Vegan Chili


I feel like I’m a few weeks late with this post because it would have been a perfect recipe to make for the Superbowl. It’s a hearty soup filled with all kinds of goodness for the vegan and non-vegan alike. And like other legume soups, it gets thicker as it sits, so it makes a delicious left-over dip. I’ve made this a few times over the past couple of weeks, and each time I make it, I increase the quantity because it’s just so darn versatile. It hits the spot as a soup fresh off the stove, but then the following day or two, it’s equally (if not more) scrumptious as a dip or a topping to ladle over potatoes, like these rosemary roasted potatoes, these garlic smashed potatoes, or these garlic potato wedges.


The nice thing about this recipe is that you can improvise if you don’t have all the ingredients handy. You want to have some sort of tomato base, beans, a little spice, and some seasoning! Ah, the wonders of wintery soups.

Ingredients (makes 9 cups/72 oz):

  • 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (I used yellow), chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/8 tsp (small pinch) cayenne pepper
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 5 medium sized garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes (juices included)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • optional toppings: avocado, dairy-free cheese, scallions, tortilla chips


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and a pinch of the salt and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
  2. While those aromatics are sautéing, combine the spices in a bowl (chili powder, curry powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne). I like preparing them before hand for a couple of reasons. 1 – Sometimes it takes longer than you think to measure each spice and before you know it the onions are burning, and 2 – When you put the spice container over the cooking food, the steam tends to find its way into the bottle making your powders clump together.
  3. Add the spices, roasted red pepper, and garlic. Sauté for an additional minute. Add your rinsed beans, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and bay leaves. Once the liquid is hot/has come to a light boil, lower the heat to simmer and allow the soup to thicken slightly.
  4. Use an immersion blender (hand-held blender) to puree most of the soup to give it that chunky yet smooth texture. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a potato masher or simply add about 2/3 of the soup to a blender.
  5. Additional tips to make your cooking a bit easier: have your vegetables chopped beforehand (onion, carrots, celery, garlic, roasted red pepper); open and rinse your beans; have your can of diced tomatoes as well as your broth opened already; and previously mentioned, have your spices measured out in a small bowl. These things will ensure that the only thing sweating in your kitchen are your onions! (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

vegan chili

Author: Balanced Bella

Hi, I'm Jaime and I am the recipe tester, photographer, and writer at balanced bella! All my recipes are vegan, gluten free, and 100% delicious!

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