Easy Vegan Chili Recipe (from scratch) with Cilantro Coconut Cream

Easy Vegan Chili Recipe (from scratch) with Cilantro Coconut Cream
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

Chili was one of my favorite meals when I was a kid, because it was so warming and comforting. Comfort food often gets a bad rep, but we can make a bowl of comfort that brings in tons of the nutrients your body needs – so it’s a win-win.

Kidney beans are a wonderful source of protein, cholesterol-lowering and blood-sugar stabilizing fiber, folate, iron and manganese – without the saturated fat or cholesterol of ground meat. Other beans have similar nutrients, so feel free to swap them for another bean if you prefer, like black or adzuki beans.

Pairing those iron-rich kidney beans with vitamin-c-rich tomatoes and cilantro means that you’ll be absorbing much more of the energy-boosting nutrient than if you ate the beans alone.

Onions and garlic have powerful antioxidant compounds in them, which are released and made more available by chopping and cooking. They also have antibacterial effects, to help through cold and flu season. Onions also have compounds that help minimize inflammation (quercetin and onionin A).

Garlic has antiviral and antibiotic properties, which make it fantastic through the winter to ward off cold and flu germs. Feel free to boost the garlic content of your chili if you want. There’s also some research suggesting garlic can help boost iron metabolism, so another factor that can get the most out of those kidney beans.

All of the ingredients in this dish are high in potassium, which works in synchronicity with sodium to regulate your blood pressure. Boosting the potassium side of the ratio helps offset the effects of sodium.

Easy Vegan Chili Recipe with Cilantro Coconut Cream

Prep time:
Cook Time:
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Makes 3-4 servings

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Chili Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil, or 1-2 Tbsp water, vegetable broth, or red wine
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2-2 cups cooked kidney beans (or black beans, mixed beans, etc)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes – more or less to taste*
  • 1/4 tsp cumin*
  • 1 tsp oregano*
  • pinch black pepper*
  • pinch ground cloves*
  • salt, to taste

*or 2 tsp chili powder or Mexican Chili Mix from my Homemade Spice Mixes

Cilantro Coconut Cream Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (or parsley)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut


  1. Rinse and drain the beans if you’re using canned. If you are using dried beans in your healthy vegan recipes, they must be fully cooked before you begin. How To Cook Dried Beans
  2. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil, water, broth or wine. Once they are soft, add the tomatoes, beans and spices. Season with salt, to taste.
  3. Let this simmer for at least 10 minutes, or as long as you like.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


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