Buffalo Chickpea Chili with Mushrooms

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 8 votes

Buffalo chickpea chili is an easy vegan recipe with tons of spicy flavour. Finely chopped mushrooms are super meaty! A comforting meal.

An overhead shot of Buffalo chickpea chili in a wide bowl with a piece of toasted bread on top. There’s also a bright white dollop of cashew four cream.
An up close, overhead shot of Buffalo chickpea chili in a beige Dutch oven. There is a ladle sticking out of the pot.
An overhead shot of Buffalo chickpea chili in a wide bowl with a piece of toasted bread on top. There’s also a bright white dollop of cashew four cream.
Two photos showing mushrooms in a food processor before finely chopping and after finely chopping.

We’re back from 9 days in paradise! I had a truly relaxing time, read a couple good books, and got that essential mega dose of sun and sea. Maybe I’m lucky (actually, I know that I am), but I’ve never really felt the post-vacation blues. I almost always come back restored and inspired to take on new work or tackle old projects that have been hanging around a bit too long–like maybe the one wall in my upstairs hallway that I still haven’t finished painting, yikes.

We came back on a Friday night, stopped to get some groceries/a slice of vegan pizza, and then I pretty much spent the weekend cleaning, organizing, planning, and dreaming with a completely refreshed mindset. I hit a deep creative/general motivation rut over the holidays, not gonna lie. I was asking myself A LOT of questions. I am fond of practicing gratitude, and with this trip and the dose of sparkle it brought back, my thankfulness is soaring.

Just as your physical body needs sleep for optimum function, your emotional and spiritual self needs periods of relaxation and time to just do/not do whatever the hell you want. Spending full days at the beach without my phone/computer felt indulgent and admittedly confusing at first. Like, what am I supposed to fill up my day with? Should I just lay around, meditate, eat lots of fruit, have a beverage, walk the beach for the hundredth time, read another book, and watch the waves in between? That’s what I did. It was the dose of nature/life connection that I needed.

I dreamed up this recipe while I was there. I think this is the first time I’ve ever posted a game day-style recipe in time for the Super Bowl? Pats on the back. You guys know that I like my entire life doused in Buffalo-style hot sauce (see
this salad + these potatoes + this pizza + this hummus from the One Part Plant Cookbook, which is a staple in our house), so this chili is a natural progression.

You finely mince mushrooms in a food processor for that meaty texture in this chili. The flavour of the mushrooms isn’t particularly pronounced in the final product. Chickpeas, carrots, and celery fill the rest of the pot out. The Buffalo sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, and miso make it so satisfying and instantly crave-able. I would not hesitate to serve this over fries, not even a little bit! 😉 I like the relative ease of this recipe too. I served our bowls of Buffalo chickpea chili up with dollops of extra cool vegan sour cream.

Hope you try this one! Tag me on
Insta if you do (especially if you’re pouring it over fries–I wanna see that in action!)

An overhead shot of ingredients for a Buffalo chickpea chili on a dark wood background.
An overhead shot of mushrooms, celery, onions, carrots, and garlic sautéing in a beige Dutch oven.
AN overhead shot of Buffalo chickpea chili with mushrooms in a beige Dutch oven on a dark wood background.
An slight 3/4 angle shot of Buffalo chickpea chili in a wide bowl with a piece of toasted bread on top. There’s also a bright white dollop of cashew four cream.

Buffalo Chickpea Chili with Mushrooms

Buffalo chickpea chili is an easy vegan recipe with tons of spicy flavour. Finely chopped mushrooms are super meaty! A comforting meal.
5 from 8 votes
Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Chili with Mushrooms - The First Mess
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 lb (454 grams) white button or cremini mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or other heat-tolerant oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 medium carrots, small dice
  • 4 ribs celery, small dice
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ⅓ – ½ cup Buffalo-style hot sauce (start with a ⅓ and add more to taste at the end)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted)
  • 1 15- ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • vegan sour cream, for serving


  • I used cremini mushrooms, but (slightly more affordable) button mushrooms would be fine here. I think they might even make the chili look a bit more appetizing.
  • I used SWEET smoked Spanish paprika. This brand is my go-to for smoked paprika.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you could certainly mince the mushrooms by hand, milling them back and forth on the board with a chef’s knife. If you’re wondering whether this recipe is worth dragging the food processor out for, it is. The finest chopping is done in 5 seconds.
  • My favourite all purpose miso is South River’s chickpea miso.
  • I like seasoning this chili at the very end because most hot sauces are quite salty and acidic. You may not need much salt at all.
  • Last but most important note: You need to get PROPER Buffalo-style hot sauce. It’s got that salty-tangy hit! Tessemae’s is great if you can find it.


