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Killer Vegan Chili


Hold on to your spoon, ’cause this is some killer vegan chili! It’s full of spicy, slow-cooked flavor and healthy ingredients!

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Over the holidays, I got a craving for some chili. Not just meh, this will do chili – like, amazing chili. Transformative chili. 

I think I came up with a winner. It’s freaking killer, hence the name, and I can’t wait for you to try it!!

You need Killer Vegan Chili in your life because:

•  It’s just delicious

•  Around 340 calories for a big two-cup bowlful

•  Lots of protein, fiber, vitamins and nutrients

•  Filling and satisfying

•  Easy to shop – no crazy ingredients

•  Awesome for meal prepping

•  Great winter comfort food – bonus points for being colorful when it’s looking pretty grey outside

The idea behind this hardcore chili goodness is stacking flavors on flavors. Lots of savory, loads of spicy. A little sweet, just to get things lit.

Of all the ingredients I tested on my killer chili quest, two winners surprised me. One was ground walnuts as “meat” that can grease up chili just right.

The other was beer. More subtle than I expected, but it sealed the deal on the slow-cooked flavor I was craving. No need for a fancy beer, but I think “fancy beer” is anything costing more than Michelob Light.

Gluten free beer is a thing! Here are some ideas if you need a recommendation:

9 Great Gluten-Free Beers That Taste Gluten-ful – Thrillist

Gluten Free Beers – Wheat-Free.org

17 Gluten-Free Beers That Actually Taste Good – Bon Appétit

The Gluten-Free Craft Beer Guide – The Beer Diaries

Gluten-Free Beer List – The Ultimate Guide – Urban Tastebud

Or you can skip the beer and replace it with vegetable stock or broth. Vogue Cuisine soup mix has great flavors, and they’re vegan, gluten free and low sodium. By far my favorite soup bases!

Killer Vegan Chili

Yields 10 servings, or about 12 cups

Killer Vegan Chili – hold on to your soup spoons, ’cause this is some killer chili. It’s hearty, spicy and packed with slow-cooked flavor! A great source of fiber, vitamins, nutrients and vegan protein.

Save RecipeSave Recipe

5 based on 6 review(s)


  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika (smoked if you have it)
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 Tbs cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbs no-salt herb seasoning, any brand or variety
  • your beer or stock/broth of choice (12 oz. beer or 1 1/2 cups stock)
  • 2 c chopped bell pepper, any colors
  • 1/4 – 1/2 chopped poblano pepper (use more for intense heat)
  • 2 15 oz. cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 4 c water
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/3 c uncooked quinoa
  • 3 c cooked black beans (or 2 15 oz. cans, drained and rinsed well)
  • 1 1/2 c crushed walnuts
  • 2 c fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • Toppings like fresh cilantro, avocado or vegan cheese shreds (optional)


  1. Add the oil and onion to a large, lidded cooking pot. Saute the onion over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, basil, chipotle powder, cumin, oregano, pepper and no-salt seasoning. Add a few splashes of the beer/stock to deglaze the pan and simmer 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly and/or add more if the spices are burning at all.
  3. Stir in the bell and poblano peppers and the rest of the beer. Simmer about 7 minutes.
  4. Add the canned tomatoes, maple syrup, soy sauce, salt, liquid smoke and water. Loosely lid the pot and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the lemon juice, quinoa, black beans, walnuts and corn. Reduce the heat to medium low, lid the pot and simmer about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add enough water to make it the consistency you like as you need to.
  6. Serve with your favorite toppings.


Recipe notes:

Liquid smoke is sometimes in the barbecue sauce section of grocery stores, but if you don’t find it there, check the spice/seasoning area. You can also buy it on Amazon.

You can use any sweetener to replace the maple syrup.

If you like your chili more or less hot, adjust the amounts of poblano and chipotle powder.

Store the chili in a closed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Use this link to find clean beers. Several of the beers listed are gluten free and vegan.

Use this link to find vegan beers.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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