Vegetarian chili is one of the first things I crave when the weather starts to get cold. Hearty and smoky/spicy, it’s the perfect way to warm up on a cold night. I particularly love this recipe. It’s made with simple pantry ingredients like beans & canned tomatoes, which I always have on hand. This chili recipe is low-fuss, and it’s perfect for nights when you want something simple, quick, and comforting!
Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe Ingredients
Aside from olive oil, pepper, and salt, this recipe comes together with a few simple ingredients:
- Yellow onion and garlic. They make the aromatic base of this easy chili recipe.
- Green bell pepper. A vegan chili essential!
- Canned fire-roasted tomatoes. I love the complex, charred flavor they add.
- Black beans and chickpeas. I chose these beans because they were what I had on hand, but feel free to swap in your favorite chili beans. Pinto beans or kidney beans would be excellent.
- Canned chipotles in adobo. These guys add a delicious smoky kick, and I love them here. But if chili powder is what you have on hand, feel free to use 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of it in their place.
- Corn kernels. Fresh or frozen corn is fair game!
- Lime juice. I add a big squeeze at the end for a bright, tangy finish.
How to Make Chili
This vegetarian chili recipe is a breeze to make. Just follow these 3 easy 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!
Homemade Vegetarian Chili Serving Suggestions
No bowl of homemade chili is complete without toppings. You can garnish yours however you like – I topped Jack’s bowl with grated cheese and mine with diced avocado. (It’s vegan without the cheese!) Sliced green onion, diced red pepper or serrano, cilantro, or a dollop of Greek yogurt would also be delicious.
This recipe makes about 4 servings, but you could easily double it and freeze some for later or pack leftovers for lunch.
If you love this vegetarian chili recipe…
- 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.