Home > Soups & Stews > Vegetarian Chili Vegetarian Chili January 9, 2019 | 86 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. This is our all-time favorite Vegetarian Chili! It’s hearty, healthy, and delicious, packed with good-for-you ingredients like vegetables, beans, and the perfect seasoning mix. Make this chili once and repurpose it for healthy meals all week long (great meal prep!). We’re on a vegetarian kick around here! You’ll have to try some of the other favorite vegetarian meals next: Quinoa Black Bean Salad, Bruschetta Pasta, and Vegetarian Tacos. Flavor-Packed Vegetarian Chili There’s plenty of evidence here on the blog that I’m obsessed with chili and it turns out some of the most popular recipes on my site are chili variations! This Taco Chili or this Crockpot White Chicken Chili recipe are both majorly popular and today I’m adding another one to your list of “must-makes.” But instead of adding chicken, sausage, or beef, today we’re leaving out the meat. Don’t close your browser just yet– I promise you’re going to love this veggie version and it’s just as filling as the others! You’re probably wondering, without the meat, what actually is in Vegetarian Chili. I’ll break down the ingredients below and then share how to make this recipe! What’s in Vegetarian Chili? Lots of veggies: (obviously right?!) While this chili can really handle just about any veggie, I wanted to keep it simple so you can have dinner ready quickly instead of spending hours dicing tons of vegetables. We’re sticking with just onion, garlic, and bell pepper. You’ll also add in corn later. Amazing seasoning mix: This is essentially my same seasoning mix shared on this Crockpot Chili — it’s simple, delicious, packs the perfect punch of flavors, and is loved by so many of you! I’d rate this chili medium for spice, so feel free to adjust seasonings to spice preference. We also use vegetable stock to add some delicious flavor while still keeping things vegetarian. Plenty of beans: What makes up the bulk of this chili (and gives you “filling power”) are beans. We use black and pinto beans, but feel free to throw kidney beans into the mix! Tons of toppings: All good chili requires delicious toppings! We love topping this chili with cheese, sour cream, and fresh lime. Other options: avocado, cilantro, tortilla strips. Now that we’ve talked about ingredients, let’s talk process for making a meatless chili! How do you make the best Vegetarian Chili? Saute veggies: This chili starts with onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. You want the veggies tender before adding anything else. Saute spices: Before adding any other liquid or ingredients, you’ll saute the spices as a quick way to deepen and intensify their flavors. Add the rest of the ingredients: Once the veggies are tender and spices are fragrant, you’ll add in everything else: tomatoes, beans, corn, and stock Simmer: Everything simmers for a good 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and intensify and the veggies/beans to get nice and tender. Blend: Here’s the “secret” to getting the perfect texture in this Vegetarian Chili: you’ll blend 1 and 1/2 cups of the chili and then stir it back in. This creates the perfect texture and flavor! Top: Every chili relies on some good toppings and this one is no exception. For us, sour cream (we use fat-free!) and good sharp Cheddar cheese are must-haves! Vegetarian Chili FAQs Is this recipe vegan? Yes! Without the toppings (sour cream or cheese), this chili is vegan! Is this recipe gluten free? Short answer – yes. However, some products are made in a facility that is not gluten free. To be 100% safe, check all the ingredient labels to ensure they were processed in a gluten-free environment. How long does this chili last? Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, Vegetarian Chili will last up to 5 days. It does separate a bit when being stored in the fridge, so stir it up again and reheat over the stove (medium heat) or in the microwave. Can you freeze leftover Vegetarian Chili? To freeze as a meal: Mix all ingredients and place in (a couple of) freezer-safe bags. When ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight and then prepare according to recipe directions. To freeze prepared chili: While you can freeze this chili, it does lose some texture and flavor. (It is best eaten fresh.) However, if you do want to freeze, let the chili cool completely to room temperature before putting small amounts in freezer-safe (and airtight) bags or containers and freezing. Freeze the bags flat to make defrosting easier. Thaw in the fridge and warm through slowly in a pot over medium-low heat. Do not stir vigorously as you reheat. And last, but not least, here are some alternative cooking methods for this veggie chili. (Please note: these alternate cooking versions have not been personally tested, but they should work fine.) Vegetarian Chili in the Slow Cooker: Follow steps 1-3 in the recipe card below and then pick up with these instructions: Add in the undrained diced tomatoes and use the juices of those tomatoes to deglaze the pan and scrape every bit of goodness from the bottom of it. Transfer to a slow cooker (4 quarts or larger) and add in everything else: drained and rinsed black beans, drained and rinsed pinto beans, frozen corn, vegetable stock, and bay leaf. Stir. