bowl of vegan chili with toppings and blue towel

Ultimate Vegan Chili

This Ultimate Vegan Chili is sure to please even the most devout of meat-eaters! Meaty, flavorful and protein-rich, this chili is over-the-top delicious. Serve with vegan cornbread, cashew sour cream and chives for the best results!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 388kcal
Author Nora Taylor


Meaty Tofu Crumbles

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce/ tamari (for gluten free)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • (1) 14-ounce firm tofu


  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • (2) 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • (2) 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • (1) 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste


For the Tofu Crumbles:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, nutritional yeast, chili powder and smoked paprika. It will be pasty. Now crumble the tofu into the bowl with your hands, and mix together using a large spoon until well combined with the paste.
  • Spread the tofu mixture evenly in the pan. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring the tofu halfway through. Once the tofu is in the oven, start the chili.

For the Chili:

  • In a large pot over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of water OR olive oil. Add the chopped onion and saute 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add in the garlic and cook 1 more minute, stirring constantly. Add more water if needed to prevent burning.
  • Now add all the rest of the chili ingredients, except the tofu, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the tofu crumbles are done baking. 
  • If a thicker consistency is desired, use an immersion blender and blend just a few times. Do this before you add the tofu, preferably. 
  • Once the tofu crumbles are done, stir them into the pot. All done! Serve with vegan sour cream, cornbread, tortilla chips, cilantro, tomatoes, hot sauce, vegan cheese shreds and/or chives if desired.


  1. For gluten free, make sure to use tamari instead of soy sauce.
  2. May omit the tofu crumbles if desired, or replace them with vegan beef crumbles (such as Gardein brand, Beyond Meat or Smartground.) 
  3. May substitute diced tomatoes for the crushed tomatoes if desired. I prefer not to have large canned tomato chunks in my chili.
  4. This chili will keep in the fridge for about 4 days, and also freezes well.
  5. Inspired by It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1080mg | Potassium: 1669mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 2324IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 282mg | Iron: 10mg