How Many Calories in Vegan Chili: A Nutritional Breakdown

Vegan chili has gained immense popularity in recent years, not only for its delicious taste but also for its health benefits and ethical considerations. Learn more about how many calories in vegan chili.

Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, knowing the nutritional content of your favorite dishes is essential. In this article, we will delve into the world of vegan chili and answer the burning question: How many calories are in a serving of this hearty, plant-based comfort food?

Understanding Vegan Chili

Before we dive into the calorie count of vegan chili, let’s first understand what makes this dish so special. Vegan chili is a flavorful and satisfying alternative to traditional meat-based chili. It typically consists of ingredients such as beans, vegetables, tomatoes, and a variety of spices. These ingredients come together to create a hearty and nutritious meal that’s not only tasty but also packed with essential nutrients.

Related: Indulge Guilt-Free: How to Make Vegan Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Basic Vegan Chili Recipe

To calculate the calorie content of vegan chili, we need to start with a basic recipe. Here’s a simple vegan chili recipe to serve as our reference:


  • 2 cups of cooked black beans
  • 2 cups of cooked kidney beans
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of diced bell peppers (red, green, or yellow)
  • 1 cup of diced onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic, and bell peppers, and sauté until they soften.
  3. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Add the cooked beans and vegetable broth.
  6. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now that we have our basic vegan chili recipe, let’s break down the calorie content.

Calorie Breakdown

To calculate the calories in vegan chili, we need to consider each ingredient individually and sum them up:

  1. Beans: Beans are a rich source of protein and fiber. A 1-cup serving of cooked black beans contains approximately 227 calories, while the same serving size of cooked kidney beans has about 225 calories. Our recipe includes 2 cups of each type, totaling approximately 904 calories.
  2. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are low in calories but provide essential vitamins and minerals. A 1-cup serving of diced tomatoes has around 32 calories. In our recipe, we use 1 cup, contributing about 32 calories.
  3. Bell Peppers: Bell peppers add flavor, color, and nutrients to the chili. A 1-cup serving of diced bell peppers contains about 46 calories. Our recipe calls for 1 cup, adding approximately 46 calories.
  4. Onions: Onions are a staple in many dishes and are relatively low in calories. A 1-cup serving of diced onions has approximately 64 calories. Our recipe uses 1 cup, providing about 64 calories.
  5. Spices: The spices, including chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper, contribute minimal calories to the dish, roughly around 15-20 calories in total.
  6. Vegetable Broth: A 1-cup serving of vegetable broth typically contains around 10-15 calories. Our recipe calls for 2 cups, contributing about 20-30 calories.
  7. Olive Oil: The olive oil used for sautéing adds calories to the dish. One tablespoon of olive oil has approximately 120 calories. Our recipe uses 1 tablespoon, adding 120 calories.
  8. Salt and Pepper: These seasonings add minimal to no calories and are typically not a significant contributor.

Adding up all these components, the total calorie count for our basic vegan chili recipe is approximately 1,231 to 1,241 calories. This calorie estimate is for the entire batch of chili. To determine the calorie content per serving, you’ll need to divide this total by the number of servings you intend to consume.

Serving Size

The number of servings you can get from a batch of vegan chili depends on your portion size. A typical serving of chili is around 1 to 1.5 cups. To illustrate, if you divide our basic recipe into 6 equal servings, each serving would contain roughly 205 to 207 calories. This calorie count may vary slightly based on factors like the exact portion size and variations in ingredient brands.

Nutritional Benefits

While knowing the calorie count of vegan chili is important, it’s equally essential to consider the nutritional benefits it offers:

  1. Protein: Vegan chili is an excellent source of plant-based protein, primarily from the beans. Protein is essential for muscle health, tissue repair, and overall body function.
  2. Fiber: Beans and vegetables in vegan chili provide a substantial amount of dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and helping you feel full and satisfied.
  3. Vitamins and Minerals: This dish is rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and folate, thanks to ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, and beans.
  4. Low in Saturated Fat: Vegan chili is low in saturated fat, making it a heart-healthy choice compared to traditional meat-based chili.
  5. Antioxidants: The combination of spices and vegetables in vegan chili provides a range of antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage.

Customizing Vegan Chili

One of the great things about vegan chili is its versatility. You can customize it to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Here are some ideas:

  1. Add more vegetables: Experiment with additional veggies like corn, carrots, zucchini, or spinach to increase the nutritional content.
  2. Switch up the beans: Feel free to use different types of beans or lentils to change the texture and flavor of your chili.
  3. Reduce calories: If you’re looking to lower the calorie count, you can reduce the amount of olive oil used for sautéing or use a cooking spray instead.
  4. Top with avocado: Adding sliced avocado on top of your chili not only enhances the flavor but also contributes healthy fats and creaminess.
  5. Serve with whole grains: To make your meal more substantial, consider serving your chili with a side of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat bread.


In conclusion, vegan chili is a delicious and nutritious plant-based dish that can easily fit into a balanced diet. The calorie content of a serving of vegan chili can vary depending on the ingredients used and the portion size. Our basic recipe provided an estimate of approximately 205 to 207 calories per serving when divided into six portions.

While it’s important to be aware of calorie counts, it’s equally crucial to consider the overall nutritional benefits of this dish, including its protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Vegan chili offers a wholesome and satisfying meal option that can be customized to suit your preferences and dietary requirements.

Moreover, vegan chili aligns with various dietary choices, including vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian lifestyles. It’s a wonderful option for those seeking to reduce their meat consumption without sacrificing flavor or nutrition. By incorporating a variety of plant-based ingredients, this dish offers a wide range of health benefits.

Here are a few key takeaways when it comes to the nutritional aspects of vegan chili:

  1. High in Plant-Based Protein: Beans are an excellent source of protein in vegan chili. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body and is a crucial component of a balanced diet.
  2. Rich in Fiber: Beans and vegetables are packed with dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health, helps control blood sugar levels, and keeps you feeling full and satisfied.
  3. Low in Saturated Fat: Vegan chili is naturally low in saturated fat, which is known to contribute to heart disease. This makes it a heart-healthy choice.
  4. Loaded with Vitamins and Minerals: The diverse array of vegetables used in vegan chili provides essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and folate. These nutrients are vital for overall health and well-being.
  5. Antioxidants: The combination of spices and vegetables in vegan chili offers a wide range of antioxidants. These compounds help protect your cells from oxidative stress and may have various health benefits.
  6. Versatile and Customizable: You can tailor vegan chili to suit your taste and dietary preferences by adding or substituting ingredients. This adaptability makes it a versatile dish for everyone.

It’s important to remember that the nutritional content of your vegan chili may vary depending on your specific recipe and ingredient choices. If you have dietary concerns or specific health goals, it’s advisable to consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to ensure that your meals align with your individual needs.

In summary, vegan chili is not only a delicious and flavorful dish but also a nutritious addition to your diet. By understanding the calorie content and nutritional benefits of this plant-based meal, you can make informed choices that support your health and well-being. Whether you enjoy it on a chilly evening or as a meal prep staple, vegan chili is a versatile and satisfying option for vegans and non-vegans alike.


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