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Vegan Chili

Vegan chili:  It’s vegetable chili that is meat free… but it’s GOOD! This bright and zesty garden chili is loaded with fresh garden goodies and lots of spice! You won’t even miss the meat.

Vegan Chili

Did I ever tell you I was a vegan for a week? Actually is was closer to three weeks, but then I gave it up for bacon.

A close friend came to stay with us, and her family is vegan. I have to admit, as much as I love to cook I was a little nervous to cut out all butter and dairy, eggs and meat. I get really fussy over “substitute foods” like soysage and tofurkey and wasn’t willing to go there. Yet we made it through the visit and tried some new recipes without any major hiccups.

After my friends left, it dawned on me that veganism is the one thing I had yet to try… challenge accepted.

Garden Vegan Chili

For close to three weeks I survived on beans, quinoa, other grains, fruit and loads of vegetables.

Eating a clean plant-based diet felt really healthy. Although we chose not to continue it long term, I’m glad I was a vegan for a little while. It inspired me to find new ways to prepare my veggies, and to add more vegetables to dishes I already make!

How to Make Vegan Chili

Take chili for instance. Remove the meat and you have beans and vegetables. So for this Vegan Chili, I simply added more vegetables, making a hearty vegetable chili with sweet potatoes, red peppers and fresh corn.

This Vegan Chili is perfect for summer because you can use all garden spoils.

Garden Style Vegan Chili

Vegan Chili is great served on it’s own, over baked potatoes, or as a dip with tortilla chips. It’s not only vegan; it’s also gluten free!

Vegan Chili

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Vegetable Chili with Sweet Potatoes, Red Peppers and Fresh Corn


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 ears corn, shucked and cut off the cob
  • 2 tablespoons Masa
  • 2 - 15 ounce cans black beans, drained
  • 2 - 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. Add the oil to a large pot and set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix in the red peppers, sweet potatoes corn and masa. Stir and saute another 8-10 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients (save the cilantro) and stir well.
  3. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve warm.

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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46 Responses to “Vegan Chili”

  1. Delishhhposted July 20, 2012 at 12:11 am

    YUM YUM! I have many friends that are vegan and yes it is hard to cook for them, but once you get started you are on a roll. Great recipe!


  2. Pingback: Vegan News @ KitaVeg.com » Vegan Chili — A Spicy Perspective

  3. amy @ uTryItposted July 20, 2012 at 12:49 am

    This looks so good, vegan or not I know I’ll dig in! One of my best friend is also a vegan and I learn to cook and love began food as I always host gatherings at my house. :) Thanks for sharing the recipe, I know I’ll be making this when my best friend visit the next time.


  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugarposted July 20, 2012 at 5:00 am

    This sounds fabulous!


  5. shelly (cookies and cups)posted July 20, 2012 at 7:00 am

    I bet that’s delicious! Vegan or not :)


  6. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted July 20, 2012 at 7:02 am

    I frequently do vegan chili in fall… lots of zucchini and maybe a sweet potato and some beans and canned tomatoes. Love your version here!


  7. Amandaposted July 20, 2012 at 7:15 am

    What a fabulous, light summer meal. Will be adding this to our menu!


  8. bake your dayposted July 20, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I am definitely not vegan, but I love vegan meals, and we eat at least meatless several times per week. I love all different kinds of diets and will rotate this in very soon. I love all the veggies!


  9. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted July 20, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Mmmmm…I LOVE chili brimming with fresh veggies. My kind of summer lunch!


  10. Ali @ Gimme Some Ovenposted July 20, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Love the colors!!! This looks so delicious! Bookmarking for when I have my vegan friends over… :)


  11. Jennifer @ Mother Thymeposted July 20, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Beautiful! I love all the veggies in this! Definitely adding this to our dinner menu!


  12. Angieposted July 20, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I don’t know why, it’s awfully hot, but I’ve been in the mood for chili too, this looks perfect!


  13. Shainaposted July 20, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I love how fresh this sounds with the corn and sweet potatoes.


  14. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted July 20, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I love that this chili is loaded with veggies – this is my idea of the perfect chili!


  15. Julia {The Roasted Root}posted July 20, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I’m not a vegan (or vegetarian), but I LOVE vegetable chilis! The flavor and freshness is so delicious and I could just eat bowl after bowl. Your recipe and photos look terriffic – sweet potatoes are one of my favorite veggies! I definitely would love to have a Dutch oven full of this chili!