  • Chop the mushroom caps into quarters and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Close the lid and pulse the mushrooms until they are all finely minced. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion to the pot and saute until slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery. Saute the vegetables until all are slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the minced mushrooms to the pot and stir. Keep stirring and cooking the mushrooms until they glisten and soften up slightly, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, miso, and smoked paprika to the pot and stir until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the Buffalo-style sauce, tomatoes, chickpeas, and vegetable stock to the pot. Stir to combine and then bring the chili to a boil.
  • Simmer the chili, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Everything in the Buffalo chickpea chili is already cooked, but you want to marry the flavours before serving. The carrots should be soft when you’re done. Season the chili to taste with salt, pepper, and more Buffalo sauce if desired. Serve the chili hot with cashew sour cream, toast etc.
24/01/2018 (Last Updated 16/01/2023)
Posted in: autumn, cashews, chickpeas, earthy, gluten free, main course, mushrooms, nut free, quick, refined sugar-free, salty, side dish, smoky, soup, sour, spicy, spring, summer, tomatoes, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Grace

    I can’t find any chickpea miso around where I am. Any substitute? This is the only recipe that is hindering me to make it. Amazon doesn’t even have it. :(

    • Laura

      You can use any type of light miso! Typically, soy-based ones are the most widely available. You could also just substitute 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce/tamari. We’re using the miso for that depth of flavour and soy sauce accomplishes the same thing.

  • Anissa

    Just add this for dinner…it’s definitely not a regular meat chilli…but man is this an awesome chilli!!! I just used kale as a base instead of using bread to dip…I also put in an extra can of chickpeas as I doubled the recipe…
    Very flavourful and tonnes of texture… A winner for sure! Thanks so much!

  • Eric Bee

    I might forgo the veg broth the next time. I boiled a decent amount off, but I like thick hearty chili. Also, Frank’s “Hot” Buffalo was overkill. I like spicy, but getting other’s to eat it with that would prove difficult.

    Amazed by how well that sour cream comes out.

  • Emily Hansen

    Hello Laura! I was browsing your blog and this post really caught my attention. My husband and I are really a big fan of anything chili and I thought I’d give this recipe a try and surprise him with this yummy dish. I’m just wondering, will it be okay if I replace chickpeas with lentils as it’s also one of his favorites. Or if you have any other suggestions, let me know :)

    • Laura

      Hi Emily!
      I think cooked lentils would be equally tasty in this chili. Hope you guys love it!

  • Anna

    Thanks for this recipe. Can this recipe be made without the miso without affecting the taste? :)

    • Laura

      Hi Anna,
      The miso offers a more deep, slightly rich and meaty flavour to the chili. Feel free to leave it out if you wish!

  • Olga Turova

    Wow! Made this and it was realy wow! Thank you for recommend)) I would cooking it for my husband and he like it very much. He is a meat-eater) Have a nice day!

  • Carolyn Christmas

    I made this today and it’s so tasty delicious! I intended to follow the recipe to a tee but didn’t have enough plain crushed tomatoes. I had to crush some fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles for half of them. I don’t think it hurt it We are new vegans and I’m so thrilled to have found your blog and cookbook recently.

  • Ben

    I made this tonight. I added orange pepper and corn and it came out delicious! Ate it with some jasmine rice. Thank you. Would you happen to have the nutritional info?

  • Corrie Duffy

    Hi Laura
    Mushrooms are my absolute favorite to add some flavor in the dish and your recipe sounds perfect for it. Love how you used smoked paprica!
    Can I use lentils instead of chickpea as I already have it in my kitchen and won’t have to shop? Do tell me if I can. I would love to know.
    Can’t wait to make this recipe
    Thank you :D

    • Laura

      Hi Corrie,
      Yes, I think lentils would be great in this recipe!

  • Karin

    Made this for the super bowl and it was DELICIOUS! Rave reviews from vegans and omnivores alike. Highly recommend!

  • Ginette

    Hi ! Made it and love the taste. Colour and texture were nothing like your pictures however although I followed the recipe. How did you achieve that apparent thickness without reducing for much longer than the recipe calls for ? And how did you get the deep red ? Mine turned out orangey-tan…

    • Laura

      Hi Ginette,
      When I’m photographing things like soups, I let them cool down considerably first, and in the process they do thicken up quite a bit. This is the most likely explanation. As to the colour, the buffalo sauce that I used here was seriously neon orange. Combine that with some good lighting and a tiny bit of photo editing, and I’m guessing that’s why mine looks the way it does :)

  • Chrissie

    I made this last night- It is absolutely delicious!

