How to Make a Spicy Vegetarian Chili in Less Than 30 Minutes

jackfruit chili
Photo: Jackie Sobon
Chili has long been a dinnertime savior, served during summer cookouts, cold winter nights, and every evening in between when there's a craving for something warm and hearty. It's a year-round staple—especially when you're cooking for a big, hungry crew.

While the typical chili protocol is to let the ingredients stew for hours, enhancing all the flavors, sometimes, you don't have hours. That's why vegan recipe developer Jackie Sobon crafted this still-delicious version that takes less than 30 minutes to make. "It's perfect for when you're short on comfort and time—and you won't be missing any of that bold flavor," she says of her recipe, which is in her new book, Vegan Yack Attack On The Go!.

"Jackfruit is great as a substitution for meat because it is so versatile, contains no cholesterol, and is rich in fiber." —Vegan recipe developer Jackie Sobon

The main ingredient in her perfected recipe: jackfruit, a plant-based protein. What makes jackfruit so great is that it's high in protein, potassium, and vitamin B, and lower in calories than most meat-free alternatives like corn and soy. "Jackfruit is great as a substitution for meat because it is so versatile, contains no cholesterol, and is rich in fiber," Sobon says. She uses it with beans, tomato paste, and several key spices (for a little kick).

If 30 minutes is still a little too long, Sobon offers up this shortcut: "Try making the chili in an Instant Pot, but browning the jackfruit and onion for two to three minutes on the sauté function, and then add the remaining ingredients and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes," she says.

Scroll down for the recipe and to see how easy it is to make.

Spicy Jackfruit Chili

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  • Prep Time
  • Cook Time
    30 minutes
  • Servings



  1. Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the jackfruit and yellow onions, sauteing them for three minutes to brown the edges. Adjust the heat to medium, and add the bell peppers, jalapeno, and tomato paste to the pot. Saute for five minutes, or until the peppers have softened and the onions are translucent. While doing so, break the jackfruit up into smaller pieces.

  2. Next, add the black beans, vegetable broth, chopped tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, and coriander to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. After the chili has simmered, season with salt to taste. Divide the chili between four bowls, topping each with one tablespoon of scallions and one tablespoon of optional vegan cheese. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

For more vegan recipe ideas, check out this creamy sweet potato soup and this rainbow veggie sandwich.

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