Looking for a hearty and flavorful meat-free dinner that’s perfect for a chilly night? This Vegan Chili Con Carne Slow Cooker Recipe is sure to hit the spot. It’s packed with plant-based protein, lots of nutrients, and it’s incredibly easy to make. Just toss all the ingredients into your slow cooker pot and let it do its magic.
Chili con carne is a classic dish and possibly one of the most popular recipes on the internet. But, when you look into its history, no one has a definitive answer about where it originated. According to National Geographic, some people say Mexico, others are convinced it’s Spain.
Another point of debate is whether chili should or shouldn’t include beans. The argument for and against beans seems evenly split down the middle, depending on where you live.
In the UK, where I’m based, every chili I’ve eaten proudly includes beans. So, I guess you could say it may have something to do with where I grew up, but this recipe is definitely “for” beans.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Depending on where you are in the world, this dish may be a Chili Con Carne, Chilli Con Carne, Chile Con Carne, or being Vegan you may even want to call it a Chilli Non-Carne. Whatever you name it, this is a great recipe for you if you are:
- in need of a hearty bowl of COMFORT FOOD
- looking to increase your veggie intake and load your body with protective ANTIOXIDANTS
- wanting to eat more HEART-HEALTHY beans
- seeking a tasty MEAT-FREE meal
- searching for BATCH COOK recipes at a really AFFORDABLE price
- an owner of a slow cooker, crock pot, or instant pot looking for EASY recipes that taste DELICIOUS too!
- COOKING FOR A CROWD as it’s easily scalable. To make a double batch, simply adjust the serving size in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
To make this delicious slow cook chili recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Chili Con Carne Spice Mix: Making your own chili spice mix for classic chili recipe vibes couldn’t be easier. We’re using a blend of simple ingredients, including ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, garlic granules, dried oregano, chili powder (or cayenne pepper), smoked paprika, cocoa powder*, salt, and pepper. You can use garlic powder or fresh minced garlic cloves if you don’t have garlic granules.
- Vegetables: This chili is a rainbow of vegetables packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It’s loaded with celery, zucchini (courgette), eggplant (aubergine), red pepper, tomatoes, sweet potato, onion, and red chili peppers. But you can use whatever combination of vegetables you love!
- Mixed Beans: Some beans are firm and hold their shape well, and others are softer and more creamy. So, it’s nice to have a variety to add texture. Any combination of white beans, red kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, black-eyed beans, borlotti beans, haricot beans, and butter beans will work.
- Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree): For flavor! And to thicken the sauce.
- Coconut Aminos: Adds a deep, rich, umami (or savory) flavor. I often use it as a low-sugar alternative to Worcestershire Sauce. I use Biona Coconut Aminos.
*Cocoa Powder: You might be surprised to see chocolate in the spice mix, but it’s a simple ingredient that takes a good chili to a fantastic chili. It adds so much richness. But don’t worry. You won’t taste it.
Making this delicious and vegan chili with mixed beans recipe is so simple! Check it out.
These visual step-by-step instructions provide a quick overview of the recipe. You can find the recipe card with the full list of ingredients and detailed instructions at the bottom of this post. ⇩
1: Add all the prepared ingredients into the slow cooker pot, and mix well.
2: Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Then, serve and enjoy!
Chili is perfect for batch cooking! If you’re new to batch cooking, let me inspire you to jump on board the batch train with this vegan chili con carne slow cooker recipe. It’s truly a game-changer when it comes to reclaiming your time.
The idea of batch cooking is to cook larger portions of foods that can be portioned up and refrigerated or frozen so that you can have healthy homemade ready meals available for times when you don’t want to cook from scratch.
Some people batch cook at weekends, so they have meals available throughout the week. Some people choose to stock up the freezer and pull out portions much more randomly, so they are not eating the same thing every day.
Either way, the principle is to COOK ONCE and EAT MULTIPLE TIMES. This will:
- Save you heaps of time in the kitchen, so you have more time to do the things you love.
- Removes the temptation to call for a takeaway because you already have food ready prepared. You just need to heat it up.
- Saves you loads of money on the above-said takeaways
- Buying food in bulk can often be cheaper than buying smaller portions, so you can save money there too.
Don’t have all the ingredients or want to make some swaps? No problem. Here are some simple substitutions for you to try:
- Chili Spice Mix: Feel free to sub with a ready-made natural sugar-free chili seasoning blend.
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes start to break down the longer they are cooked, which adds so much extra flavor and a hint of sweetness to the sauce. It also helps to thicken the sauce naturally. Pumpkin, butternut squash, or regular potatoes can also work well here.
