vegan chili

Why Slow-Cooked Chili is My #1 Freezer Food

My freezer is almost always stocked with homemade vegan chili.  We use it every Friday night for making haystacks (layered taco salad).

As soon as I run out, I make more.  I make a double batch in my 8-quart slow cooker. That big batch of 16 cups of slow-cooked vegan chili will last us about four to five weeks.

Unless I use my stash for a potluck or a Tex-Mex meal or sloppy joe’s, or on baked potatoes, or served with cornbread, or drained and mashed for burritos or tostadas. And that’s just the beginning of the versatility of this vegan bean chili.

Then it’s time to make it again.

It’s such a staple in our house, that I don’t even take the time to label it before I freeze it. We know at a glance what it is.  These Tupperware containers get used almost exclusively for chili, so there’s no guesswork involved. They don’t become UFOs (Unidentified Frozen Objects)!

frozen vegan chilifrozen vegan chili

How to Freeze Chili

  1. Let the chili cool for up to two hours.
  2. Transfer to freezer containers.
  3. Label.
  4. Refrigerate until cold.
  5. Freeze for up to 6 months.


homemade vegan chili in a flavorful sauce
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Slow-Cooked Chili

Slow-cooked chili tastes the best because the seasonings infuse into the beans and a flavorful sauce develops. It freezes well and can be eaten in a variety of ways.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: gluten-free, vegan
Servings: 8
Calories: 225kcal
Author: Heather Reseck


  • slow cooker


  • cups dried pinto or red, pink, kidney beans, or black beans (1 pound)
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (about ¾ cup)
  • tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic minced


  • Sort and rinse beans; place in a 3½-4 quart slow cooker. Pour boiling water over beans and let stand 1 hour.
  • Rinse and drain. Add water to cover beans by 1 inch. Stir in tomato sauce, onion, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, coriander, and garlic together
  • Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours or on low 12-14 hours, until beans are tender and darker in color.


Refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 6 months.


Chunky Chili:
Add chopped bell pepper, diced tomatoes, and, if desired, meatless burger.
Stove Top Chili:
Place beans in a large saucepan; add water to cover beans by 2-3 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour (or up to 10 hours.) Drain and rinse. Add water to cover beans by 1 inch. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2-3 hours, until beans are tender and darker in color.
Quick Black Bean Chili:
Cook onion and garlic in oil until tender, adding water if needed to keep from sticking. Stir in chili, powder, paprika, cumin, and coriander; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 (15-ounce each) cans rinsed and drained black beans, 1 (14½-ounce) can Mexican stewed tomatoes, and 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce. Simmer 10 minutes, adding water as needed for desired consistency. Makes about 5 cups.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 915mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 697IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 4mg