This Beyond Meat Chili is adapted from our popular 45-Minute Lentil Chili, with even MORE of the thick and meaty texture and huge flavors that make that recipe so popular. And this chili is even easier! It's the perfect vegan chili to serve to skeptics who think chili without meat can't be as hearty, rich, or satisfying.
Beyond Beef chili is perfect for potlucks, game day, and cozy nights at home. This recipe is vegan, nut-free, and easily made gluten-free.
As I mentioned above, this Vegan Red Lentil Chili (oil-free option) has been our go-to chili recipe for a few years now. I adapted it from my older recipe for The Best Vegan Chili. And that one was adapted from a delicious, albeit fairly complex, recipe by America's Test Kitchen.
And y'all have LOVED that simpler lentil chili. The fact that it's SO meaty and flavorful yet only takes 45 minutes to prepare really is the best.
I get excited every time I see your feedback roll in on that one because your comments are always so full of enthusiasm!
And now we have another iteration on that chili! The spices and base of the recipe I'm sharing today are pretty much identical to the lentil chili because "if it ain't broke..."
The differences are that we're adding Beyond Beef, and we're omitting the lentils and ground walnuts. This means you don't need a food processor for this recipe (fewer dishes to wash!), and it's nut-free.
You'll LOVE this Beyond Meat chili because it's:
- thick, rich, smoky, and yes, meaty!
- WAY too delicious to be so easy
- ready in 45 minutes
- gluten-free with one simple swap
- and versatile! Adjust the spiciness, add different veggies, use Impossible instead of Beyond Meat. It's totally up to you!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here are a few quick notes about the ingredients. Aside from the mushroom powder, which is optional, everything should be easy to find at any well-stocked grocery store.
- Beyond Beef - my husband is a big fan of Beyond, so when he spots the 1 pound packages on sale he usually grabs a few to stock the freezer. In fact, this chili is thanks to him. It was a quick weeknight request that worked out so well I knew I had to share it.
Sub: Feel free to use 16 ounces of Impossible meat instead.
- canned crushed tomatoes - if you can get fire-roasted tomatoes they add great flavor; if not, use regular crushed tomatoes.
- beans - I didn't want the amount of beans to overshadow the Beyond Beef, so I used 2 cans, one black and one kidney. But if you enjoy a bean-heavy chili feel free to use 3 cans. Pinto beans are also great!
- bulgur or quinoa - inexpensive and usually easy to find in the bulk bins at the grocery store, bulgur adds even more of a ground meat texture to vegan chili. Use quinoa for a gluten-free option.
- spices - the most important ingredients in any chili recipe! You'll need chili powder (the blend, not a specific chile), cumin, and smoked paprika.
- onion and jalapeno - any variety of onion is fine; remove all or some of the seeds inside the jalapenos to reduce the overall spiciness. If you remove all of the seeds the chili will be fairly mild.
- mushroom powder, optional - I always add dried mushrooms to chili for the boost of umami, but don't fret if you can't get your hands on any. Simply omit it.
And if you buy some shiitake mushroom powder and are wondering how else to use it, try this vegan "beef" broth!
- tamari (for gluten-free) or soy sauce
See recipe card below for quantities and full recipe.
How to Make Beyond Meat Chili
- Preheat a soup pot over medium heat and bring the oil to temp. All at once add the spices, oregano, and mushroom powder. Stirring frequently cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the onion, jalapeno, and garlic, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the Beyond Beef to the pot. Use a spoon to break it up into chunks. How much you break up the "beef" is up to you. I like to break some of it up into smaller, ground pieces and have some larger chunks. Cook until browned on the outside and incorporated with all of the spices, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast, and stir to combine. Add the water and tamari, and bring to a boil. Stir in the bulgur (or quinoa) and beans. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Also, I really love Follow Your Heart's dairy-free bleu cheese crumbles on this chili.
What to Serve With Vegan Chili
- creamy vegan kale salad
- baked potatoes, fries, or tater tots
- easy vegan quesadillas
- baked taquitos
- oil-free cornbread
- buttery Southern-style cornbread
- jalapeno cornbread muffins
- and tortilla chips, of course!
- flavor enhancers - add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and/or a few dashes of cinnamon to the pot when adding the other spices.
- spicy - include the jalapeno seeds and consider using a food processor to puree the onion, garlic, and jalapeno together. This breaks up the seeds a bit. You can also add red pepper flakes, cayenne, or Cajun seasoning, to taste.
- extra thick and rich - include toasted and ground walnuts. See the lentil chili recipe for instructions. It's very easy to do but will add a couple of steps to the process.
- beer or wine - add half of a bottle of beer (lager or dry stout are nice) or about ⅓ cup red wine to the pot while the chili simmers.
- Texas chili, vegan-style - if you've got extra Beyond Beef to use up, or maybe you have a money tree growing in the backyard, go with two packages and bump up the amount of spices to compensate.
- other veggies - we like our chili 100% savory and meaty, but if you feel like experimenting with sweet potato or veggies, go for it! There's really no wrong way to enjoy this chili. The flavorful base has you set up for success!
Try corn, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, winter squash, sweet potato, or poblano peppers.
Vegan Chili FAQs
I would describe it as mild to medium. The more seeds you remove from the jalapeños the milder it will be. I usually include *some* of the seeds from one pepper, and discard the others. However, if you are especially sensitive to spice, even the chili powder and black pepper may make this too spicy.
I haven't tested this chili in the slow cooker yet, but it should be great. You'll still need to begin with a saute on the stovetop, steps 1 - 4. Then transfer the chili to the crockpot to finish cooking.
This 1-pot chili is so easy to cook on the stovetop that I haven't felt the need to try it in the Instant Pot, but I'm sure it's possible. If you prepare it in a pressure cooker let us know in the comments below.
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Beyond Meat Chili
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil such as avocado or grapeseed
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 rounded tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon shiitake mushroom powder, optional
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 large jalapenos, diced - remove seeds to decrease spiciness
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 16 ounces Beyond Beef - or Impossible
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes - or regular
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional - see Note 1.
- 4 cups water - see Note 1.
- 1 tablespoon tamari (for GF) or soy sauce - see Note 1.
- ⅔ cup quinoa (for GF), rinsed and drained, or bulgur, dry - for GF another option is dry TVP (textured vegetable protein); adds great texture similar to bulgur.
- 2 (15 oz) cans cooked beans, rinsed and drained, such as kidney, pinto or black beans
- First, combine the spices, mushroom powder, and oregano in a bowl and set aside.3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 rounded tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon shiitake mushroom powder, optional, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat, and add the oil. Add the spice blend and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.2 tablespoons cooking oil such as avocado or grapeseed
- Add the onion, jalapeno and garlic. Stirring frequently, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. If the mixture looks too dry or the pot is too hot, add a splash of water.1 large onion, finely chopped, 2 large jalapenos, diced, 5 cloves garlic, minced
- Add the Beyond Beef to the pot. Use a spoon to break it up into chunks (as large or small as you like). Cook until browned on the outside and incorporated with all of the spices, about 5 minutes.16 ounces Beyond Beef
- Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast, and stir to combine. Add the water and tamari, and bring to a boil. Stir in the bulgur (or quinoa) and beans. Reduce heat to a simmer. Stirring occasionally, cook for 15 minutes.1 (28 oz) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, 1 teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste, 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional, 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon tamari (for GF) or soy sauce, ⅔ cup quinoa (for GF), rinsed and drained, or bulgur, dry, 2 (15 oz) cans cooked beans, rinsed and drained, such as kidney, pinto or black beans
- Let the chili stand for a few minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.