Let's Talk Vegan

Hearty Crock-Pot Chili (Protein-Packed)

This protein-packed chili is thick and hearty, spiced to perfection with fresh jalapenos. Dump everything in a crock-pot, then come home to dinner ready.

Whatever you use, if it's a crock-pot, slow cooker, or instant cooker, one thing is for certain - this recipe is super easy. You just need 15 minutes to cut up the vegetables and open the cans of beans to make this ultimate chili.

This recipe is also inexpensive. The beans, canned goods, and vegetables are all budget-friendly ingredients. So, if you're a student, are budget-conscious, or someone who really enjoys a bowl of chili, you're in the right place.

Bowl of vegan chiliChili Pinterest asset

What To Do With leftovers

Crock-pots are a kitchen essential, but they can leave you with a lot of leftovers, and eating the same meal for a week isn’t the most ideal.

But, don't let that spook you, here are some ways you can get value out of any leftover chili you may have:

  1. Chili Dogs
  2. Chili Cheese Fries
  3. Chili Mac and Cheese
  4. Chili Cheese Dip
  5. Or you can freeze some for the next time you're craving chili

How to Make Your Chili More Flavourful

Your chili will only be as good as the ingredients you put into it. So, use fresh, crisp veggies to help enhance the flavour of the soup/stew naturally.

Also, the quality of the spices will have an impact on the flavour. With that being said, use good quality whole spices (look in local ethnic markets).

How to Make Homemade Crock-Pot Chili

STEP 1: Add Bean-Based Protein

Start by turning the heat on your crockpot to high. Then, add the kidney beans and black beans to the crockpot, followed by the can of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Can of black beans, kidney beans, and crushed tomatoes

STEP 2: Vegetables & Spice

After you cut the veggies (celery, mushrooms, and onion), add them to the crock-pot/slow cooker.

Now time to spice, this will transform the spaghetti sauce into a gourmet chili. Stir in the:

  • cumin, minced jalapeño, parsley, bay leaves, minced garlic, and chili powder.

Next, add about 1/2 cup of water or just enough to fill your crock-pot to the top. I used a 4-quart crock-pot, so depending on your size, you may need a little less.

Crock-pot of vegan chili

Now for the fun part -do nothing. Leave your chili to cook for 4-5 hours, on high.

Bowl of vegan chili

Ways to Increase the Spiciness (Pungency)

I used minced jalapeño to spice the chili in this recipe, which gives it a nice, but not overbearing, spice. Although, if you want your chili to really have some heat, add a small-minced habanero pepper instead of the jalapeño.

Click here for other ways you can make your chili spicy.

How to Manage Spice

Alternatively, if your chili is too spicy, you can add 1-2 tbsp of an acidic liquid such as apple cider, white, or balsamic vinegar. Tomatoes are also quite acidic, which helps reduce the spice.

Other ways to manage spice is to sweeten it with corn or dilute it with some of the other main ingredients (tomato sauce or beans).

Fun Fact: You can actually build up a tolerance for spicy foods.

What to Put on Top of Your Chili

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Vegan sour cream
  • Chunks of avocado or guacamole
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • Black olives
  • fresh lime

Hearty Crock-Pot Chili (Protein-Packed)

This protein-packed chili is thick and hearty, spiced to perfection with fresh jalapenos. Dump everything in a crock-pot, then come home to dinner ready.
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time
4-5 Hours
9 People
  1. Turn the heat setting on your crockpot to high.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, and black beans.
  3. Next, stir in the sliced celery and mushrooms, along with the chopped onions, and minced garlic and jalapeño pepper.
  4. Then, add the spices: the cumin, chili powder, parsley, and dried bay leaves.
  5. Finally, mix in enough water to fill the crockpot to the top (about 1/2 cup).
  6. Reduce the heat setting to low on the crockpot and cook for 4-5 hours.
  • If you don't want the chili to be spicy, only add half the jalapeño. You can always add half, let cook, taste test, and then add more.