Vegetarian Chili Recipe

    vegetarian chili in a bowl with grated cheese and green onions on top

    While grilling is always a good idea during the summer, so is a big bowl of chili with sweet cornmeal cake. This vegetarian chili recipe is made with simple ingredients but big on flavor.

    There are a variety of ways to make chili, including beef chili or lean turkey chili. Both of those options, however, aren’t very vegetarian or vegan-friendly.

    This vegetarian chili recipe utilizes red onion, bell pepper, carrots, celery, tomato, and black beans, along with a myriad of spices for fantastic flavor. Ingredients like chili powder, paprika, and cumin make this vegetarian chili super tasty even though the rest of the ingredients are simple veggies and legumes.

    To make this a vegetarian dish, you’ll also want to use vegetarian broth or water for the liquid aspect of this chili. If you’re making this a vegan-friendly recipe, then you’ll want to forego the sour cream garnish on top of the chili.

    This vegetarian chili has great texture from all the various ingredients used in the dish. The entire chili comes together in just about an hour, including prep time. The best part is that you can make this recipe ahead of time in a slow cooker and then take it straight outside to dish up at your next backyard summer party.


    Cook time: 40 minutes
    Prep time: 20 minutes
    Idle time:



    1. To a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the onion, bell pepper, carrots, celery, and salt. Stir everything together and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent. Make sure to stir occasionally.
    2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and dried oregano. Stir everything together and cook for a minute until fragrant.
    3. Add in the diced tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, vegetable broth, and bay leaf. Stir to combine, then cook over medium-low heat (or at a simmer), for about 40 minutes.
    4. Transfer about 1 1/2 cups of the chili to a food processor and pulse until it's a finer consistency, or use an immersion blender directly in the pot to help thin out the consistency of the chili a bit. If using a food processor, transfer the slightly pureed chili back to the pot and mix in with the rest of the chili. This step will just help your chili achieve a more classic chili consistency.
    5. Stir in the chopped cilantro and some lime juice. Add a small pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp) and taste test. Add more seasoning if needed. Serve and garnish with whatever toppings you desire.

    Additional information

    Recipe adapted from

    Born and raised in Southern California, Beeta has embraced a healthy lifestyle focused on farm-to-table cooking, natural products, and wellness routines. When she's not writing up recipes or discussing the latest natural living trends, Beeta enjoys spending time trying new restaurants, traveling with family and friends, and relaxing at home with her furry companion.