A hearty bowl of this easy and tasty Vegan Chili with Avocado Crema will drive away the winter blues. The chili is smoky and rich and flavorful and at just 217 calories per serving you can afford to indulge in this healthy treat. A vegan, soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free recipe.
On days when I crave comfort and health for dinner but don't want to spend too much time or effort cooking, I cook up a pot of my smoky and quick Vegan Chili.
I have a few versions of Chili on this blog that I've shared over the years, and each one is delicious, but this really is my go-to version. It's easy to make, and it has a full-bodied flavor that takes away any need for meat or even meat substitutes. I love that most of the ingredients come from cans-- the pinto and black beans and the fire-roasted tomatoes.
The fire-roasted tomatoes, the cumin and the smoked paprika pack a triple hit of smokiness and flavor that take this chili from amazing to divine. Use them all for the best results. And the herbs only make all of this goodness even better.
On top of the chili, for even more great flavor and texture, goes a smooth, silky avocado crema flavored with cilantro, lime and jalapeno. It's a really simple recipe to pull together and it adds to the deliciousness of an already delicious recipe.
How to make a great homemade vegan chili, especially one that's quick, easy and tasty:
- To make this recipe come together fast, make sure you have your beans and other ingredients on hand. I use canned pinto and black beans for the quickest turnaround. If you want to cook your own beans from scratch, that's fine too.
- There are three ingredients in this recipe that give it that richness and smokiness I so love: smoked paprika, fire roasted tomatoes and cumin. Use them all for the best flavor.
- I do recommend letting the chili cook for 45 minutes after all the ingredients have been added for the best flavor, but if you are running short on time, you can pull it off the stove in 30 minutes. That said, this chili tastes best when left to stand overnight.
- Use both oregano and thyme (dried is good) for maximum flavor. You can also sub with rosemary or sage. I love adding sage to this sometimes because it adds to the smokiness.
- You don't have to make the avocado crema, but if you can, do. It tastes amazing with this stew and I guarantee you'll be in love.
- What can you eat with this chili? It makes a great meal by itself, but if you want to, serve it with quinoa or with a crusty bread. It's also great to scoop up with tortilla chips or drizzle over French fries.
Here are the ingredients you'll need:
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
- Vegetable oil (I usually use avocado)
- Green bell pepper (another color bell pepper is fine)
- Frozen corn kernels
- Fire roasted tomatoes
- Vegetable stock (for best flavor)
- Ground black pepper
- Jalapeno pepper
Most of these are probably in your pantry. If you try this vegan chili with avocado crema, be sure to come back and let me know!
More recipes to try:
- Vegan Chili Fries with Cheezy Horseradish Sauce
- Vegan Jambalaya, a one-pot meal
- Creamy Lentils Spiced with Ancho
- Vegan Mushroom Stew
- Vegan Gumbo, Fat-Free and Gluten-Free
- Vegan Cassoulet
- Vegan White Bean Chili in a Pressure Cooker
- Vegan 'Beef' Stew
- Vegan Instant Pot Chili
- 1 14-oz can black beans
- 1 14-oz can pinto beans
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 leeks (green and white parts chopped. Can use an onion instead.)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 large carrot (diced)
- 1 large green bell pepper (diced)
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 tsp cumin (powdered)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2-3 cups vegetable stock
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
For avocado crema:
- 2 ripe avocados
- ½ jalapeno pepper (deseeded and minced)
- 1 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
- Salt to taste
- Juice of 1 lime
- Heat oil in a large pot. Add the leeks and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Saute on medium heat until softened, around 3-5 minutes.
- Add the carrots and bell peppers and saute for a couple minutes. Add the fire roasted tomatoes, stir to mix, then add the bell pepper, corn kernels, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano and thyme. Stir to mix, add 2 cups of vegetable stock, and let everything come to a boil.
- Cover and let the chili simmer for 40 minutes or until thick. The carrots should be tender. If it's too thick for your liking, thin it out with some more stock.
- Serve hot with a dollop of avocado crema.
Make the avocado crema:
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and process into a very smooth paste.
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