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The easiest 4-bean vegan chili slow cooker recipe (or Instant Pot/ Stove). It’s packed with nutrients, bold flavors, and only inexpensive, basic pantry ingredients! This slow-cooker vegetarian chili is also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and vegan – everyone will love it!

completed Vegan Bean Chili plated in a bowl against a light background
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The Easiest, Budget-Friendly, Best Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

If there were one dish that perfectly represents PBOAB, it would be this 4-bean vegan chili slow cooker recipe. It’s hearty, cozy, comforting, and packed with nutrients, but it won’t break the bank. More so, it’s ridiculously simple to prepare, with just minutes of prep before you dump everything in a slow cooker to do all the work. Best of all, this vegan bean chili is super crowd-pleasing to impress vegans and meat eaters alike!

Honestly, this one-pot vegan slow cooker chili is one of the easiest, laziest, and cheapest recipes of all time—and you’d never guess! Thrown together from four types of beans, several vegetables, and a handful of other inexpensive pantry staples, this hands-off recipe cooks it low and slow in a crockpot to allow all the bold flavor to meld to perfection.

It’s also loaded with plant-based protein and fiber but low in calories and fat, making it perfect for a satisfying meal any time of the day (especially loaded with all your favorite toppings). And, if you don’t have the patience to wait until this easy slow cooker vegan chili is ready, we’ve also included instructions for stovetop and Instant Pot vegan chili versions!

Best of all, you can prepare a big batch of this to enjoy throughout the week or freeze leftovers for another time. We honestly can’t get enough of it! Plus, if you’re looking for more hearty chili recipes, you might also enjoy this one-pot pumpkin chili, quinoa sweet potato chili, or creamy roasted red pepper chili!

The Vegan Bean Chili Ingredients and Substitutes

We pack this slow cooker vegetarian chili recipe with inexpensive, pantry-staple, good-for-you ingredients.

ingredients for Crockpot Four Bean Chili measured out against a white surface
  • Beans: You need 4 cans of beans (regular or reduced sodium); any beans will do. We love mixing black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas) to make a hearty four-bean chili, but you can use whatever you have in your pantry.
  • Aromatics: You’ll need garlic and onion (red, white, or yellow) for this slow cooker vegetarian chili recipe. Use garlic and onion powder in a pinch.
  • Tomatoes: You’ll need a combination of tomato paste and a can of diced or crushed tomatoes (juices included) for added tomatoey depth. Fire-roasted tomatoes work best, but any will do.
  • Vegetables: We use a simple and fairly typical combination of veggies in this crock pot meatless chili, including:
    • Bell pepper (green, orange, or red bell pepper)
    • Corn (canned or frozen)
  • Spices: You’ll need ground cumin, salt, and chili powder (or cayenne powder). Adjust the amount to taste.
  • Water: To bring the mixed bean chili to the correct consistency. For more flavor, use low-sodium vegetable broth.

The Add-ins and Variations:

  • Other vegetables: You could enjoy several other vegetables in this crockpot bean chili. Our favorites include:
    • Carrot
    • Celery
    • Sweet potato (½-inch pieces. Increase cooking time)
  • Smoked paprika: For a subtle smoky flavor, add a pinch and increase to taste.
  • Lemon/Lime juice: Serve the crock pot vegetarian chili with lemon or lime wedges to squeeze into the chili when serving.
  • Herbs & Spices: Increase the flavor of this vegan/vegetarian chili crock pot recipe further with the addition of:
    • Oregano (add ¼-½ tsp)
    • Parsley (ditto above)
    • Cinnamon (just a pinch)
    • Bay leaves (1-2 leaves, discarded before serving)
  • Green chilies: Fresh or a can of diced green chilies for extra flavor and heat.
  • Chipotle in adobo sauce: It’s smokey, spicy, and perfect for this vegan bean chili. Start with just a teaspoon, and increase to taste.
  • Sugar: If the canned tomatoes are very acidic, add some sugar (a large pinch) to balance the flavors.  

How to Make Vegan Chili In A Slow Cooker 

If you didn’t believe us when we said this vegan slow cooker chili recipe is literally one of the easiest vegan meals, get ready to be blown away with this 2-step slow cooker recipe!

Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions.

