Fast and Easy Whole Food Plant Based Chili

Fast and Easy Whole Food Plant Based Chili

Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition and Inspiration

Some days I’m just uninspired. But since I’m a blogger a wife, and a mom, laziness just doesn’t fly. I have to overcome the Resistance (Steven Pressfield-ism) and just move forward with my to-do list, even when I just don’t wanna (insert major sigh here).

It’s March in Chicago. One day it’s warmish, the next day it’s snowing buckets and you’re scraping frost off the car.

Those cold days in March and April make me ornery and lazy. Such was a day last Tuesday, when I failed to weekend batch. I was too tired to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen.

So, after staring in the pantry and fridge like they were tag-teaming a riveting mini series, I made a nice WFPB chili with items typically found in the pantry and the fridge.

vegetable chili in white bowl

This Chili Doesn’t Make Itself, But Almost

It’s a traditional chili, but contains a few surprising ingredients. It’s spicy, but not hot. It has a great depth of flavor, and can be amped up with toppings like avocado, spring onions, or even a plant-based sour “cream.” It only takes 15 minutes to throw together, and the recipe is is easy to change to your palate.

Legumes are nutrient dense, full of fibre and protein, and are budget-friendly. They’re also a great source of plant-based B vitamins, as well as micro nutrients like iron, zinc, and magnesium. You can really use any kind of beans in this recipe and either dried or canned. If you use canned, look for brands that are BPA-free and unsalted.

This meal is cheap to make, too, and feeds at least three or four hearty appetites.

If you have leftovers, reheat the chili to reduce the liquid, and use it as a nacho topper, or as a filling for plant-based tacos.

I hope you love this. Let me know what you think! If you change it up, let me know what you did to make it your own.

Fast and Easy Whole Food Plant Based Chili

March 21, 2019
: 15 min
: 45 min

Feel free to switch out the beans to those you like. Add as much chili powder or cayenne as well. Make it your own!


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder (or cayenne)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 black pepper
  • chopped bell pepper (I used red)
  • 1 chopped onion (again, I used red!)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat pastry flour is best)
  • 1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 small can of green chiles (chopped if whole)
  • 2 15 ounce cans of beans (I used pinto and cannellini)
  • 2 to 3 cups of vegetable broth (low or no salt)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup of frozen corn (or used no salt canned)
  • Step 1 Measure spices and combine in a small bowl and set aside (chili powder through black pepper)
  • Step 2 Heat a large stock pot or Dutch oven to medium
  • Step 3 When the pan is hot, add the onion and bell pepper to the pan. Given them a stir when they start to brown, and add a couple of tablespoons of water if they try to burn Continue to cook for 4 or 5 minutes, then add the garlic
  • Step 4 Stir one minute more
  • Step 5 Add the flour and stir for just a minute
  • Step 6 Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste and green chiles and stir for a couple minutes until the flour is browning.
  • Step 7 Add the vegetable broth and then scrape up any brown bits stuck to the pan
  • Step 8 Add both cans of beans (drained) and the maple syrup.
  • Step 9 Bring the pot to a simmer, cover with a crack and let simmer for 30 minutes or so
  • Step 10 Add the frozen corn, bring back to a simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes
  • Step 11 Feel free to simmer until your desired thickness is achieved. Add more veggie broth if it’s too thick, simmer longer if it’s too thin for you
  • Step 12 Serve it up and optionally top with chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, and avocado


vegetable chili white bowl



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