This classic recipe for Easy Vegan Pantry Chili is one you’ll have on rotation all winter long! It’s made with hearty pantry ingredients (and two types of beans) and is ready in just 30 minutes. It works well as a weeknight dinner and is made even better when served alongside fresh cornbread!
What is pantry chili?
Pantry chili is a classic soup recipe that can be primarily made with nonperishable ingredients you already have on hand. Celebrated for its versatility, this recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight or a day when the fresh produce stock in your fridge is looking a little low. Furthermore, it’s an excellent meal when many other vegetables are out of season, as its full of nutrients. Some of the featured “pantry” ingredients include:
- Dried or canned beans (two types ideally, I use dark red kidney and black beans)
- Canned fire-roasted tomatoes
- Vegetable broth
What’s great about these ingredients is that they are very interchangeable. This recipe would also be good with black eyed peas, butter beans, white beans, garbanzo beans, or light red kidney beans. Store-bough stock or even vegan bouillon will work in place of vegetable broth (sometimes I even substitute water and amp up the spiced I’m including!). If you do not have fire-roasted tomatoes, regular old diced tomatoes or a mixture or tomato paste and water will work in a pinch. Flexibility is the name of the game in a pantry recipe.
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, sliced into rounds
- Salt and pepper, used throughout
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- For homemade chili seasoning blend: 2 TBS chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional), 1/2 TBS dried oregano, 2 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 15 oz cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 3 cups cooked beans, or two drained and rinsed cans beans of choice (see note)
- Diced avocado, vegan sour cream, green onions, cilantro, vegan cornbread, or chips for serving (optional)
How to Make this Vegan Pantry Chili with Beans
1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pan over medium on the stovetop. Add diced onion, carrot, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir and let sauté for 5-6 minutes, until onion becomes slightly translucent.
2. Add minced garlic along with chili powder, paprika if using, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp more salt. Let cook for 30 seconds until aromatic, then add bell pepper and let cook 30 seconds more.
3. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, and rinsed beans. If you’d like more liquid (some tomatoes come in not much juice), feel free to add a splash of water to achieve your desired consistency. Bring mixture to a boil.
4. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low (a simmer) and let flavors meld for 15-30 minutes. The flavor will continue to deeper as this chili sits, so you can’t really overcook it (unless you take the lid off and evaporate all the liquid away!)
5. Remove from heat and serve with toppings of choice, including but not limited to: diced avocado, vegan sour cream, green onions, cilantro, vegan cornbread, or chips for serving (optional).
How long does vegan chili last in the fridge?
This recipe will last 5-6 days when stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It is best stored separately from toppings, so just add those right before serving after reheating on the stove or in the microwave.
How to Store this Dish
As mentioned above, I recommend storing this in the fridge where it will keep for about a week. You can also meal prep this recipe and freeze it (once cool) in a sealed container for up to 3 months! To thaw, bring to room temperature or heat on the stove.
What other vegetables can I add to this recipe?
This recipe is very flexible and can take on other additions of vegetables such as zucchini, celery, corn kernels, poblano peppers, or even sweet potatoes. Just be mindful of the size of each ingredient (try to chop everything to a similar shape) and bear in mind that some items will take longer to cook/soften that others.
What to Serve with Pantry Chili
- Vegan Cornbread (a classic pairing)
- Tortilla chips
- Vegan sour cream or yogurt, for tang
- Cilantro or chopped green onions
- Avocado pieces