Better-Than-Traditional American Chili

Traditional Chili is mostly ground beef, tomatoes, and spices, but this recipe improves upon the traditional version in several great ways. First, it's entirely vegan and nobody would notice. Second, the mix of beans and vegetables makes it much healthier and less fatty. And thirdly, the use of canned vegetables makes it very cheap and easy to make almost anywhere in the world.

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


Servings: 4 People
  • 1 whole
    onion small diced
  • 5 whole
    white button mushrooms large diced
  • 1/2 whole
    green bell pepper medium diced
  • 2 small clove
    garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp
    chili powder Should be dark reddish brown and much less spicy than cayenne
  • 1 tsp
    salt more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp
    black pepper more to taste
  • 2 tsp
    cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp
    chipotle powder optional
  • 1/4 tsp
    cayenne pepper powder optional for extra heat
  • 15 ounces
    canned diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounces
    canned tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces
    canned tomatoes crushed or another can of diced
  • 15 ounces
    canned dark red kidney beans or your favourite beans,
  • 15 ounces
    canned chickpeas or red beans, brown beans, navy beans
  • 15 ounces
    canned black beans or more kidney beans
  • 15 ounces
    corn kernels

Toppings (optional)

  • diced cucumber
  • avocado or guacamole
  • iceberg lettuce shredded
  • vegan sour cream
  • corn chips like Fritos, or tortilla chips


  1. To prepare: Open all of the canned foods and drain and rinse just the beans in a colander. Chop the garlic and dice the vegetables.

  2. Heat some cooking oil in a large pot and when shimmering add the onions, stir for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and peppers and stir again. When the onions are beginning to brown, make a space in the center of the pot and add 2 tsp more oil, and when that's hot, add the chopped garlic to the center. Stir the garlic for 30 seconds and then mix all the vegetables together. Continue cooking until the mushrooms and onions are soft. Add all the spices and another tsp of oil and stir until the vegetables are coated and the spices are fragrant.

  3. Add the tomatoes and the beans and stir to combine. When bubbles start coming to the surface, turn the heat to low and cook for 30-45 minutes, until the tomatoes have thickened, and the beans are soft. Add the corn and mix in. The chili can be eaten now, or cooked up to an hour longer to give more depth of flavour and creamier texture. Serve with some of the suggested toppings, over rice, or both.

Courses: Main Course
Cuisines: American, Mexican
Difficulty: level 1 (easy)
Cooking time: 30-60 minutes, 45-60 minutes
Season: autumn, spring, summer, winter
Number ingredients: 15-20 ingredients
Taste: savory, spicy, tangy
Preparation method: cooking, stew
Type of dish: bean dish, chili
Campaigns: VeggieChallenge

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