This "meaty" vegan Mushroom Chili recipe combines black beans, pinto beans, and warm spices. It's super easy to prepare, protein-rich, and so flavorful and satisfying! (Gluten-free, oil-free.)
This meatless Mushroom Chili is warm, flavorful, and incredibly satisfying!
Mushrooms are a great meat substitute because they have a firm, thick texture. They add a lot of hearty richness to this chili. So it tastes "meaty" but without the meat!
Then we combine them with two types of beans for extra plant-based protein, fiber, and iron. (With no cholesterol!)
Plus everyone can personalize their bowl with their own favorite toppings. I'm a big fan of diced avocado on my chili.
Ingredients for Mushroom Chili
For this recipe you will simmer in a large pot on the stove:
- Yellow onion: Or substitute sweet onion or white onion if desired.
- Red bell pepper: Most often I use red, but any color will work like green bell pepper, yellow, or orange. Poblano pepper is also a great addition.
- Fresh garlic cloves: I like the flavor of fresh garlic in this chili, but you can easily substitute dried garlic powder if needed.
- Fresh mushrooms: Most often I use an equal mixture of white button mushrooms and cremini mushrooms. But portobello works great too. We will use one pound total for this recipe.
- Crushed tomatoes: You will need a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. However if you can't find this, substitute with a 15 oz. can tomato sauce + 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (or fire-roasted tomatoes). A dollop of tomato paste can also be used to thicken the broth.
- Vegetable broth: Be sure to use low-sodium broth if desired.
- Black beans
- Pinto beans: Or you can use another can of black beans, or kidney beans instead. Simply use two cans of beans, whatever varieties you prefer.
- Chili powder: This recipe is fairly mild as written if using a mild chili powder. If you are concerned about the spice, simply cut back on the chili powder, and increase the other seasonings. Most chili powders have only a slight hint of heat, but it can vary depending on how much cayenne pepper they contain.
- Ground cumin
- Smoked paprika
- Dried oregano
Want to "hide" the mushrooms? If you have picky eaters, or don't care for larger mushroom chunks, simply use a food processor to finely mince them instead! This way they will just blend right into the broth for some thick, hearty texture behind the scenes without the visible mushrooms.
Make it spicy: To spice it up, add chipotle in adobo sauce, jalapeno, medium diced green chiles, a dash of ground dried chipotle peppers, or cayenne pepper. Or simply top with your favorite hot sauce to taste before serving.
Vegetables: Add other veggies as you see fit such as zucchini, sweet corn, poblano pepper, etc.
Make it "beefy": Stir in your favorite vegan ground beef crumbles if desired. I suggest cooking these separately according to package instructions, then stirring them in at the end of cook time. You can either add these in addition to the beans, or in place of one can of beans.
Chili powder note: If you're unsure how spicy your chili powder is, and want to proceed with caution for kids or sensitive tongues, simply reduce the chili powder amount and add more of the other spices instead!
Garnish your bowl with your favorite toppings before serving. Some ideas include:
- Diced avocado, green onions, or fresh cilantro
- Crumbled tortilla chips for crunch
- Cooked brown rice or quinoa
- Vegan cheddar cheese shreds (or other dairy-free cheese)
- Dollop of vegan sour cream
- Hot sauce
- Lime wedges
Tip: This chili is also great spooned over a hot baked potato or with cornbread on the side!
Let the chili cool, then carefully transfer and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. We find it keeps for about 4-5 days.
Freezing note: I have not tried this recipe as a freezer meal, however I'm guessing it would do great. Just be sure to let it cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container.
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 red bell pepper (or other color)
- 1 lb. mushrooms (white button, cremini, portobello, etc.)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth (or up to 1.5 cups)
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 15 oz. can pinto beans (or kidney beans)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- Toppings (optional): avocado, fresh cilantro, sliced green onion, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, tortilla chips, hot sauce
- Dice onion and bell pepper. Chop mushrooms (tough stems removed).
- In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté onion and bell pepper for about 6-7 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. broth/water for oil-free sauté method, adding more as needed.)
- Meanwhile, mince garlic.
- When onion is softened, add spices: chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano. Stir. Then add garlic and mushrooms. Stir again and sauté 2-3 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes, broth, and both beans (rinsed and drained).
- Bring to a light boil. Then cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for about 25 minutes.
- Serve with any desired toppings. (I like avocado and hot sauce.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
If you are enjoying this meat-free mushroom chili recipe with black beans + pinto beans, also check out:
- Vegan Creamy Mushroom Soup
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
- Summer Vegetable Chili
- Fiesta Three Bean Chili