Easy Vegetarian Chili

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 6 servings

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This Vegetarian Chili is the ultimate hearty and healthy comfort food. Perfect for cold days, it is packed with vegetables and warm Mexican spices. Ready in just 40 minutes, this one-pot meal is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner!

Top view of a white bowl of vegetarian chilli with toppings around it on the table.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients Needed:
  2. How to Make Vegetarian Chili
  3. Vegetarian Chili FAQs
  4. Tips and Notes
  5. Vegetarian Chili Variations
  6. Serving Suggestions
  7. More Vegetarian Dishes You’ll Love
  8. Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Chili is the ultimate comfort food in the cooler months, and it’s a great recipe to meal prep and make ahead too!

This easy vegetarian chili recipe is packed full of vegetables and beans (it’s a great way to get the whole family to eat more veggies!).

We haven’t always eaten a lot of meatless meals, but with grocery prices rising adding more beans and legumes to our diet is such a great way to spread those dollars and they pack in a ton of nutrition and fibre.

This easy recipe is made from simple pantry staples and is one of those healthy recipes that always gets compliments.

I promise, even the meat eaters will love this plant-based meal! I love to serve it with Garlic Bread or Homemade Breadsticks for dunking.

For more delicious vegetarian dinners, try my Feta Pasta with Dill, these Veggie Bean-Filled Burritos, or this Cheesy-But-Healthy Baked Mac and Cheese!

Ingredients Needed:

Top view of ingredients for vegetarian chilli in glass bowls.
  • Oil: use oil to saute the vegetables – canola oil or another neutral-flavored oil is fine.
  • Vegetables: we’ll be using onions, carrots, red bell pepper, zucchini, crushed tomatoes, and corn, but you can throw in almost anything you have in the fridge! Try mushrooms, sweet potatoes or spinach, too.
  • Beans: for this chili, I have chosen red kidney beans and black beans, but you really can use any beans.
  • Tomato Paste: this will thicken the veggie chili and add a great depth of flavor.
  • Garlic: freshly minced garlic will give the best taste, but you can use garlic powder in a pinch.
  • Seasonings: chili powder, cumin, and salt are classic Mexican chili flavors.
  • Broth: vegetable broth will thin the chili out a bit and flavor the vegetables while they cook.
  • BBQ Sauce: for an added smoky flavor that is delicious with all the mixed veggies.
  • Toppings: shredded cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream, and other chili toppings as desired.

How to Make Vegetarian Chili

Here are a few step by step photos to guide you! See the detailed recipe down in the recipe card.

  1. Saute vegetables: Saute the chopped onion, carrot, red pepper, and zucchini until softened.
  2. Add seasoning: Add tomato paste, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add remaining ingredients: Add the crushed tomatoes, beans, corn, broth, and BBQ sauce.
  4. Cook and serve: Stir and cover. Simmer on medium heat until vegetables are tender. Garnish and serve.

Vegetarian Chili FAQs

What is a good substitute for meat in chili?

The beans in this veggie chili provide us with tons of iron and protein, so meat is not missed! Chili is a great dish because you can fill it with all sorts of vegetables and beans, you really don’t need to meat at all.

How do I store vegetarian chili?

Store any leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Let the chili cool completely before storing it.

Can I freeze vegetarian chili?

Yes! One of the best things about this recipe is that it freezes really well so you can enjoy it as and when you need it, any time of year. Once it has completely cooled, store it in an airtight container that is also freezer-safe, and freeze it for up to 3 months! Thaw it completely (overnight in the fridge is best) and reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until piping hot.

Overhead view of a large pot of vegetarian chilli with wooden ladle and toppings.

Tips and Notes

  • I have used canned beans that have been rinsed and drained. To use dry beans, follow the directions on the package to cook them first.
  • Chop your veggies relatively small for this chili so that the flavors blend together better.

Vegetarian Chili Variations

  • Swap the beans. Use whatever types of beans you like in this chili, like pinto beans, cannellini beans, mixed chili beans, etc.
  • Alternative veggies. You can change the vegetables here to suit your taste. Use red onion, celery, green bell peppers, mushrooms, or whatever other veggies you have on hand.
  • Turn up the heat. Add some cayenne pepper or hot chili powder to make it spicier, or add in some green chilis or chopped jalapeno peppers.
  • Seasonings. Add a bay leaf or some smoked paprika for extra flavor throughout the dish.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with Brown Rice or baked potatoes for a more substantial meal.
  • Add to wraps with salad for vegetarian burritos.
  • Serve along side Garlic Bread or Homemade Bread Sticks for a fuller meal.
  • Serve with other veggies like these Crispy Green Beans or with this Taco Dip for some added texture.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro, finely chopped green onions, slices of avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream or greek yogurt, shredded cheese, etc.
  • Add a teaspoon of lime juice to the chili in the pot, or squeeze some lime juice on top of the chili when you serve it, for a dash of sharp citrus.

More Vegetarian Dishes You’ll Love

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Vegetarian Chili

5 from 3 votes
This Vegetarian Chili is the ultimate hearty and healthy comfort food. Perfect for cold days, it is packed with vegetables and warm Mexican spices. Ready in just 40 minutes, this one-pot meal is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings
Calories 333cal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small zucchini (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (798 ml/28 ounces)
  • 1 can kidney beans (540 ml/18 ounces) drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans (540ml/18 ounces) drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn frozen
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons bbq sauce
  • shredded cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream, and other chili toppings as desired

Instructions

  • Place a large pot on medium-high heat, and add the oil.
  • Once hot, add the chopped onion, carrot, red pepper, and zucchini to the pot. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until softened.
  • Add tomato paste, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt to the pot. Cook and stir for 1 minute to let the spices get fully mixed in.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, corn, vegetable broth, and BBQ sauce. Stir and cover. Simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Garnish and serve with your favorite toppings.

Notes

Vegetarian Chili Variations:

  • Change the beans. Use whatever types of beans you like in this chili, like pinto beans, cannellini beans, mixed chili beans, etc.
  • Alternative veggies. You can change the vegetables here to suit your taste, like using red onion, celery, green bell peppers, mushrooms, or whatever other veggies you have on hand.
  • Turn up the heat. Add some cayenne pepper or hot chili powder to the mix to make it spicier, or add in some green chilis or chopped jalapeno peppers.
  • Seasonings. Add a bay leaf or some smoked paprika for extra flavor throughout the dish.

Storage:

  • Store: Put leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Let the chili cool completely before storing it.
  • Freeze: Once it has completely cooled, put it in an airtight and freezer-safe container, and freeze it for up to 3 months! Thaw completely and reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until piping hot.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 409grams | Calories: 333cal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 540mg | Potassium: 1291mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 3649IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 6mg
Keywords vegetarian chili

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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