This vegan crockpot chili recipe is a delicious, hands-off way to get dinner on the table that’s also vegetarian and gluten-free.
When I first got into food, I started reading food blogs incessantly. And by reading, I mean looking at the gorgeous photographs and wondering how real life people had the time to make so many different recipes and take professional-looking photos of them. Years later, Alex and I decided to start our own food blog ourselves. But I still didn’t really “read” anything on written on other food blogs – I just gawked at the photographs and referenced the ideas for inspiration. What I wrote in the early days was a short, enthusiastic quick blurb about my discovery of a new food. Keep reading for this vegan crockpot chili recipe and more on food blogs.
Related: Did you know you can use an Instant Pot as a crockpot?
On food blogs
After a few years of maintaining a blog, I finally started reading the words on other blogs – and found a great insight into the lives, philosophies, and dreams of beautiful people around the globe. I realized these food bloggers wrote not just about the food, but life. Some of our favorite food blogs to read? Sprouted Kitchen, Eat this Poem, The Vanilla Bean, The Faux Martha, Not Without Salt, and The First Mess.
In the beginning, we disliked writing much about our lives because we wanted it to be all about the food. And that’s partially true – the reason we love to write this food blog is because we love to share recipes with you! But we’ve realized that food and life are so intricately intertwined that it’s hard to see one without the other. Food is about people – the people who make it, and those who enjoy it. That said, we’re looking forward this year to sharing more about life, food, and everything in between.
Vegan crockpot chili ingredients
This easy vegan chili uses a handful of ingredients, plus lots of spices to add flavor. This vegan crockpot chili uses dried black beans, something we always want to use more of. The mushrooms add a nice savory note (though you could leave them out if you are not a mushroom fan). The rest of the chili is made of diced onions and garlic, plus canned tomatoes.
For the spices, we went the traditional chili route and used chili powder and chipotle powder. If you wanted a smokier chili, you could add in a little smoked paprika.
How to make vegan crockpot chili
Now, none of this was related to vegan crockpot chili. In my old days of blog writing, I would have skipped to the good part: the part where the author talked about whether the chili was good. And yes, this vegan crockpot chili recipe is darn good! It was “commissioned” by a good friend of ours who wondered whether we had any good vegan crcokpot / slow cooker recipes. Turns out we didn’t.
The basic idea for how to make this crockpot chili is very simple: slice up the onions and mushrooms and mince the garlic, and saute all of it for 5 minutes until the onions are tender. Then throw it all in a crockpot and cook for about 10 to 12 hours until the black beans are tender.
Making this crockpot chili vegan
If you’re an astute observer, you’ll notice the toppings pictured on this vegan crockpot chili are vegetarian: yes, that’s cheese! But the base recipe of this chili is vegan. Since Alex and I eat both vegetarian and vegan recipes, we added cheese to this one. To make this chili into a vegan chili, simply use vegan toppings! Here are a few of our favorite vegan chili toppings:
- Cashew cream (instead of sour cream)
- Vegan nacho cheese
- Sliced green onions
- Chopped cilantro
- Diced red onion
Does anyone have any great other vegetarian or vegan crockpot ideas? We’d love to hear them. And thanks to all of you who read the words written here. We love hearing from you and knowing you are reading!
Related: Try using our Homemade Vegetable Broth for this recipe!
What to serve with this chili
Now if you make this vegan crockpot chili, what to serve with it? Our top idea is our Easy Vegan Cornbread or Best Homemade Cornbread. It’s so tender and moist, and so easy to make! Or if you prefer, serve with a green salad to balance the heartiness of the chili. Here we’d recommend our Best Tossed Salad Recipe with Avocado Dressing. Or, we have lots more ideas: check out our best sides to go with chili!
Looking for soup recipes?
Outside of this vegan crockpot chili recipe, here are a few of our favorite soup and stew recipes:
- Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup Recipe
- Tomato Basil Gnocchi Soup
- Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower Soup
- Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup
- Tomato Coconut Cauliflower Curry
- Classic Vegetarian Chili
- Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup with Stars
- Italian Vegetable and Gnocchi Soup
This recipe is…
This vegan crockpot chili recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based and dairy-free.Print
This vegan crockpot chili recipe is a delicious, hands-off way to get dinner on the table that’s also vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.
- 1 pound dried black beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 medium yellow onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 pound baby portabella mushrooms
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- ½ tablespoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- Sliced green onions, for the garnish
- Sour cream or cashew cream, for the garnish
- The night before making the chili: Rinse and cover the black beans with water in a bowl. Soak overnight at room temperature.
- Prepare the fresh ingredients (this can be done in advance and kept in the refrigerator): Dice the medium onions, mince the garlic, and slice the mushrooms.
- Saute the vegetables (can be done in advance, or directly before on the day of making): On the stove, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Stir in the chili powder, chipotle powder, and kosher salt. Saute until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- About 10 hours before serving, discard the liquid on the beans and place the beans in a large slow cooker. Transfer the onion and mushroom mixture to the slow cooker with the beans and add the vegetable broth and crushed tomatoes. Cook on low for 10 to 12 hours until the beans are tender.
- When ready to serve, garnish with sliced green onions and sour cream or cashew cream.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Crockpot
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan Crockpot Chili, Crockpot Chili Recipe, Slow Cooker Recipes, Crockpot Recipes, Vegan Chili, Chili Recipes
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.