The ingredient list here might look a little long, but please don’t let that stop you from trying this delectable vegan chili. There are only a few steps, and it is so chock full of vegetables, beans, and greens that all you need is some simple steamed grains or warm tortillas on the side to make this a very satisfying and filling meal.


  • 5 medium tomatoes, diced, or 3 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with their juice (5 cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice (2 cups)
  • ½ medium red onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 4 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped (2 teaspoons)
  • 4 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (3 cups)
  • 3 large celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch dice (1½ cups)
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • ½ bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped (2 cups)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • Sea salt


  • In a large stew pot or Dutch oven, place the tomatoes, red bell peppers, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes (the juices from the onion and tomatoes will be enough to keep the sauce from burning).
  • Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. In a blender in batches or using a hand blender, blend the sauce until smooth. Return to the pot.
  • Add the black beans, celery, green bell pepper, corn, kale, cilantro, lemon juice, paprika, chili powder, salt to taste, and 2 cups water to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the greens are tender and the chili thickens, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Serve hot over steamed grains or with warm tortillas.
  • Chef's note: For storing, cool the soup completely and transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Comments (10)

(5 from 5 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Leslie Hart

I added about four times the recommended chili powder, cumin, paprika - and a little chipotle chili seasoning, and it’s spicier and delicious!


Delicious! The celery and peppers retain their crunch, but I liked the crunchy offsetting the smoothness of the beans.


We love this Black Bean and Chili Chili. No need for any meats. Love it just the way it is, full of flavor.

Rachel Morgan

Turned out really good. I added group beef and cooked my peppers and celery before adding to the soup.




I’d recommend sautéing off the green peppers and celery before adding them to the tomato/red bell pepper sauce. You’d need to cook this for a long time for the pepper and celery not to be super crunchy in the chili.


A great substitute for chilli con Carne and flexible if you want to use different vegetables. I will definitely be making this again!


Looks great. But don’t you use oil for this recipe? Thanks...

Susanne Piche

‘Forks Over Knives’ is a plant based whole-food nutrition method which does not use oil …


Great recipe!

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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