Easy Vegan Southwestern-Style Chili Recipe

Photo Credit: Allyson Kramer
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
234 Calories
3g Fat
37g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1350mg 59%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 14%
Dietary Fiber 15g 52%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 12mg 58%
Calcium 124mg 10%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 1150mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cooking chili can easily be an all-day affair, but this vegan chili is not only effortless but versatile.

Slowly simmering the ingredients is what generally gives chili its rich and irresistible flavor. In this recipe, premade salsa, which is packed with flavor, is used to quickly and easily replicate the taste of chili that has simmered all day long.

For best flavor and texture, seek out​ a salsa that is available in the refrigerated section of your favorite grocery store rather than jarred salsa found on grocers' shelves, which tends to have a "creamier" texture than freshly made.

This recipe calls for textured vegetable protein, also known as TVP, but if you find yourself with other types of vegan meat substitutes on hand, feel free to use them or simply add more mushrooms.

If you're not a fan of black beans, try pinto, kidney, chickpeas, or a variety of cooked beans instead.


  • 1 cup TVP, soaked with 7/8 cup water or as instructed on package

  • 2 teaspoons oil, such as olive or canola

  • 1/2 cup chopped cremini or button mushrooms

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, or 1 (1.25-ounce) packet chili seasoning

  • 2 (12-ounce) containers fresh mild salsa

  • 1 (16-ounce) can vegetarian refried beans

  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese, optional

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large pot or shallow stockpot, add soaked TVP, cooking oil, cremini or button mushrooms, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  3. Toss well using a small spatula and then cook over medium to medium-high heat until TVP is browned and mushrooms are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.

  4. Add packet of chili seasoning and cook an additional 1 minute over medium heat.

  5. Add salsa, refried beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, and cheddar cheese (if using). Stir well to combine while cooking over medium heat.​

  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for an additional 15 minutes, and up to 30, stirring often to prevent chili from sticking and burning.

  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool briefly. Before serving, top with cilantro and any other toppings you enjoy (crushed tortilla chips, guacamole, vegan sour cream, etc.).

Storing and Freezing

  • Store leftover chili in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator.
  • To freeze cooked chili, transfer it to an airtight freezer-safe container and store for up to two months in the freezer. To thaw, simply heat over medium heat in a saucepan until warmed throughout.

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