Loaded with walnuts, mushrooms, and black beans, this hearty vegan chili is packed with flavor and plant-based “meaty” goodness. Gluten-free, plant-based, and ready in under an hour!
This mushroom walnut chili is the perfect comfort food during the colder months. While I do love a simple black bean veggie chili, this mushroom walnut chili is my new favorite. The walnuts make it hearty and filling (hello healthy fats!) while the mushrooms add a chewy, “meaty” texture. And of course, we still add black beans for all that plant-based protein. Add in a few more veggies and seasonings, serve with bread or rice, and dinner (for multiple nights) is served! Sound good? Let’s get cookin’!
INGREDIENTS FOR MUSHROOM WALNUT CHILI
Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list. It may look like a lot, but it’s mostly veggies and spices that should be pretty easy to find at most grocery stores. Technically, you could omit some of the veggies and still have a delicious chili, but I like to sneak in some more veggies to bulk it up and add some different textures. So let’s take a look at what’s actually in this vegan chili:
- Walnuts* ⟶ to make this chili extra filling, hearty, and add a slight crunch to change up the textures
- Mushrooms ⟶ crimini, shiitake, and white button mushrooms all work, or use a variety!
- Black Beans ⟶ The main source of protein in this vegan chili. Feel free to switch up the protein with other beans, lentils, or crumbled tofu.
- Crushed Tomatoes ⟶ the base of the sauce for most chilis since tomatoes contain a lot of umami
- Tomato Paste ⟶ good for thickening stews while adding an extra umami punch
- Chili Powder, Cumin, & Paprika ⟶ my favorite spices for chili
- Nutritional Yeast* ⟶ Another umami-packed ingredient. Omit if this isn’t accessible for you, but it will add a new depth of flavor!
- Jalapeño ⟶ you can leave this out if you’re very sensitive to spice
- Garlic & Onion ⟶ red onion works well in chili as it’s a tad sweeter than yellow/white
- Additional Veggies ⟶ I added bell pepper and celery, but you can omit or switch for other veggies (carrots, zucchini, corn)
HOW TO MAKE MUSHROOM WALNUT CHILI
- Sauté the onion, garlic, and celery in oil or a splash of water in a pot on the stove. When the onions turn translucent, add bell pepper, jalapeño, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally to prevent burning, and cook a few minutes until the mushrooms have softened and released some of their liquid.
- Add walnuts and spices and toast for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Then add in crushed tomatoes, water or vegetable broth, tomato paste, and salt.
- Bring to a boil then cover and simmer on low heat for 30-60 minutes. The longer the better, but 30 minutes is sufficient if you’re short on time. During the last 10 minutes, stir in the beans.
HOW TO SERVE VEGAN CHILI
This vegan chili can be served as is, or garnish it with your favorite chili add-ins! Some of my favorites include: cilantro, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, avocado, diced red onion, and lime juice.
If you’re not low carb, I recommend serving this chili with rice or bread (fresh Artisan bread is my fav!) or corn bread. And maybe even a side salad if you’re looking to get more greens in.
MUSHROOM WALNUT CHILI COOKING TIPS & FAQ’S
What mushrooms should I use? ⟶ I love the flavor of crimini mushrooms, but white button mushrooms are also good.
Toast the walnuts first! ⟶ But only if you actually want the walnut flavor. Toasting the walnuts brings out their nutty, buttery flavor. If you really want to taste the walnuts in the chili, toast them and add them at the end of cooking. However, if you’re not a big fan of walnuts, simmer them in the chili. You won’t really taste the walnut flavor, but you’ll get the nice crunchy, “meaty” texture.
Finely chop the walnuts and mushrooms ⟶ For the best “meaty” texture (think meat crumbles); you could also use a food processor for this.
Diversify your protein ⟶ Use a combination of beans, lentils, or even crumbled tofu or tempeh for more variety.
If you don’t handle spice too well ⟶ Remove the seeds from the jalapeño, otherwise it will be very spicy.
Wear gloves and don’t touch your face when cutting jalapeños ⟶ Otherwise you may feel a hot, burning sensation in these areas due to the capsaicin in the pepper.
THE PERFECT COMFORT FOOD
This mushroom walnut chili is…
- loaded with omega-3’s
- packed with plant-based protein
- great for meal prep
- one pot
- healthy & delicious!
Check out these other plant-based comfort foods!
If you try out this mushroom walnut chili, don’t forget to leave a comment/rating down below and tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking! I love seeing your tasty recreations 🙂 Happy cooking!
Vegan Mushroom Walnut Chili
- ½ onion minced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 ribs of celery minced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 jalapeño seeded & diced
- 8 oz crimini or white button mushrooms chopped
- 1 cup walnuts** chopped
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast*
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- ¾ tsp salt or more to taste
- 1 cup water or vegetable broth
- 2 cans black beans drained & rinsed
- Cook the onion, garlic, and celery in 1 tbsp olive oil or a splash of water in a pot on the stove over medium heat.
- When the onions turn translucent, add bell pepper, jalapeño, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally to prevent burning, and cook a few minutes until the mushrooms have softened and released some of their liquid.
- Add walnuts** and spices and toast for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Then add in crushed tomatoes, water or vegetable broth, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer on low heat for 30-60 minutes. Check and stir occasionally to make sure the bottom isn't burning. Add more water/broth if the chili looks too thick for you.
- During the last 10 minutes, stir in the beans.
- Serve warm with bread or rice, and garnish with your favorite add-ins if desired.
*Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but the price remains the same to you. Thank you for supporting Ellie Likes Cooking!
Save for later!