Sweet and Spicy Chili {Vegan}

11 June 2021 by Natanja

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  • This flavorful sweet and spicy vegan chili with plant-based meat, kidney beans and corn is a super easy and healthy meal that you can quickly whip up during weeknights.

    A pot of sweet and spicy vegan chili on a large monstera leaf

    We’re serving up some chili today, a classic Tex-Mex dish and beloved comfort food! Despite the fact that this sweet and spicy dish is referred to as comfort food, it is actually quite healthy. (Unless of course you eat it like I do – using nacho chips to spoon up it all up.) Whether nachos chips are how you roll, or you prefer the chili as is or maybe with a side of fluffy bread, this dish is a great meal when it comes to customising it to your own tastebuds and preferences.

    Reasons to love this chili

    • easy and quick to make, only 1 pot required!
    • reheats well – perfect for meal prep
    • mostly ingredients which you probably already have in your pantry
    • nutritious – full of protein, complex carbs and fiber
    • is super delicious!
    A pot of sweet and spicy vegan chili alongside a bowl filled with chips and a drink


    If you don’t eat plant-based meat, feel free to leave it out. Granted, it adds a lovely flavor and texture but I have made this chili countless times without it and enjoyed it as well. If you do leave it out, be sure to use a little less passata so your chili won’t be too liquidy.

    You can also adjust the spices and use a little less or more – depending on what you like best and what you have on hand.

    Chili peppers

    If you want a subtle spicy chili, with only a hint of spice, add one medium spicy chili pepper such as a jalapeño or poblano. If you prefer a kick in the gut, add 1 very spicy pepper such as habanero or piri piri or 2-3 medium spicy chilis. If you didn’t add enough chili peppers initially, you can always add some cayenne pepper in the end to really spice things up. This is also a great way to add spice if you don’t have any fresh chilis on hand.

    Vegan chili in a bowl garnished with nacho chips

    Toppings and Sides

    I went for vegan sour cream, limes, arugula as well as fresh coriander and served some nacho chips on the side for dipping….or rather spooning. Other toppings that fit well include: chopped scallions, avocado slices, sliced jalapeños, grated vegan cheddar, crispy fried onions,…

    I typically like to serve it with some bread or rice on the side which makes it a lot more filling. Baked potatoes also make a delicious side, or if large enough, can also be filled with the chili.

    Due to a technical issue the recipe card is currently not functioning for this post. We are working on it and as a quick fix we have copied it directly into this post. 


    • 1 large yellow onion
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1-3 chili peppers*
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
    • 400 g plant-based minced meat (14.1 oz)
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 2 tablespoon paprika
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • salt to taste
    • 800 ml tomato passata (3 ½ cups)
    • 500 g kidney beans from a can (17.6 oz)
    • 150 g corn from a can (5.3 oz)
    • 500 g white beans from a can (17.6 oz)
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 tablespoon ketchup
    • 1/2-1 tablespoon sugar or sweetener of choice
    • vegan sour cream for garnishing
    • coriander for garnishing
    • nacho chips for garnishing


    1. Peel and chop the onion into small pieces and mince the garlic and chili pepper(s). Add oil to a large pot and sauté the onions until transluscent about 2-3 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and chili and sauté for another 2 minutes.
    2. Add the plant-based minced meat and fry for about 4 minutes, until done. Add the spices and fry for another minute.
    3. Pour in the tomato passata and add the rest of the ingredients. Turn the heat up to high and shortly before it boils, turn it to a low and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
    4. Divide into bowls, top with vegan sour cream, coriander lime slices and nacho chips.


    *See post above for tips on what kind of chilis to use and how much.

    The gram/oz of corn, kidney beans and white beans refers to their net weight.

    Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

    Cannot be frozen due to the plant-based minced meat, which doesn’t hold up well in the freezer.



    Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.


    1. Derek on 29. August 2018 at 20:17

      The chili is great! I added a little more hot chili powder for some extra spice.

      • Natanja on 30. August 2018 at 17:47

        Thanks Derek! Glad you liked it 🙂

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