Vegetarian Chili
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Homemade Vegetarian Chili

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Nothing says comfort food like a nice steaming bowl of homemade chili. This Homemade Vegetarian Chili is an alternative to a meat option but with the bulk and flavor of the classic. Ensuring you get in your full serving of veggies, this chili has the taste that will satisfy everyone, and have the most carnivorous of carnivores coming back for more.

Toppings For Vegetarian Chili

I personally like mine topped with shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of Greek yogurt, and a side of Fritos (which let’s be honest are quintessential to the chili experience). I always substitute Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and frankly, there isn’t much of a noticeable difference in flavor.

Chili is one of those dishes that you can add and subtract ingredients to your liking (or depending on what you have on hand) quite easily. I have found a lot of Veggie Chili recipes turn out more like veggie bean stew, which is always great too; but when I’m craving chili I’m craving something with a little more traditional meaty consistency. What I like about this recipe is that the processed veggies and the quinoa create a filler that really rounds out the consistency.

Vegetarian Chili Ingredients

Chopped The Vegetables

Simmer Veggies & Dump The Rest In

We started with about 2 tablespoons, or so, of olive oil put into the 6-quart Dutch oven, and then started adding the crisp freshly chopped garlic, diced onion, and red pepper to the pot. Oh my gosh, I wish you could smell this vegetarian chili. For some reason, I feel so much healthier when I add several vegetables to a meal. Do you feel that way?

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Then add the roughly-processed (or minced) summer squash, carrot, and celery; saute’ for a few more minutes. Add tomato paste and broth; stir until tomato paste is thoroughly mixed in. Throw in the cooked quinoa and let it cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dump in chili, pinto, and kidney beans with their water. Drain and rinse black beans before adding. Add the crushed tomatoes and the pumpkin puree. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon.

Bring almost to a boil, then stir, cover, and let simmer on low. Simmer until heated thoroughly and some of the liquid cooks out. Add the veggie broth and simmer, simmer, simmer until you just can’t stand it anymore.

Simmering Is The Trick

I would at least let it simmer for an hour or two, but the real trick with chili is the longer it simmers the better it is. It’s even better the next day after the flavors have a chance to meld. If you prefer something a little on the spicier side throw in a handful of diced jalapenos, or add extra cayenne!

You can use this exact same recipe with a crockpot (saute’ onion, peppers, and garlic in a pan then transfer to the crockpot). Just dump everything in and either cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8. Slow Cooker I used a Lodge Dutch Oven

This Homemade Vegetarian Chili is also perfect for freezing; reheat, defrost overnight in the fridge, and heat thoroughly on the stovetop. This recipe serves 8-10 people easily! Not quite trying to feed an army? No problem just cut all the ingredients in half and add only 2 cans of your choice of beans. Additional options for leftovers: throw a couple of scoops in a tortilla for “chili tacos,” or serving over rice is a satisfying variation as well.

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Vegetarian Chili Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Vegetarian Chili
Homemade Vegetarian Chili
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chili, Vegetarian
Servings: 10 people
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans (rinse and drain)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot or a handful baby carrots (finely chopped)
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 of a summer squash, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups red quinoa, (cooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot, saute the onions, celery, and the red peppers. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on the stove for at least one hour, two hours is even better. Or if you want to use a slow cooker, cook on high for 6 hours and cook on low for 8 hours. Times may vary depending on your slow cooker brand.

What To Serve With Vegetarian Chili

  • Grated cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Dinner rolls
  • French bread
  • Crackers
  • Tortilla chips

Final Word

I really hope you try this vegetarian chili I made today. It’s a keeper, and the best part is that we can make all of it from our pantry, food storage stash, and garden. Please stock up on spices, we will need them as the groceries continue to go sky-high. Please stock beans, rice, and spices this week. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

Frugal Chili Recipes by Linda

French Bread by Linda

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  1. Several years ago, I was given a recipe that is so, so quick and easy for vegetarian chili for one or 2 but can be made in much larger batches if needed.

    For 1- 2 servings:
    1 can of “mexican” stewed tomatoes
    1 can of beans, rinsed (use kidney, black, pinto – your choice)
    1 can of chopped green chilies, drained
    chili seasoning to taste (I use store bought chili seasoning but you can add your own cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes)
    Optional: chopped jalapenos, grated cheese, chopped green onion, sour cream or greek yogurt, tortilla chips for toppings

    Dump all of the ingredients except optional toppings (you could add jalapenos to the mix if you like). Heat thoroughly then enjoy. The longer you heat this (simmer) the more the flavors mix.

    Super easy and yummy. If you want to make this for more than 1-2 servings, just increase the ingredients as needed.

    1. Thank you! I’ve been looking for a chili recipe that I could make from just things in my pantry without requiring freeze dried meat and kept coming up short. All of the recipes I found either called for a lot of fresh veggies or hamburger. If I have access to those ingredients they would definitely make for a better chili I’m sure, but I just wanted something that as a base that I could make straight from my food storage in a pinch. This was exactly what I was looking for! I will be trying this recipe out soon 🙂

  2. I have been using this recipe for years now. It is so easy and I always have those items on the shelf. I will say, however, that I prefer the slow cooked meaty chili that my mother used to make and I do make chili with meat and from scratch on occasion but this recipe is fast and easy. I also like the Bear Creek “Best Darn Chili” mix that I use if I have it and add meat and extra beans but it makes way too much for a single person as does my mom’s homemade chili! So, I generally stick to the vegetarian chili.

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