Vegan Chili (that meat-eaters enjoy, too!)
Yield: 4 servings
A brisk simmer over medium heat helps this easy but incredibly flavorful chili thicken quickly. The chili will continue to thicken as it rests, so keep that in mind if you prefer a somewhat soupier chili.


  • 2 tablespoons (28ml) olive oil
  • ¾ cup (180g) mild or medium tomato salsa (not corn and black bean salsa, which usually has a puréed bean base)
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce or puréed tomatoes
  • 3 cups (24 ounces) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt* plus several hearty turns of the pepper mill (about ¼ teaspoon)
  • Optional for serving: crumbled tortilla chips, chopped avocado, shredded cheese (if not vegan; or use vegan alternative), lime wedges, rice or grain of choice



  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium. Cook the salsa, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and garlic powder, stirring, until fragrant and slightly reduced, 1–2 minutes. Stir in the three cans of drained beans, tomato sauce or puree, broth, salt and pepper. (Helpful hint: swish some of the broth in the tomato can to get every last bit out of the can.) Bring to a simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat, if necessary, so that the chili cooks at a brisk simmer (not a hard boil – on my stovetop this is medium heat), stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended and the chili is thickened but still a little soupy, about 15 minutes.

    Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with toppings of choice.

Notes & Helpful Hints

*I use Pacific low sodium broth; start with ¾ teaspoon of the kosher salt if using a regular sodium broth or being mindful of sodium intake.

Advance prep and freezing: The chili can be made 3 days ahead; cool, cover and refrigerate. When preparing ahead, I stop cooking when it’s still a little soupier than I ultimately prefer, as the chili will continue to thicken as it cools and sits over time. This chili freezes well, too. You may wish to freeze in individual portions for single meals at the ready.

You could substitute chicken broth if not intent on a vegetarian recipe.
Feel free to alter the bean varieties based on what you have on hand.
A cup or so of corn, whether frozen, fresh, or drained from a can could be added.
The last time I used a mild salsa, so I added ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper with the other spices because we enjoy a hint of heat. Optionally, to accommodate those in your group who may enjoy spicier chili, you could serve with hot sauce or sliced fresh or pickled jalapeños on the side.

Adapted from:

Epicurious November 2017

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