This vegetarian chili has such great flavor and texture, even carnivores love it.
Plus it’s extremely healthy and low fat and freezes really well. I always make a double batch and freeze half.
Here’s my favorite vegetarian chili recipe.
It’s extremely low-fat and loaded with fresh vegetables, yet even the carnivores in my house get excited about it.
Hopefully the carnivores in your house will love it too!
On the theme of healthy and delicious, a few weeks back I got an invitation to join Cooking Light’s community of food bloggers called “The Cooking Light Blogger’s Connection.” I’m honored and thrilled to be connected with this incredible brand. I’ve been a subscriber to Cooking Light Magazine for as long as I can remember. In fact several of the recipes on my blog were inspired by Cooking Light.
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This is not a financial relationship. The perks for me are the endorsement by a brand that I admire and the exposure to Cooking Light’s large and growing audience.
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The recipe for this vegetarian Chili comes from one of my most falling-apart old cookbooks called The Frog Commissary Cookbook.
Don’t be discouraged by the large number of ingredients. This is an easy vegetarian chili recipe.
There’s a fair bit of measuring out spices and chopping, but if you use a food processor for the chopping, it comes together quickly – less than an hour, start to finish.
As I mentioned, I ALWAYS make a double batch and freeze half.
On those nights when you don’t feel like cooking and you want something healthy and satisfying for dinner, just pull out a container of veg chili from the freezer and heat it up. Sprinkle on some cheese and chopped scallions and you’ve got a fantastic meal.
By the way, the secret ingredient that adds a meaty texture to this dish is a cup of bulgar wheat. If you want to keep it gluten-free substitute an equal amount of raw quinoa.
And here’s a tip for giving this chili – or any chili – a wonderful depth of flavor: use a mix of chili powders. I used New Mexican chili powder, chipotle and ancho in mine.
Here’s the recipe for my favorite vegetarian chili. If you cook this I hope you’ll come back to leave a review and let me know what you think.Print
My Favorite Vegetarian Chili
This vegetarian chili has such great flavor and texture. You’d never imagine how healthy and low fat it is!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 22 mins
- Total Time: 52 mins
- Yield: 8
- Category: Soup, lunch, dinner
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- chopped veggies
- 3 cups chopped yellow onions (1 1/2 – 2 large)
- 3 cups chopped mushrooms (15-16 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (4-5 medium)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper (1 large)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons chili powder (mix different types for added depth of flavor)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Other ingredients
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1-3 cups tomato juice (Start with 1. Add more at the end to thin, if necessary)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup bulgar wheat (substitute 1 cup quinoa for gluten free)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce* Note for strict vegetarians: some brands of Worcestershire sauce contain anchovies. If you omit the Worcestershire sauce, the chili will still be delicious.
- 1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
- 2 15-ounce cans undrained red kidney beans
- 3 tablespoons canned chopped green chiles
- Suggested Garnishes
- yogurt or sour cream, chopped scallions, grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, cubed avocado
- Have all of the ingredients ready: chopped veggies in one bowl, spices measured out in a small bowl, cans opened.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Add chopped veggies and spices. Sauté, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, using only 1 cup of the tomato juice. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, uncovered. Add additional tomato juice if you want to thin the chili. Season to taste with salt and fresh pepper. Serve with assorted toppings.
- Note: Chili freezes well
Originally published January 2014. Updated October 2018 with added nutritional information and some tweaks to the written post.
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