vegan chilli
October 9, 2014 11:59 AM   Subscribe

Any super easy vegan chilli recipes? I don't cook very often so the easier the better.
posted by pseudodionysus to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I make this chili recipe all the time, and have for a decade. It involves a lot of chopping, but it's delightful when it comes together, and the cooking part is really easy.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 12:04 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

For something a little different, I really love my dad's chili, which I only recently discovered he formulated to be sweet and as inoffensive as possible because my sister and I were picky children. I always thought it was an acquired taste of my childhood, but my husband was not raised on it and recently told me it's the only chili he ever wants me to make again. So:

Chop a large sweet onion and saute in olive oil until soft. Add a Tbsp of chili powder and a tsp of salt, stir, then add 3 cans mild chili beans and Boca crumbles (or the vegan meat substitute of your choice). Add 24oz of canned tomato juice, a tbsp of white vinegar and a tbsp of sugar. Let simmer for a while and adjust to taste.
posted by something something at 12:19 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Super easy: Can of crushed tomatoes, cans of beans of your choice, texturized vegetable protein of your choice (optional, I like soyrizo). Add part of a can of chipoltes in adobo (definitely diced and seeded if you prefer) if you like or possibly Ro-tel, if that's your flavor preference. Dump it all in a pot, heat it, season it with cumin, a little Worcestershire, salt, chili powder, garlic (or garlic powder). If it's too runny, add more beans/TVP. If it's too thick, add some flavorful liquid (beer, tomato juice, veggie broth). I know people who like zucchini in there--I don't.

Serve it in a bowl with chopped onions, fresh tomatoes, cheese substitute if you want, Over rice, if you want or with tortillas.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:19 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

How do you measure easy? Not a hassle or beginner cook difficulty? The great thing about chili is that I have a basic recipe I use, and then I mix in whatever vegetables happen to be sitting in the fridge. I'll just toss everything into the slow cooker after I eat breakfast and let it sit until dinner.

The base:

28 oz can of diced tomatoes
12 oz can of tomato paste (normally I'll get whatever can in the paste variety is cheapest. Sometimes this ends up being a tomato sauce can that has garlic/basil in it)
2x 12 oz can of black beans
1 small can (4oz?) of jalepenos (sometimes this is mixed with diced tomatoes, again, whatever's cheap)
1/2 coarsely chopped onion
1 deseeded jalepeno (or other, whatever's on hand)
Things to taste: Fresh pressed garlic, garlic powder, oregano cilantro, cumin, , salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, crushed red pepper

Things I will add, depending on what's around/i need to get rid of: corn, bell peppers, more onion, beer, chopped tomatoes (at some point the tomato content gets acidic. If it tastes like that while cooking, I toss in pinches of brown sugar), coffee, masa. I'm probably forgetting a dozen things.

Make sure you taste while its cooking to dial in the heat and acidity!
posted by lownote at 12:20 PM on October 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

I use a modified version of the one in my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. Well, it started that way, anyway. I'm not too careful about the proportions of the ingredients. Warning, this recipe is not fancy, and will probably be shunned as not-chili by citizens of Ohio and Texas. Also there is no heat at all.

1 12 oz can of no-salt tomato sauce (not tomato paste)
1 24 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large onion (or 2 medium), diced
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp of chili powder (not cayenne pepper, but the kind of chili powder that mostly tastes like cumin but is red)
1 24 oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
vegetable oil
optional: veggie ground round (soy-based ground beef-ish product)

Heat a large pot to medium-low. Add a splash of the oil. It should be hot enough that the oil will get thin and move like water. Add the onion, and cook until translucent. Add the bell pepper, and cook until firm but not still crunchy. Add the veggie ground round (if using), and heat through.

Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, chili powder and beans. Stir until mixed completely. The chili should look very chunky, like there's not enough liquid. Add salt to taste.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and wait until the chili starts to bubble frequently. Then, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least 20 minutes, but preferably 40-60. There should be more liquid in the pot when you take the lid off. If it's too liquidy, turn the heat up and reduce it a bit.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:21 PM on October 9, 2014

I was a lazy vegetarian cook and then I discovered the slow cooker, which made me even lazier.
I cooked my chili by using canned ingredients, so I'm sure my salt intake was off the charts.
Chili beans + diced tomatoes + diced onions and peppers* + Morningstar Farm crumbles + chili powder and maybe some red pepper + slow cooker = easiest bachelor meal ever.

