The most delicious vegan 3-bean chili you'll ever have! Made with three types of beans, green bell pepper, red onion, rice or quinoa, tomato, green chilies, sweet corn, and the absolute best spice blend.
I actually first tasted a version of this vegan chili during a food science lab when I was in college to become a registered dietitian.
After the first bite, I was sold on this vegan chili forever. Seriously! This stuff is so good and full of flavor. Over the years, I have made it countless times, adjusting it slightly along the way. I consider this vegan 3-bean chili a staple go-to recipe in my house. Even my meat-eating man loves it!
You can make this dish higher in plant-based protein by adding my homemade seitan ground "beef."
Ingredients Needed for Vegan 3-Bean Chili
Here's what you'll need to make it.
- Olive Oil
- Red Onion
- Green Bell Pepper
- Chili Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Quinoa or Rice (rice makes a more thick chili)
- Tomato Sauce
- Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
- Black Beans
- Red Kidney Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Cocoa Powder (optional, but makes the vegan chili more balanced)
See recipe card for quantities.
Instructions for Vegan 3-Bean Chili
Not only is this vegan 3-bean chili incredibly delicious, but it is also one of the easiest recipes to make. It's perfect for busy days because there is very minimal prep work involved -- the prep itself only takes 5 minutes. No joke.
This recipe is so easy that we've made it over a fire while camping!
Sauté onions and bell pepper in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent.
Add in the spices and can of diced tomatoes and green chilies. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add tomato sauce, quinoa, and water. Stir, reduce heat, and cover for 30 minutes.
Once quinoa is cooked, add the corn and beans and cook another 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!
This vegan chili is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, meat-free, soy-free, and egg-free. Yay!
- Quinoa - you can use rice in this chili instead to make it more hearty (any kind you like)
- Beans - this is a 3-bean chili, so beans are kinda the most important part! But if you wanted to reduce the amount of beans due to gut tolerance issues, you could half the beans and add in another protein source in their place like vegan ground beef.
Variations You Could Try
Wanting to alter the recipe a little? Here are my recommendations for different ways to enjoy this vegetarian chili!
- Spicy - add jalapeños, chipotle chiles, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, a poblano pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or other peppers to increase the heat. You could also opt for the spicy version of diced tomatoes and green chilies as well.
- Veggie-Packed - add a pack of frozen mixed veggies, red bell pepper, other colors of bell peppers, roasted pepper, green onions, or any veggies of your choice! You could also top this vegan three-bean chili on top of a baked potato.
- Kid friendly - opt out of the spicy options and serve the recipe as-is. Adding avocado helps to neutralize some of the spice.
- Different combination of beans - swap in white beans (navy beans or great northern beans), lima beans, or any other canned beans you like!
All you need for this recipe is one big soup pot on the stove! You could also make this delicious chili in the slow cooker or instant pot if you prefer.
Storing the Vegan 3-Bean Chili
Store the chili in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for a couple of months.
If I am freezing this vegan 3-bean chili, I usually freeze in individual glass containers to use for single meals. Simply thaw the container under running water to defrost and pop in the microwave for 3 minutes, stir, and cook another 2 or so minutes until fully rewarmed. Top with avocado and Fritos and enjoy!
The Best Vegan 3-Bean Chili
- 1 large pot
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ red onion finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup quinoa or rice
- 1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 2 cups water
- 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz.) can corn
- 2 avocados (optional, for topping)
- 1 bag Fritos or other corn chips (optional, for topping)
- Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil, red onion, and green bell pepper and saute until onions are translucent, stirring often.
- Add spices and can of diced tomatoes and green chilies. Let cook 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add can of tomato sauce, quinoa, and water. Stir, then reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
- Once the quinoa is cooked, uncover and add in the corn and 3 types of beans. Stir and recover. Cook another 5 minutes to heat through.
- Top with avocado and Fritos and enjoy!
Looking for another delicious vegan recipe? Try my vegan buddha bowl!