I do like spicy food. I’ve spent a lot of time in places like Thailand sweating over a papaya salad when I’d forgotten to ask for it to be served mild and it came with ten tons of chili in it!
But when it was time to make this vegan chili I was honestly shocked to be reading recipes using 2 Tablespoons of chili powder in their chili. But I thought I would suspend my disbelief and give it a try.
So I did. The only problem is I didn’t realize that the spice I had was pure ground chili. It was not a spice mix, it was pure ground up chilis. Whereas presumably what these other recipes were using is a spice blend designed for making chili, which contains other spices too, so is not nearly so hot.
Well….. let’s just say I took one bite and went into a coughing fit! In-between coughing I was screaming for juice… needless to say, it wasn’t pretty.
The magic amount of chili powder
The magic amount of pure chili powder for us turned out to be 1 teaspoon! Needless to say, a massive difference!
I used a little cayenne too, and some other spices, and it’s warm your cheeks in winter spicy! You get a little bit of a sweat going. You definitely need something to drink on the side!
So…. if you’re using a chili spice blend, then you can go ahead and use 2 Tablespoons of it. But make very sure it’s a blend. If it is a blend it’ll likely have things like garlic powder, oregano and cumin in it.
But if you’re using pure chili powder like we do in our recipe, pure ground up chilis and nothing else, then start with 1 teaspoon and use with caution!
Even if you like the spicy stuff, 1 teaspoon has probably got you well covered. If you don’t like spicy food and want a mild version, use 1/2 teaspoon.
How to make homemade vegan chili
This is a very simple recipe. You start off with sautéeing some onions and garlic with olive oil in a pot until softened.
Then you add in some chopped celery and carrots and toss up with the onions.
Then comes some canned tomatoes, vegetable stock and tomato paste and bring that all to a simmer before adding in some kidney beans, black beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and paprika.
Let that all simmer together until the veggies are softened and the flavors have blended together beautifully.
Add in a little brown sugar (or coconut sugar) for flavor balance, sea salt and black pepper to taste and dinner is ready.
How to serve vegan chili
This is divine served with a dollop of plain cashew cream, it cuts the spiciness perfectly and adds an extra layer of total deliciousness to this meal. It is also great with some vegan sour cream if you want more of a tang.
My preference is for the plain cashew cream (as pictured here), I feel that the more plain option works better to alleviate the spiciness of the dish.
Some fresh basil and chopped chives are also great accompaniments.
I really think you will love this delicious vegan chili recipe, it is:
- So satisfying
- Hearty and comforting
- Perfect for cold nights
Leftovers are delicious the next day and this keeps perfectly in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also freeze it if you want to keep it for longer.
More spicy vegan dinner recipes!
If you like a bit of spiciness in your food then our vegan kung pao tofu is right up your street. Our vegan green curry, vegan massaman curry and vegan coconut curry are all delicious options as well.
So what do you think of this spicy vegan chili? Let us know in the comments and please rate the recipe too, it’s so helpful, thank you.
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This vegan chili is ‘warm your cheeks in winter’ spicy and deliciously hearty and comforting. Served with a dollop of cashew cream and some fresh herbs it’s a flavorful and satisfying plant based dinner that you’ll want to repeat many times over!
For the Chili:
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion (Chopped)
- 2 tsp Crushed Garlic
- 2 Medium Stalks Celery (Sliced)
- 2 Medium Carrots (Sliced)
- 2 14oz (400g) Cans Chopped Tomato
- 1 cup (240ml) Vegetable Stock
- 1/2 cup (130g) Tomato Paste
- 1 15oz (425g) Can Kidney Beans (Drained)
- 1 15oz (425g) Can Black Beans (Drained)
- 1 tsp Chili Powder*
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (or Coconut Sugar)
- Sea Salt To Taste
- Cashew Cream
- Chopped Chives
- Fresh Basil
- Cooked Basmati Rice
- In a large pot, sauté the onion and the garlic in the olive oil until soft.
- Add the celery and carrot and sauté with the onions.
- Then add the canned tomato, vegetable stock and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the drained kidney beans and black beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and paprika and stir in.
- Simmer uncovered until the vegetables are cooked and the flavors have blended beautifully together.
- Add in the brown sugar and sea salt to taste.
- Serve with cashew cream, chopped chives, fresh basil leaves and with or without rice.
*This recipe assumes you’ll be using full strength pure chili powder as we did, and not a chili blend. However, if you do want to use a blend (if yours is a blend it will include other mild spices like garlic powder, oregano, cumin etc) then you’ll want to use more than we’ve used here, up to 2 Tablespoons, but taste test and see how you go.
*This is a spicy, but flavorful dish. If you prefer milder food and are using the pure chili powder, start with 1/2 teaspoon.
*Nutritional information is for chili only, without optional add-ons like cashew cream or rice.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 335
- Sugar: 21.8g
- Sodium: 908mg
- Fat: 5.6g
- Saturated Fat: 0.8g
- Carbohydrates: 60.3g
- Fiber: 17.8g
- Protein: 14.7g
Keywords: vegan chili