*For extra laziness, get the diced tomatoes that already have diced onions and peppers in them.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 12:22 PM on October 9, 2014

TVP is textured Vegetable Protein. In your hippie co-op type store, you can find it dry in bulk. Quorn also sells "veggie crumbles" in the frozen section that is basically TVP re-hydrated and frozen at 10x the price of dry. It helps give it a meaty-crumbly texture in the way that all veggie or all bean chilis don't have. You could substitute a cup of some grain like bulgur or cracked wheat if you can't find it.
  • 1 Cup TVP
  • 2 cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can red kidney beans (rinsed, or meh)
  • 1 large onion, diced (could be from salad bar)
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced (could be from jar)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chipotle or other chili powder
  • veggie broth or bouillon cube
Brown the onion in a big pot with a bit of oil. Add garlic and spices (and bouillon cube, crushed) for 30 seconds, then add tomatoes. Add beans, TVP and about 2 cups water (or broth). Eyeball the water here, the TVP will suck up lots of it. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Salt to taste.

Garnish with cilantro and some tortilla chips.

This is the base recipe, feel free to add bell peppers, frozen corn, zucchini, etc.
posted by fontophilic at 12:23 PM on October 9, 2014

OIL: measure it out into a big stockpot
1-2 Tbsp of whatever you have on hand -- canola, soybean, olive

FRESH VEGETABLES: chop them up, you can do this in a food processor
1 onion
2 jalapeno peppers with most of the seeds removed
3 or 4 cloves of garlic

SPICES: measure them out and dump them all into a small bowl
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp oregano
1/4 c chili powder
(optional but very yummy: 2 tsp coriander, 2 tsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp instant espresso powder, 1/2 or 1 whole chipotle in adobo)

CANNED VEGETABLES: open them up and drain the liquid out
3 15-ounce cans/6 cups of any kind of beans -- garbanzo, kidney, pinto, black
1 15-ounce can of whole kernel corn niblets
1 28-ounce can of petite diced tomatoes -- fire roasted are especially nice; you can leave the liquid in for these

Heat up the oil over medium-high heat. Add the fresh vegetables and saute for 5-7 minutes or until everything is soft and golden brown. Add the spices and saute for a minute or so, until your kitchen is filled with a delightful scent. Add all the canned stuff. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for at least 45 minutes. Take the lid off and cook for an additional 15 minutes if it's too watery. Dump some coffee in there if it's too dry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with cilantro, avocado, and a sprinkle of lime juice. Eat with tortilla chips.

posted by divined by radio at 12:29 PM on October 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

I make this recipe from Good Housekeeping: Apart from a little chopping, it is really easy and mostly opening up jars/cans and combining. And, it is SO GOOD! :)
posted by rainbowbrite at 12:30 PM on October 9, 2014

You can buy bags of chopped onions and peppers. Kroger makes a Cajun one with onions, peppers and celery. Add a can of green chiles. Tomatos, tomato paste and all the canned beans you want. Pop a Dorot garlic cube (available at Trader Joes) in there and add your favorite chili powder.

If you like texturized veggie protein, you could do that I suppose. I'd skip it in favor of a scoop of rice instead. Or serve over a baked potato.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:39 PM on October 9, 2014

I usually just make up chili as I go, but it's something like this -- it's lazy and easy:
-1 jar of salsa -- whatever you like. This covers some of you tomato, plus your peppers, onion, garlic and jalapeno.
-Couple cans of beans -- I like black and pinto, but kidney works too. I use at least two, usually three.
-1 can of tomatoes -- I like diced but crushed works too.
-TVP/vegan crumbles (if I'm using TVP, I add soy sauce and liquid smoke to the soaking water, but in this case, just go with commercial vegan crumbles).
-My favorite chili powder to taste

All of that gets mixed together in a pot and I just let it cook for a bit (everything is already cooked so once it's heated through, it can be done, but it does taste better the longer it cooks). You can add corn, a can of green chiles, other things you like in chili.

Is this the best chili in the world? Probably not, but it's adaptable, simple and quick. It's great if you don't cook very often, definitely.
posted by darksong at 1:02 PM on October 9, 2014

This black bean chili looks suspiciously simple but is pretty nice. If you're feeling especially lazy, skip the orange zest/juicing and just use packaged stuff. It also freezes well; buy some containers and you can cook even less often.
posted by Su at 1:16 PM on October 9, 2014

I used to make Fantastic Foods chili all the time. You can buy it on their website or at most grocery stores. It's super simple and it scales well, great for a crowd. Great with cornbread.
posted by radioamy at 1:21 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Vegan chili? Literally any chili recipe without the meat.

I don't even use a recipe. I throw lot of beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped onion, chopped garlic, green chilies, and a bunch of spices into a pot and cook for a while. I use chili spice mixes and then add some of my own in dashes of stuff in to taste. Delicious and could not be easier. When I've been especially lazy, I've used canned beans, canned tomatoes, canned chilies, minced jarred garlic and frozen chopped onion, along with chili spice packets. But obviously, if you can do it with fresh vegetables and use slow-cooked dry beans, it'll be even better. If you want to add soy Boca "beef" crumbles, you can.
posted by AppleTurnover at 1:22 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I make this chili all the time. I also bring it to soup swaps and families with new babies. It freezes well. There is a lot of chopping up front, but not a lot of thinking. The texture is provided by bulgur. The secret is the balsamic.
posted by mimo at 1:52 PM on October 9, 2014

For vegan chili, my tips would be:

Super-caramelize the onions
Roast the red peppers
Add some adobo sauce/chipotle peppers
Cocoa powder
Leave chili about 2 days before eating to let the flavours intermingle.

