Vegetarian Red Bean Chili

Total Time

Prep: 10 min. Cook: 5 hours


6 servings (2 quarts)

Updated: May. 21, 2023
For a vegetarian red bean chili that meat lovers would like, this recipe is healthy and tastes great. It takes just a few minutes to prepare, then the chili simmers in the slow cooker leaving me free to do something else. I top bowls with shredded cheddar cheese.—Connie Barnett, Athens, Georgia
Vegetarian Red Bean Chili Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 can (16 ounces) red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen vegetarian meat crumbles
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Optional: Sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a 4-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 12 ingredients. Cover and cook on low until heated through, 5-6 hours. If desired, serve with sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Can you freeze Vegetarian Red Bean Chili?

Freeze cooled chili in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add a little broth if necessary.

Lentil & Red Bean Chili: Substitute 1-1/2 cups cooked green lentils for the vegetarian meat crumbles. Decrease cumin to 1-1/2 teaspoons; add 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika.

Vegetarian Red Bean Chili Tips

Can you cook red bean chili on the stovetop?

You bet! Use a Dutch oven to gently simmer the chili, uncovered, until the onion is tender and the flavors are blended—about 20 to 25 minutes. Check out more soups ready in 30 minutes or less.

What are some other good toppings for red bean chili?

Besides sour cream and cheese, get creative with topping choices and garnish with fresh chopped vegetables like tomatoes and sliced radishes, chopped green onions, or fresh herbs like cilantro. For a crispy topper, use store-bought or homemade air-fryer tortilla chips.

What can you use in this red bean chili instead of vegetarian meat crumbles?

Substitute 1-1/2 cups cooked lentils or brown rice for the vegetarian meat crumbles. If you’re not concerned with keeping this chili vegetarian, use 1 pound of cooked ground beef, ground chicken or turkey for the vegetarian crumbles. Otherwise, know that even though the recipe calls for red beans, you can use any bean you like.

How do you store red bean chili?

After cooling, cover and refrigerate this chili for up to 4 to 5 days. Or, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Here’s everything you need to know about freezing soup.

Christine Rukavena, Taste of Home Senior Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

1-1/3 cups (calculated without sour cream and cheese): 201 calories, 3g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 1035mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 9g fiber), 17g protein.