Even though I live in Austin, I didn’t grow up with deep-rooted Texas chili traditions, so for authenticity’s sake, I’m just going to call this one Hinsdale Chili. What’s Hinsdale chili you ask? It’s the delicious vegetarian chili you get from the Whole Foods in Hinsdale, Illinois, when it’s 5 degrees outside and you’re on your way to the airport. In that moment (last week), it was everything I wanted and needed – a hot bowl of stewy tomato, black bean & chickpea-y goodness.
I craved it again the next day, so I recreated this easy vegetarian chili recipe using (mostly) items from my pantry. This recipe is low-fuss, and it’s perfect for those nights when you want something simple, quick, and comforting!
This Easy Vegetarian Chili has just 9 core ingredients:
(aside from olive oil, salt, and pepper, of course!)
- Yellow onion
- Green bell pepper
- Canned fire-roasted tomatoes
- Black beans
- Chickpeas (you could also use kidney beans)
- Canned chipotles in adobo (the key to creating a smoky flavor quickly!)
- Corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- Lime juice, for punch!
How to Make Vegetarian Chili
This recipe is so easy (hence the name!), there are just 3 steps:
- Heat olive oil in a pot and sauté the onion for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve!
You can top your chili however you like – I topped Jack’s bowl with grated cheese and mine with diced avocado. This recipe makes about 4 servings, but you could easily double it and freeze some for later.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 chipotle peppers from canned chipotles in adobo, diced, plus 3 tablespoons sauce*
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, plus wedges for serving
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup water, if needed
- Chopped green onion
- Jalapeño or serrano peppers
- Grated cheddar or jack cheese (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, a few pinches of salt and pepper, and stir. Cook until the onion is slightly translucent, and then add the garlic and green pepper. Stir and cook until soft, 5 to 8 minutes, turning the heat down as needed.
- Add the tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, chipotles, adobo sauce, corn, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the chili becomes too thick, add water as needed. Stir in the lime juice and season to taste with more salt and pepper, as desired.
- Serve with desired toppings.