hearty vegetarian game day chili

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

This vegan chili (if you don't count the toppings) may seem daunting (like, lots of ingredients) but most of them come from items that should be in your pantry already, plus vegetables! It still tastes great after a few days in the fridge so it makes great leftovers, too.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword one pan meal


  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • medium red onion chopped
  • large red bell pepper chopped
  • medium carrots chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons  chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons  ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 796 ml can tomato passata or whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 156 mL can tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or beer (or combo of both)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 540 mL cans black beans, rinsed and drained 15 ounces
  • 1 540 mL can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 15 ounces
  • 1 550 mL can jackfruit shredded (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Garnishes: chopped cilantro/parsley sliced avocado, tortilla chips (for homemade see below), sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, grated cheddar cheese, etc.


  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and salt. Stir to combine and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and oregano; stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (and their juices if using whole tomatoes), the tomato paste, vegetable broth/beer, salsa, hemp, the beans and the jackfruit (if using). Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a slow simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking (and stirring) for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the chili from the heat and add the parsley, vinegar and lime juice.
  4. Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice. This chili will keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days or you can freeze it for about 4 -6 months.

Recipe Notes

For the best texture and flavor, transfer 1 1/2 cups of the chili to a blender, making sure to get some of the liquid portion. Blend until smooth then pour the blended mixture back into the pot.

If using a slow cooker, follow instructions above and, after adding all the ingredients in step#3, place the contents of the pot to a slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours.

If using an instant pot, make the recipe in the instant pot instead of the heavy-bottomed pot (using the sauté function) and after step #3, cover the instant pot (seal) and cook the mixture on manual (HIGH) pressure for 8 minutes. Immediately release the pressure, then open the Instant Pot; serve hot with desired toppings, and ENJOY!