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With the weather outside continuing to be frightful, there’s nothing like a hearty one-pot chili to warm the body and soul! This is the perfect meal to make when you’re trapped at home on a snow day…it will warm you right up when you come in from shoveling!

My chili recipe goes all the way back to a Brooklyn loft with no kitchen appliances except for an electric hotplate. It’s evolved a few times since then, one of its iterations winning an award sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Kellogg’s (I used Morningstar “meat” crumbles for that version). It used to have a beer in it (feel free to throw in a dark one, like Negro Modelo, if you’re so inclined), but it really doesn’t need it. These days I use no animal products or meat substitutes at all, and get that chewy texture from the addition of quinoa.

Even meat eaters are guaranteed to be satisfied by this filling meal!

vegan chili ingredients vegetables on a counter

I’ve been making this for so long that I don’t even need a recipe…the basic template is always the same. Start by sautéing an onion and peppers in a large stockpot until the peppers are soft and the onions are just starting to brown.

onions and peppers cooking

Then add the mushrooms, and keep sautéing until those are starting to brown. Then all the other things that need to get cooked go in, in this case, the sweet potato & quinoa, along with the liquids and spices. It all simmers together for at least 20 minutes, and then I add in the things that just need to get heated up (the beans & corn). You can use whatever beans you like…I like to use a combo of black beans and pink or kidney beans for the variations in color.

vegan chili in a pot cooking

You can serve it as is or top it with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and cheese (if you can tolerate dairy). Or my personal favorite: top with avocado and  tortilla chips!

This is comfort food at it’s best, totally plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free. It meets half your daily fiber and iron needs and is also high in vitamin D and potassium. The recipe below makes six main-dish servings of 2 cups each or twelve 1-cup servings.

I make this regularly all fall and winter long. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Let me know if you try it!

vegan chili in bowl with avocado and tortilla chips

Award-Winning Vegan Chili

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 388kcal


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 10 oz mushrooms, halved
  • 1 cup quinoa (dry)
  • 2 cups sweet potato
  • 3 cups canned tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • dash cayenne
  • 1 cup corn (frozen)
  • 1.75 cups black beans, drained
  • 1.75 cups kidney beans, drained


  • In a large stockpot, sauté onions and peppers in olive oil over medium heat until translucent.
  • Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms and sweet potato.
  • Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly browned.
  • Add the sweet potato, quinoa, water, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt.
  • Cover, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  • Add the beans and corn and stir to combine. Cook until heated through.


Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 1225mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 7670IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 6mg

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