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How to Make Vegetarian Chili

Updated on January 4, 2020
sharonbellis profile image

Sharon is a human resources professional who enjoys sharing simple recipes that make mealtime deliciously easy!


Vegetable Chili Anyone?

A hot bowl of chili on a cold winters night; what could be better when the weather starts to become cold? Vegetable chili is an easy to prepare meal any time of year of course and If you don't eat meat you can still enjoy a hearty bowl of vegetarian chili. It is just as filling and in my opinion tastes better than its meaty counterpart. Meat eaters will love it too!

There is so much confusing information about what is healthy to eat these days. Fad diets and recommendations come and go. Foods that we once thought were good for us suddenly are not. There is one item that remains consistent and that is is vegetables.

I have never heard of or read anywhere a discovery that a vegetable is not good for you or should be eaten in moderation. The vegetable family is the only food group that you can be sure is consistently promoted as a food you can eat in unlimited quantities. We need more vegetables in our diet and this recipe is one way of getting those extra veggies.

My daughter recently made the decision to become vegetarian and she has managed to stick to a vegetarian diet but it gets complicated especially in this meat eaters world. Trying to support her decision has not been easy. It really opened my eyes to how our meals are dominated by the inclusion of beef, chicken and other meat by products. I am now continually seeking out vegetarian recipes. Vegetarian chili is a good dinner time option as it is a substantial and filling meal.

How do you make vegetarian chili? It's really quite easy and doesn't take too long at all. Let's go through the steps to making a delicious meal of chili with no meat.


Simple Vegetarian Chili

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: depends on cook method

Serves: 6


  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 gloves minced garlic
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 2 medium sized carrots thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini diced
  • 1 - 14oz can kidney beans rinsed
  • 1 - 14 oz can black beans rinsed
  • 1 - 14 oz can chickpeas rinsed
  • 1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspon red pepper flakes


  1. If you have a crockpot (slow cooker) just put everything in, give it a stir and simmer on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. If you don't have a slow cooker, just add the ingredients to a large pot and simmer on your stove over medium heat until the vegetables are softened.
  3. Super easy!
Cast your vote for Vegetable Chili

Stove Top Vegetarian Chili

Don't have a slow cooker? No worries! Below is an great recipe for a quick stove top veggie chili.


  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 19 oz can diced tomato
  • 1 19 oz can kidney beans, undrained
  • herbamare, or sea salt
  • pepper
  • dried oregano leaves
  • chili powder
  • balsamic vinegar
  • cooking oil
  • Tortilla chips (optional)


  1. Saute onion, celery, carrot and green pepper in oil in a large skillet
  2. Sprinkle with herbamare (or sea salt), pepper and oregano leaves to taste
  3. Saute for about 5 minutes over medium heat
  4. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, chili powder (to taste) and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar
  5. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer and cover for 10 to 15 minutes until veggies are tender
  6. Serve with tortilla chips if you wish and enjoy!

Beware of the kidney bean in its raw state.
Beware of the kidney bean in its raw state. | Source

Kidney Beans Contain a Toxic Substance

They can make you sick!

Raw kidney beans contain a toxin that can make you ill. The consumption of as little as three raw beans is enough to ingest the toxin and cause sickness.

However, most of us do not eat raw kidney beans but did you know that to render the raw bean safe they must be boiled for at least 10 minutes. Kidney beans that are cooked to a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees are five times as toxic as raw beans! The slow cooker will only bring a raw bean to this temperature.

Please be safe and boil your raw beans for 10 minutes or use canned beans. Do not just dump raw beans in your slow cooker!


How About An Israeli Chili? - Shakshuka


Chili with Egg

This chili has a little twist to it - it contains poached eggs! This is certainly a great way to get your extra protein if you are vegetarian.

A comfort food recipe perfect for the winter months. Check out The Smitten Kitchen to learn how to make it. Yum!

Eat Healthier by Investing in a Cookbook

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out
The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out
I love this cookbook by Angela Liddon, a blogger who shared her journey to healthy eating. One of my favorite recipes is the Tex Mex Casserole and both vegans and meat eaters alike will love it guaranteed!

Eat Your Veggies

"Eat your vegetables". This has been been the mantra of mothers everywhere for generations. There is one thing about nutrition that is consistent and that is the mighty vegetable. However, it is also not the tastiest of food choices. We have become accustomed to consuming meats and sugars that our taste preferences have changed but you can certainly changed them back! Preparing vegetables in delicious ways helps us to consume them more often. There are a myriad of recipes on the internet to help you find the taste sensations that work for you and your family.

We must monitor our intake of pretty much everything other than the vegetable because too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing quickly. Fruit is good for you but because it has a higher sugar concentration we are always encouraged to moderate our intake.

Vegetables are always the exception to this rule. Have you ever heard that we should eat less vegetables or eat them in moderation? Most people struggle with their vegetable intake. It is a simple premise to eat more vegetables however it is not easy.

Vegetables just aren't considered a fun food but they can be if prepared properly. Try hiding your vegetables in a tasty recipe like a vegetarian chili. Chili is the perfect muse!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Sharon Bellissimo

Will You Try This Recipe?

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    • sharonbellis profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Bellissimo 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      It takes time to adjust but avoiding meat becomes easier with time and I find a nice plate of vegetables with dip and fruits is very refreshing and quite filling. You just feel lighter and and healthier when you stick to plant based foods. Thanks for your comments!

    • NonCopyBook profile image

      Nicholas Daly 

      6 years ago from NSW Australia

      New here and exploring. Congrats to your daughter on making changes and to you for supporting them (some of these comments are a few years old, how's it going now?)- at times family events make it tricky but I've been largely (and at times essentially) plant-based since 2001, and it's honestly the best thing I ever did (for health, and subsequently learning about the environment and animal suffering). There's a cliché of those who change preaching but if you think about it most events and commercials promote the other side, so it's society that makes things difficult (there are lots of vegetarian restaurants where I am in Australia, and often one ingredient different is easy in home meals, i.e. eggplant, wild mushroom). I find it useful to remember that elsewhere I'd be saying, "Don't serve me dog, or dolphin, or horse" etc! I hope it's going well and I'll try the recipe sometime.. Cheers

    • profile image

      Pinkie Pie 

      6 years ago

      Yummy I'll definitely try this

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 

      8 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      Sounds great. Will give it a try.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yummy! Gonna try making this this weekend. Wish me luck ; )

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm vegetarian so going to try this!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      8 years ago from Colorado

      I had no idea raw kidney beans were toxic. Wow. Good thing I've been using the canned beans until now. Your recipe sounds delicious. Looking forward to trying it. Thanks!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for the info on raw beans. I will definitely try this.

    • makarenko profile image


      8 years ago

      That is an EXCELLENT recipe, and definitely is super-easy! :) I will give it a try as soon as I can!

      And Yes! thanks for sharing that info about red beans - it is new to me, and I often go out of my way to get those into my diet, since I heard they were good source of protein...

    • Nightcat profile image


      8 years ago

      This is amazing! I would have never thought to put zukes in my chili but it sounds so tempting now! Blessed! :)

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing information about kidney beans.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Looks really good. I could go for a bowl right now!

    • GarySpeer profile image


      8 years ago

      Looking forward to giving this a try. It's INCREDIBLY HARD, where we live at least, to find good vegetarian chili in groceries or restaurants. Thanks for the good work on your lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I think I will. Looks yummy!


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