Living Vegan In Charlotte, NC

Insanely Easy Vegan Chili (Gluten Free Option)

Insanely Easy Vegan Chili

I call this chili insanely easy because it is.  I’ve utilized just about every shortcut imaginable, and the chili still tastes good.  In fact, people love it.


  • 1 package “Ground Beef” Crumbles (usually about 12 oz.)  Gardein and Beyond Beef crumbles are gluten-free.
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Minced Onion
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • One 14.5 oz can Chili Beans (I use Harris Teeter Organic)
  • One 14.5 oz. can Chili Seasoned Tomatoes
  • One 10 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes – Original with Green Chilies
  • One 10 oz. can Rotel Tomatoes – Hot with Habaneros
  • One tablespoon Chili Powder
  • One teaspoon Ground Roasted Cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • A few grinds of Black Pepper
  • Toppings (optional) – Fresh Cilantro, Soy Yogurt, Vidalia Onions


  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Brown the ground beef crumbles.  (This is a very important step.  If you don’t brown the “beef” and just add it into your chili, the texture will be all wrong.)
  • Once the crumbles get warm and start breaking apart into little chunks, add the minced onion and garlic powder.  Add a dash of salt (optional) and a few grinds of black pepper.  Continue cooking, probably about 8 – 10 minutes total.
  • Add chili beans, all three cans of tomatoes, chili powder, and ground cumin.  Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 15 minutes.

That’s all there is to it.

I always serve over jeera (cumin) rice, which also makes it taste a little more special.  And I always top the chili with fresh cilantro, soy yogurt, and chopped Vidalia onions.


  • Minced dried onion and garlic powder are two tricks I learned from my great aunt Martha.  She was a wonderful cook, but I don’t think I ever saw a “real” onion or garlic clove in her kitchen.  Of course, you could chop up an onion and mince a clove of garlic to saute with your crumbles – but then this chili wouldn’t be so fast or insanely easy.
  • It doesn’t really matter what kind of chili-seasoned tomatoes you use (Del Monte, Hunts, a store brand) but the Rotel tomatoes are very important.  They give the chili a very fresh taste.  Plus you don’t have to chop any chili peppers (another step saved)!
  • You can control the heat by which Rotel tomatoes you choose.  I use one can Original and one can Hot, but you could use any combination of Rotel (Mild, Original, Hot).
  • Rice can be made ahead of time.  I often make a big pot at the beginning of the week and use it for several meals.

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Categorised in: Autumn, Chilis, Vegan Recipes

2 Responses »


  1. Healthier Chili-Mac | LauraLovingLife
  2. TOMATO CAN CHILI | Pam's Food Court

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