilies Dried
  • 4 Guajillo Chiles Dried
  • 4 Chile de Arbol Dried
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable stock 4 cups in total

Seasoning

  • 2 Tablespoons Chipotle in adobo
  • 1 Cup Onion Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Smoked paprika
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt Add slowly to adjust to your taste.
  • 3.5 Cups Vegetable stock 4 Cups in total

Instructions

TVP

  • Add 2 cups of TVP to a large bowl.
    Textured vegetable protein after soaking.
  • Cover with 4 cups of water
    Textured vegetable protein after soaking.
  • Let it sit until the TVP has softened.
    Textured vegetable protein after soaking.
  • After soaking pour off the water and working in small batches squeeze out the excess water.
    Textured vegetable protein after soaking.

Red Beans

  • On your Instant Pot Press the “Sauté” function key
    Ingredients for red beans in the Instant Pot
  • Add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent.
    Ingredients for red beans in the Instant Pot
  • After the onions have become translucent add all of the other ingredients and put on the lid. Turn the venting knob to sealing.
    Ingredients for red beans in the Instant Pot
  • Turn the venting knob to sealing.
    Ingredients for red beans in the Instant Pot
  • On your Instant Pot press the “Keep warm / cancel” function key. Then press the “Manual” function key. Then using the + and – keys set the timer to 40 minutes.
    Ingredients for red beans in the Instant Pot
  • When the Instant Pot comes to tempature confirm the vent seals and is not blowing steam.
    Ingredients for red beans in the Instant Pot
  • After the Instant Pot seals the timer will start to count down. When the timer reaches 0 press cancel. This will ensure that the unit will depressurize. Let it cool down for twenty minutes or so.
    A ladle dipping red beans from the Instant Pot
  • Turn the vent to venting (be careful of steam coming out). Remove the lid and take out the bay leaves.
    A ladle dipping red beans from the Instant Pot

chili sauce

  • Prepare the chilies by using a pair of scissors to remove the stems and seeds.
    Dried chilis on a plate. Using scissors to cut one on the chilis
  • After removing the stems and seeds place a griddle or pan on medium heat. When the griddle or comal is hot add your peppers and toast them until both sides have browned and they become pliable. During the toasting keep them moving around so that they do not burn.
    Dried chili peppers on a flat pan
  • Place the toasted chiles in a blender with some vegetable stock and blend.
    The chili peppers in a blender
  • Add the chili sauce to a small pot and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes and remove from the heat.
    The chili peppers in a blender

Cooking

  • To a pot on medium heat add oil and one cup chopped onions. Cook until they start to turn brown.
    Cooked onions with tomato paste in a pot
  • After they onions start to turn brown add two Tablespoons of tomato paste and cook for two to three minutes.
    Cooked onions with tomato paste in a pot
  • Add the garlic and cook until the tomato paste starts to change color.
    Cooked onions with tomato paste in a pot
  • After the tomato paste starts to change color add the TVP and mix it in. Add a little vegetable stock so nothing burns while adding the chili sauce.
    Cooked onions with tomato paste in a pot
  • Strain the chili sauce into the pot.
    A strainer over the pot of chili with a spoon straining out bits of chili seeds and skin.
  • After straining the chili sauce add salt, smoked paprika and the beans. Cover with the remaining vegetable stock (if needed some water) and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for thirty minutes.
    A strainer over the pot of chili with all of the left over bits of chili seeds and skin.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve.
    A ladle dipping into a pot of vegan chili

Nutrition

Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1225mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1016IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @james_strange_eats or tag #james_strange_eats
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