- Aubergine (Eggplant): You can use mushrooms or extra zucchini as a substitute for eggplant.
- Courgette (Zucchini): Replace zucchini with yellow squash or extra eggplant.
- Red Bell Pepper: Sub with green or yellow bell peppers.
- Red Chilli (Chili): Use milder chili varieties or less of it if you prefer less heat. Red chili flakes are a good addition if you want an extra spicy chili.
- Canned Tomatoes: You can use fresh diced tomatoes as a substitute for canned ones.
- Coconut Aminos: Tamari or soy sauce is a good alternative for coconut aminos.
Beans can help control appetite. They are a good source of fiber and protein, which slows digestion and makes you feel full. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy choice for people who are trying to lose weight. [Source]
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for vision and immune function. [Source]
Chili is particularly rich in capsaicin, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce inflammation, boost metabolism, and improve heart health. [Source]
Aubergine is particularly rich in anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that has been shown to support heart and brain health. [Source]
One great way to serve this slow-cooked chili is over brown rice with a few crunched tortilla chips scattered over the top. Here are some other delicious ideas:
- Over cauliflower rice or quinoa.
- With a sprinkling of your favorite toppings, like shredded vegan cheddar cheese, dairy-free sour cream, avocado, salsa, chopped green onions, and fresh cilantro (coriander).
- Use it as a filling for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas.
- Top it with a fried egg or tofu scramble for a hearty and protein-rich breakfast.
- Add it to a baked potato or sweet potato for a filling lunch.
- Whip up a baked batch of chili cheese fries.
- Serve it with a side of crusty wholegrain or homemade cornbread bread to soak up all the delicious sauce.
- Add some side dishes like a simple salad or extra vegetables.
A chili made in the slow cooker tastes even better the next day once the flavors have had a chance to develop. To store leftover chili con carne, follow these simple steps:
- Let the chili cool completely and store it within 2 hours.
- Transfer the chili to an airtight container or resealable freezer bag.
- Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
- Store the chili in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat the chili, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Heat it up on the stovetop over medium heat until it’s warmed through. Or, reheat small batches of chili in the microwave in short bursts, stirring frequently, until it’s piping hot.
Absolutely! As the beans are a good source of protein and provide a lot of texture to the dish, consider adding real food ingredients like tofu, nuts, or mushrooms and serving it with some quinoa if you’re leaving out the beans.
Yes. If you’d like to add meat to the recipe, add it to the slow cooker with all the other ingredients. Tender cuts of beef or ground beef (minced beef/ beef mince) are a classic choice, but for a lighter option, you could try other ground meat, like ground turkey (turkey mince) or ground chicken.
Chili con carne (also spelled chilli con carne or chile con carne) is a Spanish phrase that literally means “chili with meat.”
I’d say, with caution. Vegan meat substitutes are usually filled with ultra-processed ingredients to make them look and taste like traditional meat. In general, they are high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats. If you’re looking for an alternative to meat, then whole plant foods, as I have used in this easy slow cooker chili, are a better option.
More Vegan Recipes
Looking for more delicious and nutritious vegan recipes? Try these next time…
Best Vegan Chili Con Carne Slow Cooker Recipe
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- Small Bowl, to combine the spice mix ingredients
- Slow Cooker
- Large Mixing Spoon
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic granules, or garlic powder
- 2½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1½ teaspoons hot chili powder, use less or omit for a milder chili con carne
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 medium eggplant (aubergine), diced
- 1 zucchini (courgette), diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 red chili (chilli), finely chopped (remove the seeds if you want less spice). Or, you can use 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1x 28 ounce (800 gram) can chopped tomatoes
- 2x 14 ounce (400 gram) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1x 14 ounce (400 gram) can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (purée)
- 1½ tablespoons coconut aminos, (or Tamari, or gluten-free soy sauce)
- Prepare: Gather your equipment and prepare your ingredients.
- Chili Spice Mix: In a small bowl, mix together the ground cumin, ground coriander, cocoa powder, garlic granules, dried oregano, chili powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and ground cinnamon. This is your Chilli Spice Mix.
- Chili: Put all the prepared ingredients into the pot of the slow cooker, including the sweet potatoes, celery, onion, eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, red chili, chopped tomatoes, black beans, mixed beans, tomato paste (purée), coconut aminos and the chili spice mix. Give everything a good stir.
- Slow Cook: Add the lid, put the slow cooker on high, and let the chili cook for 4-5 hours. Don't be tempted to remove the lid, as it will take some time for the chili to get back up to temperature, increasing the overall cooking time.
- Serve: After 4-5 hours, treat yourself to a generous portion, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.