  16. Paula - bell'alimentoposted July 20, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Sommer that looks really fresh and filling : )


  17. Lizposted July 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I agree with you 100%…I could easily go vegan for a few weeks (no meat substitutes here, either), but would succumb to a juicy hamburger or slice of bacon before the month was over. Your chili looks perfect…especially with the addition of corn and black beans. YUM.


  18. Tickled Redposted July 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

    LOL…love the bacon bit {giggle}. I could go vegan if it wasn’t for cheese. Gotta have my cheese, but if there was a bowl of this to look forward to every day I could switch in a snap! By the way substitutes weird me out as well. xoxo


  19. Tereseposted July 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    This looks delish like all you do, Sommer! Thanks for the vegan recipe!


  20. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblingsposted July 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Yum!! Bacon would bring me back to meat too!!! :)


  21. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppersposted July 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I love vegetable chili! It’s such a great and healthy way to use up vegetables! I love your dish, looks wonderful!! Yum!


  22. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted July 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    looks divine! Bookmarked


  23. Jen @ Savory SImpleposted July 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I always feel wonderful when I cut out meat and dairy. But I just can’t keep it up. I think breaks every now and then will have to suffice. This chili looks like a real crowd pleaser!


  24. Jeanetteposted July 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    What a wonderful vegan chili recipe Sommer. I had a guest a few years ago that was vegetarian, and at the time, I was so intimidated at the thought of cooking for him. This chili recipe would have been perfect. Fortunately, I have learned to cook more vegetarian and vegan foods, so now I feel very comfortable in this arena.


  25. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted July 20, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Gorgeous and delicious as always! Have a wonderful weekend :)

    Hugs <3


  26. Priya Sreeramposted July 21, 2012 at 5:59 am

    lovely- refreshing bowl of goodness in it !


  27. Jennie @themessybakerblogposted July 21, 2012 at 6:49 am

    This garden chili looks delicious. I love all of the fresh veggies studded throughout the dish.


  28. BusyWorkingMamaposted July 21, 2012 at 8:09 am

    YUM! I bet the fresh cilantro makes is extra delicious.


  29. Shawn @ I Wash...You Dryposted July 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    This look so good! Major props for being vegan for that long. I don’t know if I could last a day. Although I am looking to do a major switch up in my diet to lose some pounds…


  30. Belinda @zomppaposted July 22, 2012 at 5:17 am

    BeiNg vegan is not easy though cutting down meat is always a good idea. This version is awesome!


  31. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblingsposted July 23, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Love this- thanks for sharing!!!!


  32. Lana @ Never Enough Thymeposted July 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Wow, that looks so delicious!


  33. Kiran @ KiranTarun.composted July 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    That looks delish!! I’ve always been curious about chili, since we don’t eat beef. This is the perfect recipe to begin trying chili :)


  34. Diane {Created by Diane}posted July 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

    looks delicious! Great summer meal with all the veggies.


  35. Marlyposted July 25, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Well, you know me – vegan is a way of life. I’m proud of you for giving it a try! And no matter what, incorporating more veggies (and less meat) is SO good for us! I love, love, love the idea of adding veggies and making chili a summer kind of recipe. Can’t wait to surprise the family with this soon!


  36. Gailposted July 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I’m always looking for ways to change up the vegetables for the veg-indifferent people in my family. The beans, sweet potatoes, and corn makes this fiber rich, too… easy on my hubby’s blood sugar level without fat and protein overload! yay!


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  41. April Hunterposted March 28, 2013 at 4:38 am

    I’ve been asked to make a veggie chilli for an Easter meal on Sunday, but I wanted to somehow make your beer chilli and adapt it. Could you add beer to this recipe?


  42. Princess Shimariposted September 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Lovely looking chili. And the fact that it is Gluten free makes it more appealing. I would take out the corn for me though.
    Thanks for sharing.


  43. Morganposted October 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    My first time visiting your site was last night. I was very excited to try some of your recipes, so today my girlfriend & I cooked two of them.

    The first was your healthy tomato bisque with beans instead of heavy cream. Excellent.

    But this one just blew me away. I LOVE THIS recipe.

    There’s something magical happening here with the sweetness of the corn & sweet potatoes against the spicier elements.

    I decide to add fresh avocado as a topping and a dash of hot sauce.

    One of my new favorite meals and I look forward to making this for years to come!

    Thank you so much for creating this recipe for us!


    PS: I’m not even vegan nor vegetarian, so I was totally expecting a good, but not exceptional experience. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 5 Stars!


    • Sommer — October 25th, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

      Thanks Morgan! Of course, I love hearing this kind of feedback. You made my day!


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