Tasty Vegetarian Tofu Chili Recipe for Your Vegan Cravings

There’s nothing quite like a warm, hearty bowl of chili to satisfy your cravings and nourish your body. But what if you’re vegan, and don’t want to indulge in traditional meat-based chilli? Or maybe you just want to try something new and delicious.

Well, look no further! Our Hearty Vegetarian Tofu Chili Recipe is packed with flavor, nutrition, and plant-based protein. This recipe is a perfect comfort food for any season or occasion, and is sure to satisfy both vegans and non-vegans alike.

Our chili is loaded with fresh ingredients like bell pepper, onion, garlic cloves, carrots, diced tomatoes, white kidney beans, and red kidney beans that gives it a rich texture and a ton of heartiness. But what makes this recipe extra special is the extra firm tofu we use. It adds a unique twist of flavor to the classic chili recipe that will leave you wanting more.

Are you ready to taste the best vegan chili ever? Let me show you how it’s done!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Hearty Vegetarian Tofu Chili
Hearty Vegetarian Tofu Chili

If you’re looking for a hearty vegetarian meal that is packed with flavor, my tofu chili recipe is sure to become a staple in your recipe collection. This chili is not only plant-based and vegan-friendly, but it’s also incredibly satisfying and delicious.

First, let me tell you about the star of this recipe- the tofu. Tofu is an incredibly versatile ingredient that is perfect for adding texture to vegetarian dishes. In this hearty tofu chili, the extra firm tofu is crumbled and perfectly seasoned to mimic the texture and flavor of ground beef. Even if you’re not a fan of tofu, I promise you’ll love it in this dish!

What makes this recipe even better? It’s packed full of healthy ingredients like carrots, green pepper, onion, and kidney beans. These ingredients add tons of flavor and nutrition to the dish which make it one of the best veggie chilis out there. Plus, all these veggies will give you the energy that you need to perform throughout your day.

My recipe invites you to embrace bold flavors with a blend of chili powder, cumin and dried chiles – such quality ingredients contribute dynamic flavours to create the hearty healthy chili so loved by all those who savor it.

If you are someone who has a busy schedule, you’ll be pleased to know making this easy vegetarian recipe won’t take up too much of your time. It’s simple enough for anyone to make in just under an hour. Pair it with some crusty bread or rice for a complete meal that’s sure to impress.

If you’re searching for an authentic plant-based meal with delicious flavors, then look no further than my vegetarian tofu chili recipe- You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 This tofu chili is like a warm hug on a cold day.
This tofu chili is like a warm hug on a cold day.

For this hearty vegetarian tofu chili recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) package of extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 can (14 ounces) of tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14 ounces) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

These ingredients are perfect for a best vegan chili ever.

The Recipe How-To

 Who said vegetarian food can't be filling? This hearty chili will fill you up and leave you satisfied.
Who said vegetarian food can’t be filling? This hearty chili will fill you up and leave you satisfied.

Preparing the Tofu and Vegetables

One of the keys to a hearty tofu chili recipe is preparing the tofu and vegetables properly. Start by taking a block of extra firm tofu, draining it, and crumbling it with your hands. I prefer using super firm tofu as it holds up better in the chili, but if you can’t find that, extra firm will do.

Next, heat up olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add in one diced medium onion, one diced green bell pepper, three minced garlic cloves, and two diced carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.

Adding the Seasonings and Beans

Once the vegetables are tender, add in the crumbled tofu and cook for an additional 5 minutes until lightly browned. Next, add in chili powder (2 tablespoons), cumin (2 teaspoons), salt (1 teaspoon), and pepper ((½ teaspoon). Stir everything together until well combined.

Now it’s time to add in the beans! Drain and rinse one can of white kidney beans and one can of red kidney beans. Then, add them into the pot along with one can of diced tomatoes (14 ounces) and one can of tomato sauce (8 ounces). Stir everything together until well combined.


