This article is brought to you by our friends at humangear. Their silicone containers are perfect for toting spices, sauce, oil, and chopped veggies to the campground. Check out their GoToob+ for a no-mess camp container alternative while curating your perfect camping recipe. 


Are you a gourmet camp cook extraordinaire? Or a top-ramen connoisseur? Maybe you prefer instant oatmeal over a breakfast hash, or freeze-dried macaroni and cheese to vegan chili. Even if your body requires nothing more than basic calories after a long day on the trails or river, consider stepping up your game with this award-winning vegan chili camping recipe.

VEGAN CHILI CAMPING RECIPE (6 servings) – SPICY

chili camping recipe

Image from The Dyrt Ranger Chanel C.

Chanel C., one of our top Dyrt Rangers, recently camped at San Mateo-San Onofre State Beach. While the campground itself wasn’t anything to write home about (besides it’s proximity to San Clemente Beach, less than 10 minutes away), her award-winning vegan chili definitely is.

For Chanel and her husband, this is more than a camping recipe. After spending hours in the kitchen together, him teaching her western style recipes and her teaching him eastern style recipes, the pair decided to create a recipe that blended their two cultures together. “It was kind of a fusion of our cultures, just like our relationship. I’m Chinese-American, and he’s Irish/Czech-American,” said Chanel.

So, they decided to create their own chili recipe. Without a meat base, the chili met most dietary requirements and could be enjoyed by all their friends. They used an assortment of mushrooms: button, shiitake, oyster, and portabello, to make the soup hearty, while maintaining other key chili ingredients like peppers, beans, and tomatoes.

After making it at the campground a few times, they paired the meal down to fewer ingredients for simplicity (and precious cooler real estate).

It’s true what you’ve heard: this recipe has won competitions. “We lived in the heart of downtown LA a couple years ago, and a local artist named Andy Bauch invited us to take part in his annual Chili Contest at his downtown studio,” said Chanel. “The best part of the contest was seeing all the fun chili names: ‘Netflix and Chili,’ ‘Red Hot Chili Pepper,’ and ‘I Cumin Like a Wrecking Ball.’ Our chili was called ‘Chili Nelson.'”

They won 2nd, and hardly anyone noticed the recipe lacked meat.

You probably have most of these ingredients at home, and measuring spices ahead of time into a humangear GoTubb will make your camp kitchen container lighter, and the chili easier to make.

camping recipe and spices

humangear GoTubbs with spices

Even the carnivores will love this spicy chili which uses Soyrizo, a spice-infused tofu version of chorizo, as the anchor. Chances are, you won’t even be able to tell the difference as the taste and texture pair to create a next-level chili experience.

Easily adjust the spice level in this recipe by adding more or less chili pepper flakes. If you’re highly sensitive to spice, the flavor from the Soyrizo might be enough (or even too much) for your taste buds. Consider adding vegan sour cream to this recipe to tone down the heat.

“The recipe is for spicy lovers, so if you cook it as per the instructions, you’re in for some heat,” said Chanel. “If you prefer less spicy, you can reduce the amount of jalapeños and hot pepper flakes that the recipe calls for OR just remove both ingredients all together.”

chili camping recipe

Vegan Chili in humangear Flexibowl with GoBites Duo

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tube of Soyrizo
  • 1 Teaspoon of Basil
  • 3 Heaping Tablespoons of Cumin Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chili Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • ½ Teaspoon of Rosemary
  • 1 Teaspoon of Oregano
  • ½ Can of Corn
  • 1 FlexiBowl of diced mushrooms (equal to an entire carton)
  • ½ Can of Black Beans
  • ½ Cup of Jalapenos (diced) (optional)
  • 1 White onion (diced) – Set aside ¼ of diced onion for serving
  • ¼ Cup of Chopped Cilantro
  • Chopped Green Onions for serving (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Note: Remove Chili Pepper Flakes & Jalapeños from this camping recipe for milder chili.

Cooking Directions:

  1. Combine diced tomatoes, onions, chilli pepper flakes, basil, oregano, and rosemary in a medium stock pot (at least 2.8 L) . Cook and stir on medium heat until onions are translucent.
  2. Stir in soyrizo, tomato paste, cumin, jalapenos, mushrooms, and cilantro to the pot. Fill the pot with water until it covers all the ingredients.
  3. Bring pot to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cover until mushrooms are tender. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Stir in beans and corn, and add salt/pepper to taste. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes; stir occasionally.

Serving (optional)

  • Serve with green onions and diced onion
  • Enjoy with corn tortilla chips
camping recipe: chili with chips

Vegan Chili with Chips and FlexiBowl and GoBites Duo

Read Chanel’s full review on San Mateo-San Onofre State Beach and the humangear she tested.

Megan Walsh

Megan Walsh

Megan dreams of one day being a professional recreationalist, and welcomes any and all tips on how to get there. When she isn’t climbing, skiing, or enjoying shavasana, she’s drinking coffee and furiously typing away at her computer––or watching Netflix. Her work has been featured in Climbing Magazine, Utah Adventure Journal, and on Moja Gear.