Who doesn’t love chili in the fall?! This vegan chili recipe uses three varieties of protein-packed beans, late-summer vegetables, and hot chili peppers for a lunch or dinner thats packed with flavor. Its also vegan, gluten free, and freezer/slow-cooker-friendly.
I love everything about summer but I have to admit, there’s something very warm and comforting about the fall. There’s football (Go Badgers and Packers!), sweaters, pumpkin-everything, and CHILI…my all-time favorite fall meal. Its warm, spicy, filling, and easy to prepare.
Another thing I absolutely love about chili? Its freezer-friendly – aka batch cooking-friendly. If you guys haven’t started batch cooking, or taking a day to prepare a bunch of meals ahead of time, you really should start.
Why reserve a day (or even a few hours) for meal prep?
- You’ll save time cooking throughout the week.
- You’ll have a healthy meal waiting for you when you’re experiencing fatigue or have an especially busy schedule.
- You won’t need to worry about stopping at the grocery store after work.
- You won’t need to worry about what you’re going to make for dinner – its already done!
- You’ll save money by planning out meals and grocery purchases ahead of time.
- You’ll be more likely to reach your health goals (weight loss, muscle building, weight gain, etc.)
If you’re ready to try batch cooking, this chili recipe is the perfect place to start. Its a simple one-pot meal that’s filled with antioxidants from late-summer veggies and plant-powered protein from three different varieties of beans. There’s also a nice kick from fresh jalapeño and chipotle powder. (Feel free to omit if chili peppers aren’t your thing. If chili peppers are your thing, you really should check out my Ultimate Plant-Based Guide to Cooking with Chili Peppers.)
Like most veggie-packed meals, this chili recipe requires a bit of chopping, but is otherwise as simple as can be. (Veggie chili is actually one of the first meals I learned to make from scratch!) Just heat oil in a large pot, toss in your onion and cook until its translucent before adding in the remaining ingredients. Allow everything to simmer for at least 15 minutes or so and boom, you’re ready to cozy up to some delcious homemade chili.
If you’re looking for a simpler option (yes, it really does exist) you can also toss everything in a slow-cooker and come home to amazing smells and a wholesome weeknight meal.
This recipe makes a big batch, perfect for meal prep. I like portioning out leftovers into single servings before freezing, so its easier to grab and go. It’ll keep in the freezer for up to 6 months, but I highly doubt it’ll last that long.
- 2 tsp grapeseed oil (or other cooking oil)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled + chopped
- 2 ears corn kernels
- 2 cloves garlic, minced/pressed
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chipotle powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup scallions, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients (except scallions, cilantro, and nutritional yeast), reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. (Veggies should be tender.)
- Divide into bowls and top with scallions, cilantro, and nutritional yeast (if desired).
- Portion leftovers into freezer-friendly containers and store for up to 6 months.
Do you batch cook? What are your favorite meals to prep ahead of time?