The Best Keto Vegan Chili

This keto vegan chili is packed with nourishing, plant-based ingredients!  Pecans help to add healthy fats and texture to this chili recipe, making it filling as well as flavorful.  It’s a perfect cozy dinner for a cold winter night.

A close up of a bowl of vegan keto chili garnished with cilantro.

Combining keto and vegan meals

It can be quite challenging to combine a keto diet and a vegan diet.  Since keto diets focus on high-fat foods, they are often high in dairy products and animal proteins (which naturally contain fat).  Vegan diets, on the other hand, eliminate these products.

It is possible to combine both but requires a lot more planning.  Most people on a vegan keto diet stay under 50 grams of total carbohydrates per day, or less than 20 grams net carbs.  (However, it’s worth tracking your individual response to meals to see what works best for your body.)

This can be tough when plant foods are your source of sustenance.  But luckily, it’s not impossible.

This vegan keto chili is a perfect option to try on this diet!  It’s delicious, and clocks in at 10 grams of net carbs – making it possible to include in this type of diet for lunch or dinner.

(PS – If you’re new to a vegan keto diet, it’s probably beneficial to consult with a nutritionist or dietitian that can help with meal planning to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients.  My family does not follow a vegan diet but we can empathize with how tough it can be to plan!)

Ingredients and Instructions

*Find the full amounts and instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

This recipe looks like it uses a lot of ingredients, but about a third of the list is spices.  Here’s what you’ll need for the spice blend:

  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Cocoa powder (No, this won’t make it taste chocolatey! It just enhances other flavors)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I recommend measuring these all out and mixing them in a prep bowl prior to starting the rest of the recipe.  That makes everything move along quickly once you start cooking.

A small prep bowl with all the spices for the chili in it.

Next, gather up the rest of the ingredients you need – here’s a list of them with some helpful notes:

  • Olive oil – This contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, but you can feel free to use any oil you prefer (like avocado oil or coconut oil).
  • Onion – Onions are high in carbohydrates, so we’ll limit this to half an onion.
  • Bell pepper – This adds flavor and texture to the chili.
  • Jalapenos – These add some subtle heat.  If you prefer spicy chili, leave the seeds in – but we tend to deseed them for a more subtle heat.
  • Garlic – Adds flavor.
  • Mushrooms – These help to bulk up the chili, and take on a bit of savory umami flavor in the recipe.
  • Pecans – Pecans are relatively low in carbs, rich in fiber, and high in healthy fats – making them a perfect choice for a vegan keto diet.  While nuts may sound odd in chili, they offer that heartiness that is typically found in meat.
  • Soy sauce – You can skip this if you prefer (depending on how you structure your keto diet), but using a smidge of soy sauce makes the chili more savory.
  • Tomato paste – Chili wouldn’t be complete without some tomato flavor!
  • Vegetable broth – Combined with the tomato paste, adds that classic base for chili.
  • Canned diced tomatoes – These are fairly high in carbohydrates, so we limit them to 1 cup in the recipe.  However, they add a lot of traditional flavor to this chili. 

Ready to make it?  Once you’ve got all your ingredients prepped, you’re ready to roll – the rest of this goes quickly.

You’re going to start by sautéing your onion in olive oil for a few minutes, then adding in your pepper, jalapenos, garlic, and mushrooms.  Let those cook for about 5 minutes, then add in your pecans, soy sauce, and spice mixture.

Once that gets all nice and fragrant, you’ll add in the last of the ingredients – the tomato paste, broth, and tomatoes.

Now all that’s left to do is let that simmer for 15-20 minutes, and you’re ready to eat!   

As a heads up, I will warn you that this dish looks ugly, haha – as evidenced by the photo below. 😉  I promise, it tastes delicious.

A pot of keto vegan chili.

Macronutrient breakdown

This chili contains 300 calories per bowl, with 10 grams of net carbs.  The macronutrient breakdown is as follows:

  • 77% fat
  • 9% protein
  • 14% net carbs

This may be a little higher in net carbs than other chili recipes (for example, our regular meat-based keto chili clocks in at 7 grams of net carbs) – but the fact that this is vegan and includes such a high percentage of fat is a major win!

Plus, these nutrients are for a full bowl of chili.  Some recipes will break a small pot of chili down into 8 servings, and that is often completely unrealistic (who eats 3 spoonfuls?!).  With this recipe, you’re getting an actual bowl of delicious chili.

(If 10 grams of net carbs at a meal knocks you out of ketosis though, feel free to enjoy a smaller portion of this meal alongside a high-fat low-carb side dish.)

A spoonful of vegan keto chili.

Recipe FAQ

Here are some common questions that may come up as you prepare this recipe:

Can you freeze keto vegan chili?  Yes.  Portion it out into single servings in freezer-safe food storage containers, then freeze.  When you’re ready to enjoy it, just reheat in the microwave for a few minutes.

Can you use plant-based “meat” in this chili?  Yes, if you’d prefer using something like Beyond Beef, try using 8 ounces of that along with ½ cup of pecans (instead of the 1 cup of pecans called for in the original recipe).  This will increase the net carbs to 11 grams per serving.

Can you add beans to this chili?  Unfortunately, beans are a no-go on a keto diet.  They’re high in carbohydrates and difficult to include without breaking you out of ketosis.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!  My wife and I really loved this new take on chili.  If you get a chance to try it, please leave a recipe rating or comment below.

A blue and white bowl filled with keto vegan chili.

Keto Vegan Chili

Yummy Keto Cooking
This keto vegan chili is packed with nourishing plant-based ingredients!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, minced (deseeded for subtle heat, seeds left in for more heat)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup raw pecans, chopped
  • ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • Cilantro to garish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the spice mixture first. In a small prep bowl, combine all the spices – the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix. Set aside for now.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add the bell pepper, jalapenos, garlic, and mushrooms to the pot. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the pecans, soy sauce, and the spice mixture. Let cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste, broth, and diced tomatoes. Let simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

Notes

If the chili has reduced too much at the end of the simmering time, add a little extra broth. If the chili is too watery, continue simmering for another 5-10 minutes.
 
Nutrition facts (approximate per serving): 300 calories, 25.5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 730 mg sodium, 16.5 g carbohydrates, 6.5 g fiber, 7.5 g sugar, *10 g net carbs*, 6.5 g protein, Vitamin D: 0%, Calcium: 4%, Iron: 12%, Potassium: 14%
Keyword keto vegan chili, low carb vegan chili

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