Mushroom Walnut Chili (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)

This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please read our disclosure for more info.

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’!


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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


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.


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.


This mushroom walnut chili is…

  • hearty
  • filling
  • “meaty”
  • vegan
  • gluten-free
  • oil-free
  • 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! I love seeing your tasty recreations 🙂 Happy cooking!

Vegan Mushroom Walnut Chili

Loaded with walnuts, mushrooms, and black beans, this hearty vegan chili is packed with flavor and plant-based "meaty" goodness.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Vegan
Servings 5


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded & diced
  • 8 oz crimini or white button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts*, toasted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast*
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (about 3 cups) black beans**1, drained & rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice or lemon juice


  • Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until the onions start to brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic, celery, and jalapeño. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and walnuts and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, and nutritional yeast) and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add tomato paste and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover for 30-60 minutes. Check and stir occasionally to make sure the bottom isn't burning. Add more water/broth if the chili is too thick.
  • During the last 10 minutes, stir in the beans, bell peppers, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar.
  • Turn off heat and stir in lime/lemon juice. Taste and add salt/pepper/acid as needed.
  • Serve warm with bread or rice, and garnish with your favorite add-ins if desired.


1) Feel free to switch up the black beans for other types of beans/legumes like kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc. You can also swap out a can of beans for a block (6-8 oz) of crumbled/chopped tempeh (I pulse it in a food processor for a “ground meat” type texture). 
GARNISHES: My favorites include cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, vegan cheese, avocado, vegan sour cream, and diced red onion.

*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!


  1. Hi Ellie, thank you for this recipe. Please make available to share on WhatsApp. I want to share with my weight loss group.

  2. 5 stars
    A total crowd please I shared this recipe with chili buffs and it was a big winner. They all loved it and we’ve all saved the recipe. It’s actually a staple in my house now and it’s great as a dip with some corn chips when friends pop round.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.