This vegetarian chili has such great flavor and texture, even carnivores love it. It’s a great chili for feeding a crowd, healthy and super delicious, packed with vegetables, beans, wonderful spices and a special ingredient that makes it “meaty.”
I can’t say enough good things about this vegetarian chili. I’ve tried many veg chili recipes over the years and this is by far my favorite.
The texture is perfect, it has just the right amount of heat and it’s loaded with fresh vegetables. I live in a house of meat lovers and they absolutely love this chili.
Hopefully the carnivores in your house will love it too!
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HOW TO MAKE MY FAVORITE VEGETARIAN CHILI
- Chop the vegetables
- Drain the canned beans
- Measure out the spices
- Have the other ingredients at the ready
- In a large heavy Dutch oven sauté the vegetable and spices in oil for a few minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
You might be surprised to hear that this chili cooks for just 20 minutes but that’s all it needs for great texture, flavor and maximum nutritional benefits.
HERE’S MY BEST TIME SAVING TIP FOR MAKING VEGETARIAN CHILI
Use your food processor to chop the veggies! You will save so much time!
There are LOTS of chopped vegetables in this dish. They create a wonderful texture for the chili. I used to do all the chopping by hand but I’ve discovered that the food processor does a great job in a fraction of the time. If you want to give it a try, here’s what to do:
- Set up your food processor with the chopping blade, also called the S-blade.
- Cut the vegetables into chunks so they fit nicely into the bowl of your food processor.
- Pulse the veggies until they are uniformly chopped (but not pulverized)
- For best results, chop each type of vegetable separately
EXPERT TIP: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST TASTING CHILI
- Add a wonderful depth of flavor to any chili recipe by using a mix of chili powders,
- If a recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of chili powder, use three different types, one tablespoon of each.
- In this vegetarian chili recipe I like to use a mix of New Mexican chili powder, chipotle and ancho.
IF YOU LOVE CHILI, don’t miss out on these two award-winnerS from Panning The Globe!
I ALWAYS make a double batch of vegetarian chili and freeze half. I highly recommend doing this. For very little extra effort, you’ll get another dinner or two cooked and ready. (See recipe notes for freezing instructions.)
Those times when you want something healthy and satisfying for dinner but you don’t feel like cooking, just pull out a container of veg chili from the freezer and heat it up. Sprinkle on some cheese and chopped scallions and you’ve got a fantastic meal.
This vegetarian Chili recipe comes from one of my most falling-apart old cookbooks called The Frog Commissary Cookbook. By the way, the secret ingredient that adds a meaty texture to this dish is a cup of bulgar wheat. If you want to keep it gluten-free substitute an equal amount of raw quinoa.
Here’s the recipe for My Favorite Vegetarian Chili. If you cook this I hope you’ll come back to leave a rating and a review . I’d love to know what you think.Print
My Favorite Vegetarian Chili
This vegetarian chili has such great flavor and texture. You’d never imagine how healthy and low fat it is!
Adapted from The Frog Commissary Cookbook
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 22 mins
- Total Time: 52 mins
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Soup, lunch, dinner
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- chopped veggies
- 3 cups chopped yellow onions (1 1/2 – 2 large)
- 3 cups chopped mushrooms (15-16 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (4–5 medium)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper (1 large)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons chili powder (mix different types for added depth of flavor)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Other ingredients
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1–3 cups tomato juice (Start with 1. Add more at the end to thin, if necessary)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup bulgar wheat (substitute 1 cup quinoa for gluten free)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce* Note for strict vegetarians: some brands of Worcestershire sauce contain anchovies. If you omit the Worcestershire sauce, the chili will still be delicious.
- 1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
- 2 15-ounce cans undrained red kidney beans
- 3 tablespoons canned chopped green chiles
- Suggested Garnishes
- yogurt or sour cream, chopped scallions, grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, cubed avocado
- Have all of the ingredients ready: chopped veggies in one bowl, spices measured out in a small bowl, cans opened.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Add chopped veggies and spices. Sauté, stirring, for 2-4 minutes, just to soften the veggies a bit and toast the spices a bit. Add the rest of the ingredients, using only 1 cup of the tomato juice to start. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, uncovered. Add additional tomato juice if you want to thin the chili. Season to taste with salt and fresh pepper. Serve with assorted toppings.
- This chili freezes well. See notes below.
- Save time by using your food processor to chop the vegetables.
- Add a wonderful depth of flavor to the chili by using 2 or 3 different types of chili powder.
- Freeze chili in an airtight container. It will last for at least 4 months in the freezer. Defrost before reheating or transfer frozen chili to a large heavy pot with a lid. Add 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat, until defrosted and heated through.
Keywords: vegetarian chili recipe, best vegetarian chili
Originally published January 2014. Updated October 2018 with added nutritional information and some tweaks to the written post.
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