This Easy One-Pot Chili Mac Is A Protein-Packed Vegan Dinner

If you're on the hunt for some weeknight dinner inspiration, we've got you covered


2 Minutes Read

A vegan chili mac in a bowl next to dairy-free cheese and cilantro This chili mac is vegan, dairy-free, and easy to make - Media Credit: Rainbow Plant Life

With the evenings getting darker, the days getting shorter, and the cold winter months drawing closer, many of us are on the hunt for warming and comforting recipes. This chili mac recipe mixes pasta with beans, and is a cheap, easy, and protein-packed vegan dinner idea.

One pot recipes are increasingly popular, as they make cooking much for straight forward with minimal washing up. The below recipe, which comes from Rainbow Plant Life, requires one Dutch oven or non-stick soup pot. It is packed full of veggies, and many of its ingredients may well already be in your kitchen cupboard (such as tinned tomatoes, herbs, and beans).

While mixing beans with pasta may at first seem unusual, the two ingredients pair very well together. Adding beans also gives a pasta dish an added boost of plant protein.

Are beans a good source of protein?

Beans are increasingly being seen as an excellent source of plant protein. As well as being cheap, versatile, and readily available, they are significantly more environmentally-friendly than animal protein. Beans can be bought in canned or dried form, and are often plentiful and easy to find at most supermarkets.

For this recipe, you can use one of three types of beans: pinto, kidney, or black beans. Here’s how to make it:

Chili mac recipe

A protein-packed chili meets pasta in this One-Pot Vegan Chili Mac! Easy and quick and made with simple ingredients, this is a perfect hearty weeknight-friendly and budget-friendly dinner!
A vegan chili mac in a bowl next to dairy-free cheese and cilantro
5 from 2 votes
Duration50 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Prep Time15 mins


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 oz (227g) mushrooms, chopped I use cremeni mushrooms
  • 1 (8 oz / 227g) block of tempeh, grated or crumbled
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika is also fine)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional, for a slightly spicy version)
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 cups (946ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 (15 oz / 440g) can pinto, kidney, or black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 oz / 790g) can crushed tomatoes, fire roasted
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 (15 oz / 430g) can sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz (340g) elbow pasta or cavatappi pasta (gluten-free as needed)
  • 2-3 tsp agave nectar, maple syrup, coconut sugar, or brown sugar
  • 1 cup (16g) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Several squeezes of lime juice
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional but recommended)
  • Vegan sour cream, for serving (optional but recommended)
  • Pickled red onions (optional)


  • In a Dutch oven (or a large nonstick soup pot), heat the 1 tablespoon oil (or 1/3 cup water) over medium heat. Once the oil is hot (or once the water is simmering), add the onions and cook for 2 minutes, seasoning with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and crumbled tempeh, and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir the spices into the vegetables and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  • Add in the beans, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, corn, and pasta. Stir well to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through but not soggy. If you want it to be a bit saucier, add a splash more of broth or water.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the agave or other sweetener. Taste for seasonings again and adjust accordingly.
  • If using vegan cheese, sprinkle it all over the top of the chili mac. Cover the lid and let warm through for a few minutes. Allow chili mac to rest at least 15 minutes before serving and top with fresh chopped cilantro and any other desired toppings.

This recipe was republished from Rainbow Plant Life. You can find the original recipe here.

More like this:

Join The Plant Based Newsletter and we will plant a tree! 🌳

We plant a tree for every signup. You’ll receive our weekly news round-up and be the first to hear about, product launches, exclusive offers and more!

© 2024 Plant Based News is a mission-led impact media platform focused on elevating the plant-based diet and its benefit to human health, the planet, and animals. | Plant Based News Ltd, PO Box 71173, London, SE20 9DQ, United Kingdom.