  • 1) First, prepare the vegetables by finely chopping the onion and bell pepper (seeds and top removed, finely dicing or shredding the zucchini, and mincing the garlic.
  • 2) Then, throw everything into the crock pot, mix thoroughly, and cook over LOW for 4-6 hours or HIGH for 1-2 hours, stirring every hour or so. Add more liquid if needed.

Taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference, then serve the vegan bean chili with your toppings of choice!

Instant Pot Vegan Chili

You can prepare it in the Instant Pot in no time at all. Just throw everything into it and cook on manual HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. Once done, carefully use the quick release and enjoy!

For extra flavor, use the sauté function with the onion, garlic, and pepper for 3-4 minutes, then add the spices and cook for a further 1-2 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients.

Stove Top Vegan Bean Chili

Finally, if you don’t have an Instant Pot but want this vegan bean chili from the kitchen to table in about 30 minutes, give this stovetop version a go.  

  1. We like adding extra flavor depth to the stovetop version by first sautéing the onion, garlic, and bell pepper for 4-5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the spices and cook for a further minute. Then add in all the remaining ingredients, stir, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the chili for 20-30 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Simmer for even longer for further ‘developed’ flavors, up to an hour – adding more water/broth if needed.

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Cut veggies evenly: So they cook evenly.
  • For a creamier consistency: You can either use an immersion blender directly in the crockpot or transfer a small amount of the beans to a blender to blend until creamy, then mix back into the chili.
  • Adjust the amount of liquid: Add more water (or vegetable broth) based on how ‘soupy’ you’d prefer the vegan chili slow cooker recipe.
completed Vegan Bean Chili plated in a bowl against a light background

What Are The Best Vegan Chili Toppings?

The simplicity of this slow cooker vegetarian chili means we usually have some energy to spare for serving time, perfect for preparing some of our favorite chili toppings. Choose from any of the below to complete your dish.

  • Tortilla chips or strips
  • Cilantro, parsley, or scallions
  • Avocado slices or guacamole
  • Jalapeno chili slices (fresh or pickled)
  • Hot sauce
  • Fresh salsa—like Pico de Gallo
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Vegan sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Vegan cheese—like vegan feta or cheddar

What Else To Serve With Chili?

Along with your favorite toppings, optionally enjoy this crockpot vegan chili with a side of cornbread (skillet or jalapeno baked) or some crusty bread. You could also enjoy it with brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or over a baked sweet potato.

You can also stir leftovers into cooked pasta for a simple chili mac or enjoy it over vegan nachos.

Storage Instructions

Allow the vegan bean chili to cool, then store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Alternatively, freeze it for up to 3 months. Then, leave it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it.

This vegan chili slow cooker recipe tastes even better on day two, so we’re a big fan of making it a day in advance, too!

We like to reheat the chili gently on the stovetop or in the microwave (in 30-second increments, stirring in between) until piping hot. If it’s thickened up too much, add an extra splash of water or vegetable broth.

More Ways to Enjoy Beans

You might also enjoy this collection of 59 Ways to Use a Can of Beans.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Vegan Bean Chili [Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, Stove]

4.95 from 73 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6 -8 servings
The easiest 4-bean vegan chili slow cooker recipe (or Instant Pot/ Stove). It’s packed with nutrients, bold flavors, and only inexpensive, basic pantry ingredients! This slow-cooker vegetarian chili is also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and vegan – everyone will love it!

Ingredients 

  • 1 small yellow or red onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small green or red bell pepper diced
  • 1 small zucchini grated
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans of black beans drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of pinto beans drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of kidney beans drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of garbanzo beans drained
  • ½ cup of frozen corn kennels
  • 3 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
  • ½ cup of water
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions 

  • Throw all the ingredients in a crock pot and mix thoroughly. Cook on low for at least four hours, stirring occasionally (every hour or so).
  • Alternatively, if you have an Instant Pot, you can throw everything in there and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes with a quick release.

Notes

  • Cut veggies evenly: So they cook evenly.
  • For a creamier consistency: You can either use an immersion blender directly in the crockpot or transfer a small amount of the beans to a blender to blend until creamy, then mix back into the chili.
  • Adjust the amount of liquid: Add more water (or vegetable broth) based on how ‘soupy’ you’d prefer the vegan chili slow cooker recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 17gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 652mgPotassium: 1236mgFiber: 17gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1089IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 144mgIron: 7mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Method: Slow Cooker
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto
4.95 from 73 votes (67 ratings without comment)

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