Once all ingredients have been added to the pot, reduce heat to low and let simmer for around 20 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally so that the bottom doesn’t burn.


This recipe makes approximately 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are! Serve hot with your favorite toppings such as fresh chopped cilantro, avocado, vegan cheese shreds or even crushed tortilla chips!

Enjoy this vegan chili ever which is a filling meal on a chilly day that is both nutritious and delicious!

Substitutions and Variations

 Perfect for meal prep! Make a batch and enjoy it all week long.
Perfect for meal prep! Make a batch and enjoy it all week long.

A great thing about this vegetarian tofu chili recipe is that it is very flexible and adaptable to different tastes and dietary needs. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Sweet potatoes: If you want to add some extra sweetness and nutrition, try swapping some of the beans or tofu for peeled and cubed sweet potato. Roast them in the oven with a sprinkle of chili powder and cumin until tender, then stir them into the chili.

– Different beans: While red kidney beans and white kidney beans are the traditional choices for chili, you can use any type of canned or cooked legume that strikes your fancy. Black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, or even lentils could work well here.

– Meaty alternatives: If you’re not vegan but still want to cut back on meat or experiment with plant-based options, you can swap some or all of the tofu for crumbled seitan, tempeh, or even cooked ground beef or turkey. Just make sure to season it well with chili powder and cumin so it blends in with the other flavors.

– Spicier or milder: The heat level of this chili depends on how much chili powder and black pepper you use. If you like it spicier, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or some diced jalapeño peppers. If you’re sensitive to spice, reduce the amount of chili powder and skip the black pepper.

– Creamy touches: To make this chili creamier or add a tangy contrast to the spiciness, you can stir in some coconut milk, cashew cream, sour cream (if not vegan), or lime juice at the end. You could also top each bowl with some diced avocado, cilantro leaves, or vegan cheese shreds.

Whatever substitutions and variations you choose, keep in mind that this hearty tofu chili is all about robust flavors and comforting textures. Experimentation is encouraged!

Serving and Pairing

 The combination of spices in this chili is a match made in heaven.
The combination of spices in this chili is a match made in heaven.

Once you’ve created this hearty tofu chili, it’s time to consider how to serve and eat it. There are many different serving suggestions that work well with this dish, and it all depends on your personal preferences.

One option is to serve the tofu chili over a bed of rice or quinoa. The rice or quinoa will soak up the delicious flavors of the chili and add an earthy grain component that complements the savory nature of the dish. This makes for a filling and wholesome meal that will leave you feeling satisfied.

Another popular way to enjoy tofu chili is to pair it with a fresh salad. A crisp salad can help balance out some of the heavier flavors in the chili and provide some much-needed crunch. Try making a simple salad with mixed greens, sliced avocado, and chopped tomatoes for a refreshing side dish that pairs perfectly with hearty tofu chili.

For those looking for a carb-friendly option, consider serving the tofu chili with tortilla chips or cornbread. The bold flavor of the tofu chili combined with the crunchy, salty chips or warm, crumbly cornbread creates a satisfying contrast that is sure to satisfy any comfort food craving.

Finally, don’t forget about toppings! Tofu chili pairs well with a variety of toppings like diced onions, sour cream (swap for vegan version), shredded cheese (swap for vegan version), fresh cilantro leaves or chives, and sliced jalapenos if spice is what you crave.

Regardless of how you decide to serve and pair this dish, be sure to savor every bite and appreciate all of the delicious flavors and textures that have been carefully crafted in one bowl.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Who needs meat when you've got tofu? This vegetarian version does not disappoint.
Who needs meat when you’ve got tofu? This vegetarian version does not disappoint.

Preparing the Hearty Vegetarian Tofu Chili Recipe ahead of time is certainly possible, as well as storing and reheating leftovers. As a matter of fact, some people prefer to let the flavors of the chili meld together for a day or two to reach their full potential before serving. This recipe can be a great choice if you are someone looking for meal planning options or if you need to cook dinner in a hurry after a long day at work.

