Richly flavored, thick and hearty, this vegan chili pot pie is a one-pot meal that’s as delicious as it is nourishing. Tender, mild black-eyed peas are the bean of choice in this easy chili and are complimented by super sweet corn, meaty veggie ground and smokey chipotle peppers. Topped with tender cornmeal biscuits, this meal is all about comfort and wholesomeness!
Thank you to Stahlbush Island Farms for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
As perfect for weeknights as it is for game nights. This is the chili pot pie you serve a mixed crowd with confidence. It doesn’t scream vegan, has lots of flavor, and isn’t fussy to make. Once you get the chili going on the stove, get the biscuit dough made and pop it all in the oven!
Made all in one 12″ skillet, this meal is also easy to clean up after! Don’t have an oven safe 12″ skillet? You can make the chili in a regular pot on the stove and then bake it with the biscuits on top in a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish.
What is in Vegan Chili Pot Pie?
Indeed the base of this chili pot pie is a chili sin carne….but that doesn’t mean it’s missing out on any flavor! In fact, I’d argue this bean chili is richer than even the meatiest chili recipes out there. Nor is it hurting in protein if that’s a concern for any critics at the table – a single serving of this meal clocks in at around 38 grams! I digress, but here’s a breakdown on the ingredients, including a few “secret” ones:
Lots of garlic which is a must for any chili!
Chili powder, cumin and oregano – the usual spice suspects which create the traditional chili flavors. If you can find Mexican oregano, use it but regular oregano works great, too.
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – these make the chili for me. They taste rich and smokey. They have some heat to them, so I went with one minced up (covered in the sauce it’s canned in), and this was just right for us and our little kids. If you love spiciness, use 2 or 3 in your chili, tasting after each addition.
Cider – or your favorite beer – adds a layer of flavor to the vegan chili. I love the subtle fruitiness and sweetness that cider gives the chili. If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, you can use apple juice or soup stock.
Cocoa powder – a single tablespoon of cocoa powder is all you need to make a good chili great! It enriches the flavor without making the chili taste like chocolate, promise!
Fire roasted canned tomatoes – for concentrated tomato flavor as well as some extra umami and smokiness.
TVP or textured vegetable protein – a shelf stable meat substitute made from soy flour and it’s rich in protein and fiber. It’s dry when you buy it so you’ll need to hydrate it with a cup of soup stock. You can also use another vegan ground meat product such as the “ground round” or “beefless beef” available in the cooler and frozen sections at the grocery store. Once in the chili, it gives a very convincing “meatiness”!
Black-eyed peas – these little guys are tender, silky inside and mild in flavor. After testing with extra beans like kidney beans and black beans, I went back to only adding the black-eyed peas. While not traditional, they give the chili the heartiness and earthiness we love about chili without the chili being too chewy or too beany.
Super sweet corn – buttery and juicy! The corn ties in well with the cornmeal biscuits on top!
Tender cornmeal biscuits -these biscuits have a pretty golden hue and a slight crunchiness from the cornmeal. A vegan buttermilk (plant-based milk plus some vinegar) gives the biscuits a nice tang! While some chili pot pies have a cornbread crust, we’re going for biscuits which have that cornbread flavor.
Tips for Tender Vegan Cornmeal Biscuits on Chili Pot Pie
Use cold vegan butter sticks. Vegan butter (or margarine) that’s sold in tubs does not hold up as well in biscuits because it has more moisture. It also can’t be grated into the dry ingredients. Grating in cold firm vegan butter helps create the delicate biscuit texture.
Don’t work the vegan butter too much into the dry ingredients. Grate cold vegan butter into the dry ingredients with a cheese grater – this helps break up the vegan butter without handling it much with warm hands. You want bits of vegan butter about the size of peas, and a few just a little bit bigger. Which goes hand in hand with the next tip:
Don’t over-work the dough or use a rolling pin. Doing so not only overworks the vegan butter into the biscuits, it also starts working the gluten. Long strands of strong gluten means tough biscuits. Pat the dough gently with your hands to shape the dough into a rectangle. Using a rolling pin tends to press and stretch the dough more than your hands do.
Fold the dough. Once the dough is patted out into a rectangle, fold it like you would a letter. This creates physical layers which yields flakier biscuits!
Preheat the oven. This step is really important when you’re making the vegan chili pot pie so that your biscuits get that intense 400°F heat as soon as they hit the oven and the baking powder goes right to work. If your oven isn’t preheated, the vegan butter will slowly melt, disperse throughout the dough before the baking powder is activated, and lose the ability to create those tender layers.
Toppings for Vegan Chili Pot Pie
This vegan chili pot pie is delicious as is, but fun and tasty to dress up with any of the following:
- Grated vegan cheddar cheese
- Vegan Sour Cream
- Sliced avocado
- Lime wedges
- Fresh jalapeno slices for extra heat
- Sliced green onions
Making Chili Pot Pie Ahead
The chili can be made a few days ahead of time and then heated before making the cornmeal biscuit dough. While the chili is heating, preheat the oven, make your biscuits and continue with the recipe. The flavors of this vegetarian chili age really well so some extra time in the fridge is a good thing! The biscuits are best served right away so I recommend making them just before you plan to serve them.
If you make this Vegan Chili Pot Pie, please give it a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes. I love seeing what you’re cooking! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration. Thank you for reading!
Vegan Chili Pot Pie
For the Chili:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium brown onion, diced
- 12 oz veggie ground or 1 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein) hydrated in 1 cup hot soup stock for 10 minutes
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (use 2 if you like it spicy)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 355 ml cider or beer (may use apple juice or soup stock)
- 28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 4 cups cooked black beans or black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed if canned
- 2 cups frozen super sweet corn (may use fresh corn kernals)
- 2 cups vegan soup stock
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
For the Cornmeal Biscuits:
- 1 ⅓ cups plant-based milk, cold
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbsp vegan butter, melted or oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup medium grind cornmeal
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup vegan butter sticks, cold (not tub style)
For the Chili:
- In a large (12"/20 cm or 3.5+ quart) oven safe skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 3 minutes until softened. Add the veggie ground, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and chipotle peppers, cooking for another minute or two, until fragrant. Add in the cocoa powder and salt. Deglaze with the cider, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any stuck bits. Add in the tomatoes, corn, black-eyed peas (or black beans), soup stock and maple syrup. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you prefer a thinner chili, add a bit more broth.
For the Cornmeal Biscuits:
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200°C/gas mark 6. Combine the plant milk and vinegar in a measuring cup, stir and set aside to curdle. In a small bowl, combine the melted vegan butter and garlic powder, set aside.
- In large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using a cheese grater, grate in the cold vegan butter, mixing until dispersed and some pieces a bit bigger than peas remain. Pour in the plant milk, and stir with a fork just until the batter comes together – do not over stir. Lightly flour the work surface, and dump the batter out. Using your hands (not a rolling pin) pat out the dough into an 11"x 7" (28 x 18 cm) rectangle. Starting on a short end, fold 1/3 of the dough onto itself, and the remaining 1/3 of the dough over the top, just like folding a letter. Pat down into a rectangle again, repeating this 2 more times. Pat the dough out into a 1" (2.5 cm) thick rectangle and cut into 12 biscuits with a sharp, floured knife.
- Once the oven is preheated, place the biscuits onto the hot chili, brush them with the melted vegan butter and garlic. Place the skillet on foil or a catch tray for any boil over. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the biscuits are cooked through and golden. Enjoy!
The Nutrition Information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the Nutrition Information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.
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