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Best Vegan Chili Ever Plant-Based Recipe

This is, not kidding, the best vegan chili I’ve made to date. It’s thick, rich, hearty, as well as easy to make and, with an Instant Pot or slow cooker, almost effortless once everything is chopped up. 

Best vegan Chili Ever Plant-based recipe Planted365

Here’s a short video to give you an idea of how simple this chili is! 

I used a blend of onions and shallots. These are shallots, onions milder, better-behaved cousins. They are lovely, especially alongside their stronger, louder onion family. 

Everything just gets chopped up and then sauteed, which is optional. 

These little bell peppers were on sale and so that’s what I used, but any will do. 

These were mixed colors and looked beautiful. 

For more flavor and to add volume, I also added green zucchini and yellow squash. Carrots add a nice layer as well. 

These need only to be coarsely chopped.  I left the skin on the zucchini and squash. 

Because this chili was going to be served at a local even among omnivorous offerings, I used oil and sauteed the vegetables before putting them all in the Instant Pot. 

THIS IS OPTIONAL. I’m not sure it added all that much to what would have been delicious chili to start with. Adding all the ingredients to the cooker and omitting the oil and the extra step of sauteeing would probably have been equally delicious!

I used about 2/3 cup of merlot as well, just for more flavor. This can also be considered optional and omitted if desired. 

I sauteed the vegetables with a bit of oil and a bit more wine, giving time to evaporate the alcohol from the wine, and poured it all into the Instant Pot.

Then I quickly sauteed some Beyond brand meat crumbles in the same pan. A few cups of TVP would work just as well. 

The meat crumbles went into the Instant Pot with the veggies. 

To that, I added a few different kinds of beans (“use what you have available” would go well here), and crushed, diced, and stewed tomatoes, and a bit of corn. 

Not everyone agrees on whether real chili has beans or not. But this isn’t traditional chili … it’s better. 

One of the secret ingredients I used that adds a fantastic layer of flavor is vegan dark chocolate chips. 

For just a little more intensity, I also put in a few dollops of this black sweet cherry preserves. Any jam, jelly, or preserves would work to add a bit of sweetness and complexity. 

All the spices. 

This smells amazing already. 

All the stuff goes in the pot. 

A quick stir. 

Process according to your equipment’s instructions, and voila!

A big pot of the best vegan chili you’ve ever tasted. 

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Best Vegan Chili Ever

The best vegan chili ever. Tasty, hearty, rich, easy to make, and intensely flavored, this healthy chili uses easy to find ingredients!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegan
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 275 kcal


  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped green zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped yellow summer squash
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
  • 3/4 cup merlot or other red wine
  • 3 cups Beyond meat crumbles
  • 15 oz chili or red beans with liquid
  • 15 oz cannellini beans with liquid
  • 15 oz black beans with liquid
  • 6 oz canned corn with liquid
  • 30 oz canned crushed tomatoes one large or two small cans
  • 30 oz canned diced tomatoes one large or two small cans
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dark vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup dark cherry preserves or jam or jelly of your choice
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onion
  • 2 tbsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper adjust to personal taste
  • 8 oz water more or less depending on desired consistency


  1. In a large skillet, saute the shallots, onions, peppers, zucchini, squash, and carrots until browned and beginning to soften. Add the merlot or other red wine and simmer until the wine has reduced and nearly dissipated. 

  2. Place the sauteed vegetables into a large Instant Pot or slow cooker. 

  3. In the same large skillet as above, saute the Beyond meat crumbles until browned. 

  4. Place the sauteed meat crumbles in the Instant Pot or slow cooker. 

  5. Add the rest of the ingredients. 

  6. Cook on the bean chili setting on the Instant Pot, which takes about a half hour. Or, set on high and simmer in the slow cooker for about six hours. 

  7. Optional garnishes include vegan sour cream or shredded cheese, chopped avocado, lime juice, 

  8. Like with most cooking, this is a tasty thing. Check the flavors along the way and add or hold back as needed. 

Nutrition Facts
Best Vegan Chili Ever
Amount Per Serving
Calories 275
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


XO Lisa

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This sweet potato chili made in the Instant Pot was so easy and yummy delicious. It tasted as though it had simmered all day over a low flame.

Dessert for later?

Chocolate Sweet Potato Pie

Here’s a chocolate sweet potato pie that’s vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and oil-free, too. It’s a pie that’s good for you! Does that sound deliciously impossible?


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