Vegan Chili for Cold, Dark Days

No matter what your diet is – vegetarian, vegan or omnivore – everyone needs a delicious, plant-based chili recipe. This is mine! It's a dish that you can make for yourself or for friends and family. Not only is it filling and nourishing, but it'll warm you down to the bone on those dark winter days when all you want is to be cozy. Pile on the fresh toppings you love best to make it a complete meal in a bowl... my go-to is cilantro, fresh cherry tomatoes and ripe avocado. It's like soup and salad combined! 

Vegan Chili


1 white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 green pepper, diced

1 box white button mushrooms, chopped

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 14.5 oz. can diced tomato

1 32 oz. can of beans (chef's choice - white, pinto, black, red kidney or chickpeas all work great), drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoons avocado oil (or another high heat cooking oil)


Low-sodium vegetable stock

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

A handful of cilantro, rinsed, dried, rough chopped

1 avocado, chopped or sliced


Heat the oil in a large soup pot at medium heat. Add your chopped mushrooms and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Next add your onions and pepper, cooking until the onions are translucent. Then add the minced garlic and the rest of the spices. Continue to stir occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Cook on medium-low heat until the spices become nice and fragrant, about 2 minutes. (Be careful that the garlic doesn't burn.)

Optional: To really bring out the flavors here, you can "sweat" the ingredients by turning the heat to low and covering the pot. Do this for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the diced tomato and tomato paste to the pot, stir to incorporate. 

Now this is when you can customize the chili constancy to your own preference. Add water or low-sodium vegetable stock to the pot a little at a time, stirring to incorporate well. Do this until the chili is as thick or thin as you like. (Remember: you can always add more water, but you can't easily subtract it! So do this gradually, while stirring.) 

Next add your beans. Add a little more water or stock if necessary. 

Turn the heat up until the chili begins to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, when the texture/taste is just right, ladle your chili into bowls and pile them high with cherry tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Enjoy!