To make ahead, prepare the tofu chili in its entirety and allow it to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. The chili can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

When reheating, place the desired amount of chili in a pot, and heat gently over low heat until completely reheated. You can also use a microwave by placing individual portions into microwave-safe bowls and heating on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

It is important to know that any leftovers should be stored separately from any toppings like avocado, cilantro or lime wedges. To avoid sogginess, don’t mix them together until serving time.

This hearty vegan tofu chili recipe can be adapted so that it fits your dietary needs while remaining flavorful and delicious. The process of making the recipe ahead of time and storing it is easy and convenient. Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Say goodbye to boring salads and try this spicy and flavorful chili.
Say goodbye to boring salads and try this spicy and flavorful chili.

As an articulate assistant for a vegan chef, I have some tips that will surely help you bring out the best flavors in your hearty vegetarian tofu chili. Here are some suggestions that you might find interesting:

Firstly, let the chili stand for at least 15 minutes after cooking. This allows time for it to cool down and thicken up. Remember, the key to a perfect chili texture is thickening.

Secondly, it is best to use freshly ground spices when making this recipe. Ground spices tend to lose their potency over time, which can affect the flavor of your dish. Therefore, I suggest using whole spices and grinding them yourself – chili powder, cumin seeds and dried chiles like ancho or pasilla are great choices.

Next, ensure that your cutting board and knife are sharp enough before starting with any chopping. This will prevent unnecessary cuts on your hand as well as give you uniform cutting results.

Additionally, it’s important not to cook the vegetables down too much. It’s better to keep them firm and slightly crunchy so that they can hold their shape and retain their nutrients.

When adding salt, add just a little bit at a time so that you don’t overdo it. You can always add more salt later if needed but once it’s too much, it’s too much.

One more tip to make this recipe even more delicious is to use different kinds of beans – red kidney beans and white kidney beans – instead of just one kind. A mix of textures in your chili can make all the difference.

Lastly, if you want to give your chili extra heat, add fresh jalapeño or habanero pepper in small amounts until you get the desired spiciness level. Remember that these peppers can be very hot and should be used with caution.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make the best vegan hearty tofu chili ever – hearty healthy and downright delicious!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this hearty vegetarian tofu chili recipe is truly a game-changer in the world of chili recipes. Not only is it packed with nutritious ingredients like carrots and white kidney beans, but it also has a ton of flavor thanks to chili powder, cumin, and garlic.

This recipe is perfect for vegans who miss the taste of chili con carne or for anyone looking to add more plant-based meals to their diet. Plus, it’s remarkably easy to make and can be adjusted to fit your taste preferences.

With just a few simple substitutions, this recipe could become your new go-to, whether you’re a meat-eater looking for a lighter alternative or you’re a seasoned vegan who wants to try something new.

So why settle for bland and boring chili when you can have a healthy, flavorful, and satisfying meal that will have you coming back for seconds? Give this hearty vegetarian tofu chili recipe a try today and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Hearty Vegetarian Tofu Chili

Hearty Vegetarian Tofu Chili Recipe

This is a delicious colourful chili with a perfect blend of many vegetables with tofu in a thick spicy tomato base. This original recipe came from Runner's World magazine, although I have altered it to suit my likings. Frying tofu gives it a more meat like texture. For those who like chili very spicy, more chili powder may be added.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegetarian
Calories 387.6 kcal


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 16 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 (19 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (19 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder


  • Saute first 4 in meduium heat.
  • Add tofu, cumin, hot sauce, and salt and pepper and saute until crisp and lightly browned (10 min).
  • Add rest of ingredients (beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, and chili powder).
  • Boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 to 55 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 634gCalories: 387.6kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 26.2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1.3gSodium: 864.2mgFiber: 20.6gSugar: 14g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, Egg-free, Free Of..., Inexpensive, Kosher, One-Dish Meal, Potluck, Soy/Tofu, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You