Vegan Black Bean and Wild Rice Chili
Soups & Stews Spicy 

Vegan Black Bean and Wild Rice Chili

A zippy chili loaded with rice, grains, and black beans gets a subtle sweetness from vegan honey and acorn squash.

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This easy vegan black bean and wild rice chili gets an irresistible tanginess from roasted tomatillos. You’ll want to eat this hearty, spicy, zingy bowl of goodness all year long.

Chili is such a great thing to throw together on a busy weeknight, and this vegan black bean and wild rice chili is one I think you’ll love as much as I did.

Because I had tomatillos languishing in my crisper, I decided to roast them as the chili simmered. You can skip this step and use your favorite salsa verde instead. But since we’re coming into tomatillo season, you may see them readily available, and this is a great way to use them!

vegan chili with black beans

A zippy vegan black bean chili that gets subtle sweetness from squash

I love this vegan black bean chili because it covers a broad spectrum of flavors. It’s a little spicy, subtly sweet, with tangy, piquant undertones. Best of all, it’s easy to throw together.

What you need

  • Chili base: The chili starts with onion, minced jalapeño, and diced acorn squash. I season it liberally with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder. For extra heat, I add a few shakes of cayenne. I add tomato paste to thicken the chili.
  • Chili filler: I add black beans, vegetable broth, and a rice and grain mix. I love Nishiki 7 Grain Mix but use your favorite wild or brown rice. Just be mindful that the cooking time may need to be adjusted.
  • The tomatillos: I roast tomatillos, jalapeńo, and scallions in the oven as the chili simmers until charred. If you don’t feel like fussing with this, use your favorite brand of salsa verde instead.
  • Vegan honey: I add vegan honey to the tomatillos as I blend them. This is optional, but it works really well with the tanginess of the tomatillos.
  • For serving: I serve the chili with minced cilantro, scallions, fresh avocado, and lime wedges. A dollop of your favorite vegan sour cream is always welcome too.
vegan chili with rice

How to make it

  • Step 1: Start the chili. Fry a diced onion with minced jalapeño until soft. Add the diced acorn squash and cook for just a few minutes. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and a few shakes of cayenne powder if you like. Add tomato paste, coat the vegetables with it, and cook for 1 minute.
  • Step 2: Simmer the chili. Add the black beans and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir in the wild rice. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes until thickened and reduced. The rice should be tender.
  • Step 3: Roast the tomatillos. In a separate skillet, add the tomatillos, a jalapeño, and scallions. Roast at 450ºF for 20 minutes until charred.
  • Step 4: Blend the tomatillos. Transfer to a food processor with a little vegan honey and blend until smooth. Pulse often to ensure the scallions blend! From there, pour into the chili and continue simmering.
  • Step 5: Finish it up! Taste the chili and season again to your preferences. Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings, like vegan sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and minced scallions. A squeeze of lime juice is the perfect way to finish each bowl!

I hope you love this vegan black bean and wild rice chili as much as I did. If you make it, please rate the recipe below and add a comment to let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you!

Vegan Black Bean and Wild Rice Chili

Vegan Black Bean and Wild Rice Chili

A zippy chili loaded with rice, grains, and black beans gets a subtle sweetness from vegan honey and acorn squash.
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 283kcal

Ingredients

Roasted tomatillos (see note):

  • ¾ pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed under warm water
  • 1 jalapeño, trimmed
  • 4 scallions, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1–2 tablespoons vegan honey optional

For serving, optional:

  • 2 scallions, trimmed and minced
  • ¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, minced
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • Vegan sour cream

Instructions

Start the chili:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced jalapeño and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the acorn squash and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3–5 minutes.
  • Add the chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder and toss to coat. Add cayenne powder if desired. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables in the paste. Cook for 1 minute.

Simmer the chili:

  • Add the black beans and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Add the wild rice and reduce the heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 30–45 minutes or until the rice is tender and the chili is thickened and reduced. Taste and season.

Roast the tomatillos:

  • Preheat oven to 450ºF.
  • Place the tomatillos, jalapeńo, and scallions in a skillet or baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon neutral oil. Transfer to the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes until charred, flipping once midway through cooking. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Transfer the tomatillos, jalapeńo, and scallions to a food processor with the vegan honey. Pulse until completely smooth. Taste and add more honey if your tomatillos are particularly zingy.

Finish the chili:

  • Pour the tomatillo mixture into the chili and continue simmering until the rice is tender. Taste and season.

To serve:

  • Spoon the chili into bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 95mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 30g
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