This Easy Vegetarian Chili recipe is the perfect comfort food when the weather starts getting chilly outside! But that’s not all that’s great about it; it packs a punch with a bunch of different pantry staple ingredients including beans full of protein, and delicious veggies that will satisfy even my meat-loving friends out there!
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect vegetable chili, but most of the recipes online only contained some carrot or one pepper that constituted a ‘Vegetable Chili’. That’s when I decided to test a variety of options out to get to this result!
It’s a deliciously spicy chili that puts me well on my way to 9 servings of of fruits and veggies in a day!
What’s best is that you can even meal prep it for the week and have it as a snack, as a whole meal, or when you’re just looking for something warm and comforting.
Trust me, this vegetarian chili recipe is out of this world and when you try it once, you’re going to want to make it every single week! Excited? Then let’s get started!
What’s a Vegetable Chili?
A vegetable chili is a delicious chili recipe that combines hearty beans, a bunch of tasty vegetables, and some spices for a heartwarming chili dish that’s not only packed with flavor but is also really easy to make!
What’s best is that this is the perfect way to increase your veggie intake, even if you’re a true meat-lover at heart. I love the fact that the ingredients are unprocessed and made of whole foods to give you the nutrition you need.
And when I say it’s protein-packed, I truly mean it! Just the 2 cups of red kidney beans alone have 30g of protein! Yep, you read that right!
Combine that with the tasty pinto beans, black beans, and a variety of veggies and spices, and you know it’s a wholesome meal that everyone is going to fall in love with. I mean, it’s hearty enough to even satisfy my meat-loving hubs!
This dish is rich in protein, full of fiber and nutrients, and some spice to really fire up your metabolism!
What You Need to Make This Easy Vegetarian Chili at Home
This is a super easy vegetarian chili recipe that requires only pantry staple ingredients for a delicious dish.
You can scroll down to the recipe card for further details and instructions.
Olive oil: You’ll need a little extra virgin olive oil to saute the vegetables before adding in the rest of the ingredients. EVOO is full of healthy monosaturated fats and antioxidants!
Garlic: Garlic is the perfect aromatic to bring out the flavors in all the other veggies for a hearty chili dish that tastes (and smells) amazing!
Onion: We’ll be using one medium yellow onion that we’ll dice up. It’ll add a delicious flavor and a light sweetness that will balance out the rest of the ingredients.
Carrot: Who doesn’t love some carrots? They’re full of beta-carotene, fibers, vitamin K, potassium, and fiber! Like the rest of the veggies, we’ll dice this up too.
Celery: You’ll also need some celery for extra crunch and flavor, and it actually has anti-inflammatory properties that are perfect for all my runner friends out there!
Bell peppers: We’ll be using red, yellow, and green bell peppers for a variation in flavor! All three have subtle flavor differences that truly add to the end result.
Canned tomatoes: To cook our hearty chili, we’ll be using some canned tomatoes with their liquid. Use some fire-roasted canned tomatoes for some spice!
Red kidney beans: Kidney beans are packed with protein and fiber, and make this chili recipe filling and absolutely delicious.
Pinto beans: To mix things up, we’ll also need some pinto beans! I recommend rinsing all canned beans before using them to reduce the total sodium content.
Black beans: Black beans are a nutritional powerhouse and studies even show that they help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Spices: Here’s where we can add even more flavor and spice! You’ll need some basic spices such as ground cumin, chili powder, crushed pepper flakes, and salt to bring out all the flavors in your veggies. Scroll to the recipe card for the exact amounts!
Vegetable broth (optional): If your chili needs some more liquid, you can add one cup of vegetable stock or water to it! I usually put a little water in the tomato can to get out all the juices and use that!
Corn (optional): Like some corn? Add a can to it! This is seriously the best vegetarian chili recipe with the perfect base to customize it with the veggies you love!
How to Make Vegetarian Chili Step by Step
This recipe is incredibly easy to make! With just a few simple steps, you’ll have the tastiest chili ever! Here’s what you need to do to make it at home:
Start by prepping all your veggies and ingredients. Dice all the veggies into bite-sized pieces. This is the only, somewhat time-consuming step but it’s seriously worth it!
Let’s start cooking! Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottom pot.
Now all the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and bell peppers to the pot and sauté until they turn tender. This will take approximately 7 minutes depending on how big or small you’ve diced your veggies.
Next, add the remaining ingredients and bring your mixture to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.
Your delicious Vegetarian Chili is ready to be served! Enjoy a bowl of chili on its own, or pair it with some cornbread, tortilla chips, quinoa, or even a baked sweet potato for a wholesome meal!
Chili Toppings and Other Variation Ideas
This delicious vegetarian chili recipe is absolutely perfect as it is, but if you’re looking to customize it here are some great ideas you can try:
Chili toppings: Add some tasty toppings to change things up and make this recipe your own! Top it with some sliced or diced avocados, some greek yogurt or sour cream, or even some grated cheddar cheese! When it comes to herbs, some fresh cilantro goes really well with the flavors in this dish.
Other veggies: Have some other veggies you love? Then throw them into the pot along with the other vegetables! It’s seriously that easy to customize it. Broccoli will go great with this dish!
Make it spicier: If you like your chili a bit spicier, you can add in some jalapeños for an extra kick or add more crushed pepper flakes to the dish.
How to Store Leftover Vegetarian Chili
If you have some leftover chili, you can easily store it in the fridge for up to 5 to 6 days in an airtight container. Simply reheat it in the microwave and add your favorite toppings before serving it.
It stores so well that this is truly the perfect dish to meal prep for the week to enjoy whenever you’re craving a wholesome, hearty meal.
Easy Vegetarian Chili Recipe
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 4 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid (or use 2 14.5 oz cans diced, fire-roasted for spice!)
- 2 cups cooked red kidney beans, drained (or 2 15oz cans)
- 2 cups cooked black beans, drained (or 2 15 oz cans)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, drained (or 1 15 oz can)
- Optional – If more liquid is needed use 1 cup vegetable stock or water (I put a little water in the tomato can to get out all the juices and use that)
- Optional – 1 can corn
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottom pot.
- Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots and bell peppers; sauté until tender (approximately 7 min)
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes
- Top with avocado or greek yogurt if you don’t have any dairy allergy
**TIP: Rinse all canned beans before using to reduce total sodium content.
If you wanted to make this a complete meal in one pot, you could add in chopped potatoes, sweet potatoes or serve over quinoa. I have been enjoying it for multiple meals this week and added some extra steamed broccoli when warming it up to increase the post-Thanksgiving fiber!
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