Who doesn’t love a comforting, hearty bowl of chili? This vegan chili recipe is packed with pinto beans, poblano peppers, potatoes and plenty of warming spices. Easy enough to make on a weeknight, but we love to meal prep it and enjoy later in the week!
This post is sponsored by Mountain Rose Herbs. All opinions are our own.
Even though we eat chili relatively often at home, we haven’t gotten around to sharing a new vegan chili recipe on the blog for quite a while. This recipe is the perfect starting point. It’s not totally traditional, but it’s so flavorful!
Chili is one of those dishes that’s pretty easy to make vegan. Sure, you’re missing some of the fat from animal proteins, but otherwise, it doesn’t take much to get the flavors right. It’s really all about the spices!
We’re so excited to be partnering up with Mountain Rose Herbs to bring you this recipe featuring some of their organic spices and herbs. They are purveyors of high-quality, organic herbs, spices, teas, aromatherapy products, and other ingredients.
We love that they sell herbs and spices in bulk quantities, so you don’t constantly have to stock up on your favorite spices. More to come soon on how we stock our spice cabinet!
More than anything, we really love their commitment to organic agriculture, fair trade standards and sustainable business practices. Their team of “of herbalists, plant lovers, and environmentalists have always put people, plants, and planet before profit”. We love that!
Here are a few of their ingredients that we used in this flavorful vegan pinto bean chili:
Spices used in pinto bean chili
- Ancho chili pepper powder. Ancho pepper powder is our favorite choice for this chili. It has a moderately spicy, somewhat sweet flavor. Anchos are actually dried, roasted poblano peppers, which we use as a fresh ingredient in this recipe. We love incorporating that flavor in two forms! You can also substitute with regular chili powder.
- Dried oregano. Regular oregano will do in a pinch, but Mexican oregano is the best choice for this recipe. It has a more intense flavor that Mediterranean oregano, and holds up better to strong spices like chili and cumin.
- Smoked paprika. Love the smoky, earthy flavor of smoked paprika in this chili.
- Cinnamon. A pinch of aromatic cinnamon goes a long way in adding a subtle sweet note to this chili.
- Cumin. Ground cumin is such a flavorful, pungent spice that’s absolutely essential to many different types of cuisines, including Mexican and Mediterranean.
- Cacao powder. Sounds unusual, I know. But cacao powder (unsweetened) adds major depth and rich flavor to this chili. It really makes all the difference! Just be sure you’re using high quality powder – not the majorly processed, sweetened stuff.
How to roast a poblano pepper
We mentioned above that fresh poblano pepper is an essential ingredient in this pinto bean chili. To prep it for this recipe, we oven-roast it to develop the smoky, caramelized flavors, then remove the skin.
To do so, lightly oil and salt a whole poblano pepper. Pop it in a 400˚ oven for about 15 minutes, until the skin is slightly blistered and the pepper is fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool until you can handle without burning yourself!
Slice the pepper in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove the seeds and inner membrane. Then, turn the pepper over and remove the skin. It should peel off easily. Slice and dice the pepper before adding to your recipe as usual!
How to make a hearty vegan chili
While spices and herbs add plenty of flavor to this chili, beans, potatoes and mushrooms add heartiness.
Pinto beans are our legume of choice in this chili. They hold up well even after simmering for hours, and they add plenty of texture.
Canned or dried beans?
It’s really up to you. If you’re like us (usually short on time), opt for canned beans. They may not be quite as flavorful or have as much texture, but they get the job done.
If you’d prefer to use dried beans, I’d suggest cooking them separately, as they may take quite a while to soften. If you have a pressure cooker, use it!
In addition to beans, we also add potatoes and mushrooms to make this vegan chili extra hearty. We use red potatoes, which hold up well, but this would also be great with sweet potatoes.
When it comes to mushrooms, we used a mix of shiitakes (for extra flavor) and portobellos, but again, it’s up to you. If you don’t like mushrooms, feel free to leave them out and sub with more potatoes and/or beans.
More vegan soups and stews to try
- Quinoa and Mushroom Vegetable Stew
- Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup
- Vegan Mushroom Stew over Mashed Potatoes
- Lemon Rice Soup
- Lentil Sweet Potato Curry Soup
If you make this vegan pinto bean chili recipe, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
Who doesn’t love a comforting, hearty bowl of chili? This vegan chili recipe is packed with pinto beans, poblano peppers, potatoes and plenty of warming spices.
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 yellow onion (1 1/2 cups), diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium poblano peppers, roasted
- 1 1/2 cups celery
- 5 cups sliced, mixed mushrooms (we used shiitake and baby portobello)
- 2 cups diced red potatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 ½ tbsp low sodium Tamari or soy sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
- 1 tbsp ancho pepper powder (or chili powder)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Lightly oil and salt poblano peppers and place on a sheet pan. Roast for 12-14 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven and set on a cutting board. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
- Grab a fork to hold the pepper in place and use a paring knife to gently pull the skin away from the poblano (or use your hands if it’s cool enough). Slice in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove seeds and inner membrane. Dice peppers and set aside.
- Preheat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat with 2 tbsp of oil. Add onion and sauté for 5-6 minutes.
- Add crushed garlic, chopped poblano pepper, and celery. Stir well and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, stir and let cook for 7-8 minutes until they start to reduce.
- Add potatoes, broth, tomato paste, white wine vinegar, maple syrup, tamari, cacao, ancho chili powder, salt, oregano, smoked paprika, cinnamon, and cumin. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in pinto beans and cilantro and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Check potatoes to make sure they are fork tender.
- Top with cheese, sour cream, avocado, chopped green onions, and corn or tortilla chips.
Keywords: vegan pinto bean chili