Hearty Vegetarian Chili

This healthy and hearty vegetarian chili recipe is a family favorite! It is packed with vegetables, beans, spices, and lots of flavor! Even meat eaters will enjoy this vegetarian chili, it is sure to satisfy everyone!

Vegetarian Chili

When it’s cold outside, I love making a big pot of chili with cornbread on the side. Chili is the perfect one pot meal for a cold day. This Hearty Vegetarian Chili is packed with vegetables, beans, spices, and we like to load our bowls with lots of delicious toppings.

And if you think meat eaters won’t enjoy this vegetarian chili, think again. I promise they won’t miss the meat. This hearty chili is loaded with flavor and very satisfying. It is always a hit with anyone and everyone! Even the kids love it. I don’t even think my boys know it is vegetarian:)

Vegetarian Chili Ingredients

  •  Olive oil-start with a little olive oil to sauté all of those veggies!
  •  Mushrooms-The mushrooms are the secret ingredient because they make the chili SO hearty and add a meat-like texture. The key is to finely chop them up so they blend right into the chili. You won’t even know they are there. I like to use baby Bella mushrooms, but cremini mushrooms work well too.
  •  Onion-I use sweet yellow onion, but red onion is another great option.
  •  Carrot-adds a little texture and flavor and more veggies are always a good idea!
  •  Red Bell Pepper-red bell pepper adds nice sweetness to the chili.
  •  Garlic-mince or finely chop fresh garlic cloves. You can use a garlic press, and this one is the best.
  •  Fire Roasted Tomatoes-I love using fire roasted tomatoes in this recipe because they add so much flavor. You can find them next to regular canned tomatoes at almost any grocery store.
  • Beans-Use a mix of beans. I like to use black beans and small red beans, I like the smaller size. Pinto or kidney beans will also work.
  •  Vegetable Broth-Use broth instead of water for added flavor.
  •  Deli-sliced Tamed Jalapeño Peppers-I love using these pickled jalapeño slices because they aren’t spicy, but bring so much flavor to the chili pot! Stir them in and you will be amazed! I love this brand. Just make sure you don’t get the hot variety.
  •  Spices-Chili powder, ground cumin, and smoked paprika come together to give this vegetarian chili the best flavor! I love the slight smokiness from the smoked paprika.
  •  Salt and black pepper-Season to taste!

How to Make Vegetarian Chili

It’s chili making time! Get out a large pot and let’s get started!

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the finely chopped mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the onion, carrot, and red pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, beans, broth, tamed jalapeño peppers, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined. Simmer over low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with desired toppings. It’s that easy!


Customize your bowl of chili with your favorite toppings. Go crazy! Here are a few of our favorite chili toppings:

  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Avocado slices or Guacamole
  • Lime wedges
  • Jalapeño slices
  • Tortilla chips or strips
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sliced green onion
  • Fresh cilantro

This chili is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free as written, just be careful with your topping choices if you need it to be vegan and gluten-free!

How Long Can You Keep Vegetarian Chili?

We love leftover chili! I think the flavors get even better with time. So plan on having leftovers and if you need to, double the recipe!

This vegetarian chili will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat, stir well and place the chili in a microwave safe bowl and heat until hot.

You can also freeze vegetarian chili. Let the chili cool completely and store in a freezer container. Freeze for up to 2 months.

Serving Suggestions

We love chili with cornbread but if you want to mix things up, here are a few ideas!

  • Top a baked potato or baked sweet potato with chili.
  • Spoon chili over nachos.
  • Stuff your quesadillas or burritos with chili.
  • Stir chili into your favorite mac and cheese.
  • Make chili cheese fries!
  • Top baked spaghetti squash with chili.

More Chili Recipes:

  • Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
  • Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
  • Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili
  • Easy White Chicken Chili
  • Slow Cooker Beef Chili
  • Sweet Potato Chickpea Chili

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