Awesome Vegan Chili (No, really)

We are not vegans, nor vegetarians. Not even close. But this vegan chili is one of our favorite meals. I have been making it for about 10 years now, and it’s a keeper. And yes, we’ve tried it with turkey and beef. But the meatless version is better.


No, really. I made it many years ago for my parents, who ate meat for dinner every night without fail. They looked at me like I was crazy when I proposed making it, and consented only after a lot of prodding on my part. Afterwards? They were so in love with veggie crumbles, they started using it as a meat substitute regularly. 


So I encourage you to try this chili, and judge for yourself. I pulled it together from at least three different recipes long ago, and I no longer remember what they were (although one was a cookbook based on the Patricia Cornwell mystery series–I do remember that). I do not usually measure any of the ingredients, so each time is a little different. For the purposes of posting, I measured everything this time around, but don’t feel indebted to the numbers. They are merely guidelines.

Side note: I am aware that there is a debate in the vegan community that honey may or may not be vegan. Since the vegans I know are okay with honey, I am too. But feel free to substitute with another sweetener.

Vegan/Vegetarian Chili

1 onion, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/8 tsp salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 packages of Morning Star veggie crumbles
2 15.5 oz cans of black beans
1 15.5 oz can of red kidney beans
1 15.5 oz can of black eye peas
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 cup frozen or whole corn
2 tbsp beer
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp + 1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried garlic
juice of 1/2 lime
salt, to taste


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until slightly browned. Add onion, pepper, carrots, and salt to taste. Cook until soft and beginning to brown.
  2. In a large pot, combine veggie crumbles, tomato sauce, beans, and corn over medium heat and cook until warm.
  3. Add beer, honey, remaining spices, and vegetables, stir intermittently while cooking. Once everything is hot, taste and adjust spices, honey, lime, or beer as needed.


-If the chili becomes liquid-y, you can use flour (or “masa”) to thicken. If you need more liquid, add beer (I usually end up using more than 2 tbsp, but you should start with a small amount and work up if needed).
-If you decide to try meat instead, you may need less tomato sauce. Turkey and beef will let off more liquid than veggie crumbles.
-I have used my own spices at times, but I am also quite fond of the Two Alarm Chili spice packet, which is what I usually use. If you use this, substitute 1.5 tsp of the “cumin/oregano” mixture for the two spices, and use 1 tsp of the onion/garlic packet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s