  • Isaac Thomas

    This looks absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to make this on a cold day!!

    Isaac Thomas,

    Peace & Love

  • Heather

    Do you think this would work in a slow cooker? Looks delicious, but I love my lazy cooking and my crock pot is my go to! haha!

    • Laura

      Hi Heather!
      I think it would work fine. I’m not sure what setting I’d put it on and for how long though. I’m still a bit of a slow cooker newbie. From quickly googling vegetarian mushroom chili recipes, it seems like the consensus is the “LOW” setting for about 7-8 hours. Let me know what it’s like if you try it!

  • Chelsea | Baked Greens

    This chili is on our meal plan for this week & I can’t wait to make it!
    I loooove seeing South River’s miso in your kitchen- we lived up the road from them for 8 years and, even after moving across the state, still keep our fridge LOADED with all their incredible miso. The chickpea is absolutely my favorite, though!

  • McKenzie

    I’m curious about chickpea miso, is that for people avoiding soy? I thought it was a vegan product naturally, but I’ve never used it much so I’m not sure.

    • Laura

      I think at its heart, chickpea miso is ideal for people who cannot eat soy. I personally just really like the nutty taste.

  • Denise

    I made this for my meat eating dairy loving friends because they will eat plant based and vegan if I make it.

    They all loved, one even asked for the recipe and they all said that it would be something that they would enjoy now and then.

  • Anne

    I made this for my husband while he was at the gym. We had it for lunch and he loved it. The smokey flavor mixed with the buffalo sauce is what he liked. I substituted black beans and only had franks buffalo sauce. I’ll bet it would be better with your recommended sauce. He goes I can eat this every day. Thank you

    • Laura

      I love that! I bet it was so good with black beans too. Thanks Anne!

  • Sherryn Adair

    I SO made this for dinner last night and invited my friend who is a die hard carnivore & chickpea hater. He brought his own pasta salad and chicken sausage but happily chopped all the veggies for me (my knife skills are so bad I’m on a perpetual suicide watch). After all of his hard work, he had a conflicted look when he peered at the fragrant, colorful pot of chili and said he’d try a small bowl. Well, guess what! He skipped the pasta salad & sausage and nailed two BIG bowls of this. He said it was EXCELLENT (and I concur!). I told him I really trust your flavor intuition because everything I’ve made from your book/blog has been the bomb. Thank you!

    • Laura

      Total success on two fronts: your friend enjoyed it AND he helped you make it. All about those small victories for the plant-based camp :)

  • Jo

    FYI (you probably already know this, but in case some of your readers don’t) the OG buffalo sauce was just Frank’s Red Hot (or similar vinegary-cayenne hot sauce) + butter, so I never have “buffalo sauce” in my pantry, I always just make it myself! I’m originally from Buffalo, so even though I’m plant based now I’m still obsessed with anything and everything buffalo flavoured!

    • Laura

      I didn’t know that! Is it bad that I don’t like Frank’s though?!

  • Katie

    Which books did you read?

    • Laura

      Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle, How to be Here by Rob Bell + The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  • Michelle

    This looks fabulous! In fact all of your recipes look incredible, the photos are just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

  • Megan Gordon

    Making this Friday for friends that just had baby!

    • Laura

      Ooooh I hope that they love it :)

  • Alex

    This looks absolutely divine. Love the trick for finely chopping mushrooms in the food processor!

  • McKenzie

    Recently read on The Kitchn that mushrooms readily soak up vitamin D if left in the sun, and provide a good boost! So definitely will be making this and pretending I’m getting my vitamin D from the beach instead ;)

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker

    Ok I am NOT a mushroom lover (I know!), but I could totally get down with this! I’ve been trying to be more intentional and not as frantic this year (LOL) and it makes everything feel so much more relaxed!

    • Sherryn Adair

      You won’t really taste the mushrooms – they just add a nice rich flavor; same with the chickpeas – they give a nice texture! Once the flavors meld, it’s just a multi-level flavor experience!

    • Laura

      Agree with Sherryn! My man doesn’t like mushrooms at all and polished off a huge bowl of this ;)

      • Sherryn

        5 stars
        Just made this (again)…I totally have zero recall of making it before! (This time) I might leave the mushrooms a little bigger but I LOL’d when I read your note about dragging out the food processor. I totally waffled and decided to do as you say! It is SUPER delicious! I added blue cheese crumbles before serving! 10 thumbs up.

  • supal // @chevronseclairs

    pinning this and just ordered a sweet smoked paprika!

    • Laura

      You will loooooove the paprika. So delicious in so many things!

  • Patricia Scarpin

    This looks super delicious! You have got me craving chili even though it is really hot in Sao Paulo right now. :)