Vegan chili with green onions, bell peppers, and onions

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

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Slow cooker vegan chili is an easy, satisfying meal. It’s so nice to toss ingredients into the slow cooker and not need to worry about them until you’re ready to eat. Then the house fills with delicious aromas, and your dinner is ready!

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Vegan chili in white bowl
Vegan chili over basmati rice

I have been making vegetarian chili for a really long time, and have tried a lot of different ingredients. Here are some other things you can add:

  • Lentils (and check out my Spicy Lentil Chili – Instant Pot recipe too)
  • Meatless (beef style) crumbles
  • Chopped carrots
  • Corn kernels
  • Chopped celery
  • Garbanzo beans
  • A little chopped jalapeno or poblano peppers
  • Chopped scallions: the white part
  • Cocoa powder
  • Prepared coffee: about a half of a cup for a batch
  • A little brown sugar
  • Peeled, chopped sweet potatoes

Personally, I stay home whn using the slow cooker. And that’s since before that fateful episode of “This Is Us.” You just never know if an appliance could decide today is the day to spark. But, unlike using the stovetop, a slow cooker is pretty much “set it and forget it”. I have not had any problems with this recipe burning. If you feel it could use more fluid, add vegetable broth or water.

Another idea if you have more time is to make it from dried beans instead of canned. This is easy if you plan ahead as they can soak overnight. Then, cook them until tender before adding any chili ingredients (add instructions). I recently did this with a 16-bean mix.

I prefer to use canned tomatoes so I don’t have to deal with peeling and seeding them. Reduced sodium tomatoes are a good choice.

Nutrition in Beans

To me, beans are the most important part of chili. I know that some Texans would disagree with me, but beans are just the best! Vegetarians know that they are rich in protein, without including saturated fat and cholesterol like meats. They are also a good source of complex carbohydrates as a whole, nutritious plant food.

Beans contain soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber not only helps you feel full but also helps to lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. Beans are good sources of many other vitamins and minerals, like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, and vitamin B6. You can learn more about the nutrition in beans from this excellent post from the Bean Institute.

If using canned beans, I recommend low sodium ones. This recipe is gluten-free and reduced in fat as compared to a chili recipe containing meat and/or cheese.

Serving Suggestions for Vegan Chili

Chili is so versatile. It is easy to cook ahead and freeze for quick dinners or work lunches. You can eat it as is, or with any number of tasty garnishes like:

  • Chopped avocado
  • Chopped chives or green onions
  • Shredded vegan cheese
  • Non-dairy plain yogurt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Baked corn tortilla chips
  • Chopped cilantro

Try it in a burrito or in a baked corn tortilla, toasted until it’s crispy. Serve it over some brown or wild rice, quinoa, or whole-grain pasta. When I was a dietetic intern in Cincinnati, chili over spaghetti became a favorite of mine.

Chili is also terrific over a baked potato or sweet potato. Today I had it over a Yukon Gold potato, topped with a little cashew yogurt alternative and green onions.

Vegan chili on potato with cashew yogurt and green onions
Vegan chili on potato with cashew yogurt

This makes a great lunch for work. Here are some other ideas for vegetarian packed lunches.

I like to add any spicy seasonings at the table, as not everyone likes it spicy. From my perspective, this recipe is mild. I usually add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or a little hot sauce to spice it up.

More Recipes You May Enjoy

Vegan chili with green onions, bell peppers, and onions

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

Melissa Altman-Traub
Slow cooker vegan chili is an easy, satisfying meal. It's so nice to toss ingredients into the slow cooker and not need to worry about them until you're ready to eat.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Tex-Mex
Servings 4
Calories 190 kcal


  • Slow cooker


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper, red chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, orange chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 18 ounces diced tomatoes canned, with juice
  • 15.5 ounces pinto beans low sodium
  • 15.5 ounces kidney beans low sodium
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 green onions green parts only, sliced


  • Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and place the lid on top. Set on high.
  • Cook for about 4 hours.
  • Portion the chili into 4 bowls and top each bowl with sliced green onions.

Environmental Information


Feel free to use different types of beans.
Nutrition estimate is from VeryWell Fit.


Calories: 190kcal
Keyword beans, Chili, Vegan
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24 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Vegan Chili”

  1. Christie Gagnon

    5 stars
    I’m always looking for new vegan recipes. I love that I can just place everything in the slow cooker and don’t have to do much more!

  2. 5 stars
    I’m always on the lookout for new slow cooker recipes and we all love chilli in this house. I often add a small piece of dark chocolate to my chilli’s.

  3. 5 stars
    That looks delicious, my family love chilli so much its a weekly meal and is always a success, I love how this is even vegan – brilliant! Thank you for linking up with this weeks #CookBlogShare

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