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Best Bean Chili

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This Bean Chili is Plant-Based and made in the slow-cooker. It’s my signature Chili recipe made meatless!  With only 15 minutes of hands-on time, it isn’t labor-intensive. Plus it’s healthy and delicious!

Vegetarian tofu bean chili in a white bowl topped with cubed avocado.

You might not think of bean chili as an easy dish, but this vegan chili version will change your mind. It’s fabulous, it’s healthy and it can be ready in about a about 4 hours using a slow cooker so prep or 30 minutes on stovetop.

This is a take of my beef chili shared on Muy Delish but turned into a plant-based version. Added more beans, lentils and a little tofu for good measure. The spices really add depth and richness of flavor, so try not to skip any of them.

  • Amazing Meal Prep: Chili is an excellent meal prep idea because it will literally give you chili for days. This particular recipe serves 6-8 and you can easily double it and freeze for later!
  • Healthy: My slow cooker chili recipe is made with beans, lentils and a little tofu for more protein. It’s filled with fiber and good for you vitamins!
  • Set It and Forget It: Minimal prep, set your slow cooker, and you can have dinner on the table with no stress at all!
  • Make good leftovers: Like all good chilis, they taste better the next day!
A saucepan with beans and tofu chili and an avocado on the side.

Ingredients Notes

  • The Protein –  Canned pinto and red kidney beans, dry lentils and extra firm tofu (optional).
  • The broth –  You’ll need tomato juice and tomato purée.
  • The veggies – white or yellow onion, celery, green bell pepper.
  • Seasoning – Chili powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper, dried oregano, sugar and a dash of cayenne pepper.

How To Make Bean Chili

Step 1. Turn the crockpot to high to start warming it up and add all ingredients.

Step 2. Cover the slow-cooker with lid and let the chili simmer for 4 hours on low.

A white bowl with Beans & Tofu chili topped with cubed avocado.

Chili Toppings & Serving Suggestions

Never skip the toppings! Here are some ideas to jazz up your bean chili:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Sliced avocado
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Greek yogurt

Serve warm with crackers or cornbread.

Vegetarian tofu bean chili in a white bowl topped with cubed avocado.

Plant-Based Chili (Slow Cooker)

Slow Cooker Plant-Base Chili is my signature Chili recipe made meatless!  With only 15 minutes of hands-on time, it isn’t labor-intensive. Plus it’s healthy and delicious!
This recipe is great for freezing leftovers or as a meal prep for the week.
Print Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 218kcal
Author: Ana Frias

Equipment

  • Large Slow Cooker

Ingredients 

  • 15 ounce  can pinto beans - drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can red kidney beans or black beans - drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu (optional) - grounded
  • 29 ounces tomato juice (1 quart)
  • 1 medium onion - chopped into small cubes
  • ¾ cup celery - chopped into small cubes
  • ½ cup green bell pepper - chopped into small cubes
  • 3 Tablespoon chili powder - use ¼ cup for a more spicy chili
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Turn the crockpot to high to start warming it up and add all ingredients.
  • **See note below for cooking it on stovetop.
  • Cover the slow-cooker with lid and let the chili simmer for 4 hours on low.
  • Serve warm with crackers or cornbread.

Notes

Stovetop instructions:
  1. In a large pot, add all ingredients.
  2. Simmer, stirring often, for 45 to 1 hour or until all of the flavors have developed well. Make sure not to cook it on very strong heat since it’ll dry it out too quickly.
  3. Stir often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
 
Note: If the consistency turns out too dense, add vegetable broth until you reach the desired consistency. Season with salt & pepper again according to taste. 

Private Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 794mg | Potassium: 596mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g

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