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 2 hours. Remove 1 and 1/2 cups of the chili and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth and then add back to slow cooker and stir to combine. Add fresh lime and fresh cilantro as desired. Re-season as necessary and serve in individual bowls with favorite toppings! In the Instant Pot: Using the sauté function of your Instant Pot, follow directions in the recipe card to sauté the onion, pepper, garlic, and seasonings. Add in the undrained diced tomatoes and use the juices of those tomatoes to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add in everything else: drained and rinsed black beans, drained and rinsed pinto beans, frozen corn, vegetable stock, and bay leaf. Stir. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, close the steam vent, and set it to HIGH pressure using the manual setting. Decrease the time to 7 minutes. It will take about 10-15 minutes for the pot to come to pressure and then the time starts counting down. Once the time is up, wait 5 minutes and then use the quick-release valve to release the steam. Stir. Remove 1 and 1/2 cups of the chili and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth and then add back to slow cooker and stir to combine. Add fresh lime and fresh cilantro as desired. Re-season as necessary and serve in individual bowls with favorite toppings! Serving ideas for Vegetarian Chili: Baked potatoes: Add a few spoonfuls of this chili plus some cheese, green onions, and sour cream. Navajo tacos: Make or buy some fry bread, top with a few spoonfuls of this chili, and add some cheese and sour cream. Taco salad: Use a salad base and dressing and add in a few spoonfuls of leftover chili Bread bowl: For some more carbs (because yum) add this chili to a bread bowl! Sides that pair well with this chili: cornbread, biscuits, or grilled cheese Salad side dishes: this Winter Fruit Salad or this Italian Salad FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Vegetarian Chili 4.98 from 36 votes - Review this recipe Hearty, healthy, and delicious Vegetarian Chili is packed with good-for-you ingredients and so filling you won't miss the meat! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Vegetarian Chili 4.98 from 36 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Hearty, healthy, and delicious Vegetarian Chili is packed with good-for-you ingredients and so filling you won't miss the meat! Course Main Course, Soup, Vegetarian Cuisine American, Vegan, Vegetarian Keyword vegetarian chili, vegetarian chili recipe Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Total Time 50 minutes Servings 6 -8 servings Calories 415kcal Author Chelsea Ingredients2 tablespoons olive oil1 small yellow onion, diced (1 cup)1 tablespoon minced garlic (reduce depending on garlic sensitivity)1 red bell pepper, diced (heaping cup)2 tablespoons ground chili powder1/2 tablespoon dried (NOT ground) oregano1 teaspoon ground cumin1/2 teaspoon EACH: dried basil, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, paprika1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper1/2 tablespoon white sugar2 cans (14.5 ounces EACH) fire-roasted diced tomatoes2 cans (14.5 ounces EACH) black beans, drained and rinsed1 can (14.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed1 can (4 ounces) fire-roasted diced green chiles, optional1 cup frozen corn1 cup vegetable stock (vegetable broth will work)1 bay leaf2 tablespoons fresh lime juiceToppings: Cheddar cheese, fat-free sour cream, avocado, cilantro, chives, tortilla strips, etc. InstructionsPlace a large heavy-bottomed pot (or Dutch oven) over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and wait until shimmering, about 20 seconds. Add in the diced onion and stir for 3-4 minutes. Add in the diced pepper and cook these veggies, stirring occasionally, until they are all very tender, about 6-9 minutes. While the veggies are getting soft, mince the garlic and measure out all the spices, combining them into a small bowl: the chili powder, oregano, cumin, dried basil, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, pepper, and sugar. Stir together and set aside until onion/pepper are tender.Add in the garlic and all the seasonings. Cook, stirring constantly, until the seasonings and garlic are fragrant, about 45 seconds - 1 minute. Be careful to not burn.Carefully add in the undrained diced tomatoes (they might sizzle splatter up a bit) and stir. Add in the drained and rinsed black beans, drained and rinsed pinto beans, chiles (if desired), frozen corn, and vegetable stock. Add in the bay leaf.Stir to combine everything. Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer, and stir occasionally, for 25-30 minutes.Remove 1 and 1/2 cups of the chili and transfer to a blender. To avoid a mess, remove your blender lid's center insert and hold a kitchen towel firmly over the top. Ensure the lid is securely fashioned and blend while holding the towel. Once smooth, pour this mixture back into your chili. Stir to combine.Add fresh lime and fresh cilantro as desired. Season to taste (I always add in a little bit more salt & pepper). Garnish individual bowls with everyone's favorite toppings. For us, sour cream and Cheddar cheese are must-haves! Video Recipe NotesSpiciness: Depending on the actual spices you are using (some brands are hotter/milder than others) you might want to scale up or down on spices in this chili. Nutrition FactsCalories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 499mg | Potassium: 1022mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2104IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 6mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.