That all adds a bit of extra depth the meat is usually responsible for.

Also, use dried beans, not canned, and put ALL the types of bean in.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:31 PM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sweet Potato Chilli.

Can of crushed toms
Sweet potato cut in cubes
Pinto beans, cooked.

Garlic, onion, cumin, toasted and ground chilli peppers like guajillo, and oregano.

Garnish with cilantro.

Bonus points for vegan cheese and/or sour cream.
posted by jbenben at 3:51 PM on October 9, 2014

This stuff can mostly come out of cans, and it's delicious and filling. I usually add extra water because it's really thick. Makes 3.5-4 quarts.

Sarah's Delicious Chili from How it All Vegan

1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
8-12 mushrooms, chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 c. kidney beads
2 1/2 c. chickpeas
28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
6 oz. tomato paste
12 oz corn
3/4 c. white rice
1-3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
2 Tbsp curry paste or powder
2 c. stock or water

Saute carrots, onions, and mushrooms (if using) in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients and additional water/stock as needed, simmer 40-60 mins or until rice is cooked.

To use brown rice, cook separately and then add, it takes forever.
posted by momus_window at 3:58 PM on October 9, 2014

I make this one a lot. You can swap out the listed beans for which ever you prefer, and substitute TVP or farro for bulger if you want to mix it up a bit. Soo good!
posted by cestmoi15 at 4:13 PM on October 9, 2014

I almost always make vegan chilli. Basic recipe is:
1 onion, chopped/diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil for sautéeing
2 tins crushed tomatoes
2 tins of water (rinses the tomato tins out!)
2 tins kidney beans
about 3/4 cup TVP
generous squirt of tomato paste
packet of chilli/taco/whatever seasoning (hooray salt!)
several glugs of balsamic vinegar

Method is pretty familiar; sauté onion and garlic, add tomatoes, water, beans, TVP, tomato paste, seasoning. I tend to put the balsamic vinegar in towards the end. It somehow makes the TVP taste rich and almost meaty. If that's not a bad.

This is stuff that I tend to have in the pantry which is why it's basic. Variations include adding extra veggies (carrot, zucchini are my faves) and actual seasoning instead of packet variety, fresh chillis, that sort of thing.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:13 PM on October 9, 2014

Black bean barley chili.
posted by mibo at 6:47 PM on October 9, 2014

This black bean chili recipe from Epicurious is great and really simple. I add extra red peppers and saute up veggie/vegan ground beef with the peppers and onions. I often sub other kinds of beans in if I'm not in the mood for just black beans.
posted by charmedimsure at 7:08 PM on October 9, 2014

I'm a meat eater, so I don't even know which aisle the TVP is on, but I recommend going with zucchini and yellow squash. Dice, salt heavily and set to drain-- the salt will free up a lot of the water in there. Rinse the veggies, and then give them a brief but hot sauté for some color. After that, add them to the mix; they'll add a nice meaty texture to a meatless chili.

Better still, take the drained zucchini & squash, and any other veggies (mushrooms are good here) and roast them on an oven tray instead of sautéing. Requires a lot less attention. You can do your red peppers here, any whole chilies.

I'd have to think about whether that works for corn, but hell, I'd probably try it. Corn in chili is like raisins on pizza-- you could probably make it taste good, but it'll never sound good to me.

Probably want to cook onions and garlic in the pot with a little oil-- they've got fat-soluble aromas that need releasing.

Black beans stay firmer longer in a soup, chili or other stew. If you prefer a little mush to them, go with small kidneys (or large).

Lastly, don't forget the bay leaves. I see it in a couple places above, but bay is conspicuously absent from some of the linked recipes. Bay is a no-brainer, especially when beans are involved.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:49 PM on October 9, 2014

The Meatiest Vegetarian Chili from Your Slow Cooker recipe is my favorite chili of all time. And I'm not even particularly vegan/vegetarian. I just love it.
posted by xyzzy at 10:13 AM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Vegan black bean chilli is one of my go-to easy meals. My recipe is probably not going to win any prizes for authenticity, but it is delicious in its own right and absurdly simple to make:

1 or two cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can black beans, drained
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Whatever veges you have at hand, chopped

Fry the garlic in oil. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir on medium heat for 2 - 3 minutes (or long enough to just cook the vegetables). As you stir, try to squish some of the beans - this will help thicken the chilli. Add a little bean juice or water if the chilli starts sticking to the pan.

That's it! The whole thing takes less than 10 minutes. For veges, I like capsicum, zucchini and mushrooms, but really, use whatever you have available.
posted by embrangled at 3:12 AM on October 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

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