Vegetarian chili is a hearty, comforting, and satisfying dish that proves you don’t need meat to create a robust and flavorful meal. This chili is a testament to the versatility of plant-based ingredients, as it combines a medley of beans like kidney, black, and pinto with an array of vegetables, herbs, and spices to create a wholesome and hearty bowl of goodness.
One of the joys of enjoying vegetarian chili is the rich, complex flavors that develop as it simmers. Tomatoes, onions, and garlic provide a savory base, while a blend of chili powder, cumin, and paprika infuses the dish with warmth and depth. The beans, along with ingredients like corn and bell peppers, add a delightful variety of textures and colors that make each spoonful a delightful experience.
What’s more, vegetarian chili is highly customizable, allowing you to tailor it to your preferences. You can make it as spicy as you like, top it with grated cheese or vegan sour cream, or serve it alongside crusty bread, rice, or tortilla chips. Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply looking to enjoy a meatless meal, hearty vegetarian chili is a go-to choice that promises to fill your belly and warm your soul, especially on a chilly day.
3 Bean Vegetarian Chili Recipe
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can corn kernels, drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper adjust to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, shredded vegan cheese, and vegan sour cream for garnish optional
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until it begins to soften.
- Add the minced garlic, bell pepper, zucchini, carrot, celery, and jalapeño pepper(if using). Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften and the onion becomes translucent.
- Stir in the chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly to toast the spices.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, drained black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and corn kernels (if using). Pour in the vegetable broth and stir well to combine all the ingredients.
- Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the vegetables to become tender. If you're using fresh or frozen corn, add it during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Taste the chili and adjust the seasoning if needed. If you prefer a spicier chili, you can add more cayenne pepper at this stage.
- Serve the vegetarian chili hot, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, shredded vegan cheese, and a dollop of vegan sour cream if desired.
This vegetarian chili is a wholesome and filling dish that’s packed with protein, fiber, and flavor. It’s perfect for serving a crowd or for leftovers throughout the week. Enjoy your warm, comforting bowl of chili!