This Vegan Chili makes a hearty and comforting dish that is perfect for a chilly fall day, game day or any time of the year! It’s an easy bean free and paleo chili made with butternut squash, mushrooms and bell peppers and will become a family favorite! Naturally gluten-free, grain-free, Whole30 and low carb.
Updated October 2020
Easy Vegan Chili Recipe
There is nothing more comforting on a cold day than having a big pot of simmering hot chili waiting for you. This Vegan Chili is hearty, flavorful, and the perfect cozy meal to warm up with all winter long. It’s an easy one pot meal and takes just 10 minutes of prep time and would be a delicious meatless option for watching football games with a crowd.
Plus, this simple chili recipe can easily be customized to suit any diet using whatever vegetables or protein you like or have in your fridge or pantry. With so many options for toppings and substitutions, this healthy chili makes a perfect comfort meal for anyone.
Why we love this No Bean Chili Recipe
- Freezer-friendly: Not only is this chili extremely versatile, but it is perfect as a freezer meal! Have a huge batch left over? Simply freeze it for another busy January day.
- Easy to make: The flavor is amazing and is a breeze to make when you can just throw everything into the pot.
- Healthy vegan meal: bean-free, paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, Whole30 compliant and can easily be made low carb and keto by swapping out the butternut squash with pumpkin
Ingredients You Need for this Easy Chili Recipe
This easy chili recipe is paleo, dairy-free, vegan and Whole30 as written. You can keep it that way or substitute with other ingredients you have in your kitchen.
- Oil – we used avocado oil but you can also use extra-virgin olive oil
- Medium onion – chopped
- Garlic cloves – minced
- Red bell pepper – cored & chopped. You can also use green bell peppers if that’s what you have in your kitchen.
- Cremini mushrooms – chopped
- Walnuts – chopped (you can also sub with drained canned lentils or beans if not paleo or Whole30)
- Coconut aminos –
- Spices: Ground cumin, chilli powder, smoked paprika
- Tomato paste
- Butternut squash – peeled and cubed. You can substitute with pumpkin to make this a Keto Chili
- One can diced tomatoes – we like San Marzano
Optional non-paleo / Whole30 ingredients
- 1 cup kidney beans or black beans
- Extra firm tofu
Other vegetables you can add:
Not a fan of red bell pepper or mushrooms? No problem. Add celery or zucchini instead.
These Best Chili toppings
You can serve this vegetarian chili alone but the toppings are always our favorite part. This chili is paleo, dairy-free, vegan and Whole30 as written or add any assortment of toppings here you like:
- Grated dairy-free OR cheddar cheese
- Coconut cream, vegan sour cream or crème fraîche
- Sliced or diced avocado
- Grain-free Tortilla chips (crumbled if desired)
- Fresh Cilantro
- Lime wedges
How To Make Vegan Chili
Making a a batch of homemade chili takes no time at all! This cozy meal comes together in less than 30 minutes in just one pot.
COOK AROMATICS: In a large pot, heat avocado oil over medium heat. Sauté onions for a few minutes until fragrant, then add garlic. Add peppers, mushrooms, walnut and sauté for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
ADD SPICES followed by tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant then add the butternut squash. Pour in 1.5 cup of water & canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until squash is soft and cooked through. Depending on the how thick you like your chili, add more water, as needed.
TASTE and season with salt and pepper.
SERVE and top with diced avocado, cilantro and jalapeño.
Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Instructions
The great thing about this easy chili recipe is that you can prep all the ingredients in advance and throw everything into your crockpot or a pressure cooker. We love pulling out the slow cooker and Instant Pot once September rolls around.
Slow Cooker instructions:
Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours or until the vegetables are soft.
Instant Pot Instructions
Cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 2 minutes, then NATURAL RELEASE for 15 minutes.
Storage Instructions for Leftover Chili
This Whole30 chili makes great leftovers that keep well for four days in the refrigerator. Reheat your chili in a bowl and it’s good to go. Once this paleo chili has cooled off, then transfer to a storage container, such as a reusable bag or glass container. Place in the refrigerator and store for up to three-four days. If wanting to freeze this chili, then place the chili in a reusable container and freeze for up to four months.
For an easier storage method, place the bags of chili in a single flat layer and stack the bags.
Other cozy and easy Vegan Recipes you might like:
This easy Vegan Chili makes a hearty and comforting dish that is perfect for a chilly day or any time of the year! This bean free and paleo chili is easy to make with butternut squash, mushrooms and bell peppers and will become a family favorite! Naturally gluten-free, grain-free, Whole30 and low carb.
- 1 medium onion , chopped
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 red bell pepper , deseeded & chopped
- 12 oz cremini mushrooms , chopped
- 1 cup walnuts , chopped (can sub with drained canned lentils or beans, if not paleo / Whole30 / low carb)
- 1 tsp coconut aminos
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2.5 cups peeled & cubed butternut squash , peeled and cubed (can sub with pumpkin or other squash)
- 1.5 - 2 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 28-ounce can San Marzano diced tomatoes
- Diced avocado
- Fresh cilantro
- Dairy-free sour cream
In a large pot, heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes until fragrant, then add garlic. Add peppers, mushrooms and walnuts. Saute for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
Add spices and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
Add butternut squash, 1.5 cups of water & canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until squash is soft and cooked through. Add more water, as needed.
Taste & season with salt and pepper.
- Serve and top with diced avocado, cilantro & jalapeno.
Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Tamsin of Cupful of Kale