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Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Welcome to chili season! The temperature has dropped to an appropriate Autumn level and that means it's time for chili!

a white plate on a wooden cutting board. on top is a while bowl filled with very veggie chili and a piece of cornbread.  in the background is a blue cloth napkin and a spoon

Neither my husband nor I eat meat (other than seafood), so while most people are putting ground beef or turkey in their chili, we obviously skip that. You might expect that we use some sort of soy crumble to take the place of the ground meat or go crazy with a ton of beans, nope. What do I add to my vegetarian chili? Extra veggies!

I call this chili Very Veggie Chili because the vegetables aren't hidden away, they are the main attraction. Not only do the veggies look beautiful, they are the perfect compliment to the spicy, smokey chili flavor!

My Very Veggie Chili Recipe


  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 1 jalapeño, chopped (remove seeds and membrane to decrease heat level)

  • 1 -2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 - 3 carrots, peeled and diced

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped

  • Olive Oil for sautéing veggies

  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes

  • 14 oz can of diced tomatoes

  • 14 oz can of black beans, rinsed

  • Spices (adjust to taste):

  • 1 tsp cumin, 2-3 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp paprika, 3-4 TBSP chili powder, 2-3 tsp salt, 1 tsp cayenne


Add olive oil to soup pot, add in onions, and cook until they begin to soften. Add in pepper, carrots and squash. Stir to lightly coat with oil and sauté for several minutes. Add a small amount of water (~1/4 cup) to allow veggies to steam and soften. (about 15 minutes) Add garlic, stir around to cook for 2-3 minutes (do not let the garlic burn). Add some of the spices, stir to coat the veggies. Add in tomatoes and allow to cook in. This will likely take 15-20 minutes. Taste and add more spices to taste. Stir in the black beans and serve!

Watch Me Make Vegetarian Chili


This recipe is delicious as is, but sometimes it's fun to jazz it up and make it a little different. This list of what you could add to the chili is endless but a few of my favorite suggestions are:

- sweet potatoes

- corn

- bell pepper

- red kidney beans

Serving Suggestions

- Serve with a big slice of cornbread!

- Serve it over top of a baked potato.

- Eat it plain.

- Or pick your favorite toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, guacamole, crushed corn chips, cilantro, chopped red onion, chopped jalapenos, scallions, croutons, fresh salsa.

Freeze It For Later

There are usually only 2 of us eating, so we end up with lots of leftovers. This is a perfect opportunity to cook once and eat multiple times. We usually have 2 meals from the pot and freeze at least one more.

Once the chili is cooled, I ladle the leftovers into a Ziplock freezer bag, squeeze out the air, label it and freeze it flat.

Chili will last about 6 months in the freezer, assuming you can wait that long.

When I'm ready to use it, I pull it out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw (or place it in a big bowl of warm water to thaw faster). I empty the bag into a saucepan and heat slowly over a low flame.

Pin It For Later

pinterist graphic showing a soup pot full of very veggie chili



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