Vegan chili with TVP

How to make Vegetarian or Vegan TVP Chili

Nothing quite warms you up like a bowl of hearty chili in the winter. We’re taking a pantry and budget-friendly vegetarian spin on a classic recipe to make vegetarian or vegan chili with TVP.


Ingredient Spotlight:

TVP – Texturized Vegetable Protein

TVP or texturized vegetable protein is a type of protein isolate that has been extruded (using a machine of moisture and pressure) into a shape that looks like ground meat. Contrary to popular belief, TVP has actually existed for quite some time. Back in the day, it was used to extend the yield of things like ground meat in fast food establishments. The benefit of using TVP is that it is shelf-stable and animal product-free. While TVP can come from many sources, the two most popular types are derived from soy and pea protein. 

Fire Roasted Diced Green Chilis

Diced green chilis are small green chilis that typically come in a small can. These small green chilis can be fire-roasted, but add a ton of flavor to a dish. They are not particularly spicy, but I think they do add a bit of zesty flavor to a dish. The fire-roasted chilis are perfect for this chili recipe because it adds a perfect amount of smokiness to the dish. 

Black Jalapenos

Black Jalapenos are a type of jalapeno pepper that is not as spicy as regular jalapenos. They offer a mild level of heat, but are sweeter than their conventional counterpart. In this recipe, we recommend 2 small black jalapenos, but of course, feel free to adjust to your comfort of spice level. 

Crushed Tomatoes

Crushed tomatoes typically come in a 28oz can and are widely available at many grocery stores. Tomatoes will give you a pulpy texture and appearance while a tomato puree will provide a smooth texture. Cans of tomato puree and crushed tomatoes look very similar so they are easy to mistake. The crushed tomatoes will help coat your TVP to give you a hearty vegan TVP chili appearance.


Sustainability & Nutrition Info

Most chili recipes use some type of ground meat, like beef or turkey, but both contribute to carbon emissions and greenhouse gases with industrial farming. Carbon emissions are a common measure to compare the environmental impact based on different types of emissions. By using a texturized vegetable protein, we are drastically reducing the CO2E impact from this dish and the resources needed to produce it.

The great benefit about this dish is that the high protein content at 21g per ensures the dish will fill you up, but it isn’t calorie dense at 340 calories per serving. There is also 16g of dietary fiber from this meal, so it will be sure to keep you balanced. If you choose, you can top it with healthy fats like avocado. Or if you want something a little more indulgent, you can opt for your preferred regular or non-dairy sour cream and shredded cheese.


Vegetarian or Vegan TVP Chili Recipe

  • Preparation Time
    15 minutes
  • Cooking Time
    30 minutes
  • Serves
    8 adults
  • Difficulty


1 onion, minced

2 black jalapenos

3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1.5 cups cooked black beans

1 can diced tomateos (14 oz)

1 can corn (15 oz)

1 can diced green chilis (small)

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes 

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup TVP

1 Cup water

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp dried Oregano

1/2 tsp mushroom powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika will work too)

1/2 tsp Chili powder

1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper


  1. Take your TVP and add it to a bowl
  2. Pour room temperature water over the TVP and mix together with a spoon or spatula
  3. Let sit for 15 minutes to hydrate
  4. Heat your olive oil in a stock pot 
  5. Add your minced onion to the pan and let brown 
  6. Mince your onion, black jalapeños, and garlic and set aside
  7. Add the hydrated TVP to the mix
  8. Add 3 tbsp tomato paste 
  9. Next the cooked beans
  10. Mix together
  11. Add mushroom powder
  12. Add your corn
  13. Then add paprika, cumin, and chili powder
  14. Add crushed tomatoes and diced green chilis
  15. Mix together and let simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. 

Vegan TVP Chili Recipe Variations

This recipe yields A LOT of chili! You can freeze it for a later date, or stay tuned to see how we turn this into vegetarian chili Mac. 

For other variations, feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking. 

You can also interchange black beans with pinto or kidney beans, but I personally prefer black beans. 

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