As a native Texan, I’m well acquainted with the intense chili debate in this country. Regional chili iterations are the subject of spirited controversy with the decision to include or exclude beans firing up all sides. The Texas in me has a knee-jerk inclination towards team no beans, but as a vegan native Texan, I’m breaking all the rules anyway, so let’s bring on the beans!
I love everything about chili. The spicy warmth from the chili powder, smoked paprika, and garlic. The satisfying protein from the beans and the acidic loveliness of the tomato sauce base. Yum. Add a piece of warm green chili cornbread and I’m on cloud nine. Give me a glass of red wine and my heart and soul are warmed from the inside out. Few meals are so homey and satisfying.
If you make this vegan chili and drink some wine, let me know how it goes. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #plantandvine on Instagram.
vegan chili and wine pairings
This hearty vegan chili goes well with a lot of wine. The main thing you want to avoid is overdoing the tannins. If you go too bold on your wine pairing, you risk making your wine taste much more bitter than it actually is because the tannins start competing with the chili powder and pepper spice of the chili. Instead, play to the body and flavor of the vegan chili with a medium tannin red, light white, or rosé. Pro tip – lightly chill your red if you want to bring down the boldness an additional notch. If you want to learn more about wine pairing, check out my vegan food and wine pairing guide.
- GSM Blend: Grenache – Syrah – Mourvèdre blend with flavors of blackberry, raspberry, lavender, and baking spices. The blend of these three grapes makes for a smooth red.
- Suggested Regions: Southern Rhône, France or La Mancha, Spain
- Syrah: Fruity and big-bodied with medium tannins. Flavors of blueberry, plum, tobacco, and blackberry will add fruity complexity to your meal.
- Suggested Regions: Central Coast, California or Clare Valley, Australia
- Zinfandel: I love Zinfandel. It’s fruity like the Syrah but lighter-bodied and creamier in its tannins and mouthfeel. Blackberry, strawberry, sweet tobacco, and raisin.
- Suggested Regions: Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, or Lodi, California
Hearty Vegan Chili
Hearty vegan chili. Delicious and easy to make. Warm up with a bowl of chili, a slice of buttered cornbread, and a glass of wine.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Vegan, Vegetarian, Healthy, Main
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American, Vegan, Healthy
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnishing
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or lime juice, to taste
- Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, vegan cheese
- Warm the olive oil over medium heat in large Dutch Oven or pot. Once oil is heated and shimmering, add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, jalapeño, and salt. Cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the fresh garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, and garlic powder. Cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
- Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, pinto beans, vegetable broth and bay leaves to the Dutch Oven. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. You want a gentle simmer at this stage.
- Remove the chili from heat. To make chili thicker and less soup-like, transfer about 1/3 of the chili to a blender. Pulse or blend gently until desired thickness is reached. I went for a roughly blended, thick soup.
- Pour the blended mixture back into the pot. Add the chopped cilantro and vinegar, to taste. Add additional salt to bring out all of the flavors, chili powder for more heat, smoked paprika for smokiness, or garlic powder for garlicky wonderfulness.
- Divide the mixture into bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice.
- Store covered in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
*Recipe is a guide. Adapt as desired.
Keywords: vegan chili, easy vegan chili, hearty vegan chili, vegetarian chili