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Vegetarian Chili Recipes

Category Vegetarian
If you are a vegetarian or simply trying to reduce your meat consumption, you don't have to pass on chili. It is quite easy to make vegetarian chili using a wide variety of ingredients, including tofu. This page contains homemade vegetarian chili recipes.


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November 15, 2006

This was a prizewinning entry for a recent Chili Cook-off at my husband's work. As I had to make two separate batches, I had to keep track of the amounts of ingredients I used. Here it is!




Heat oil in large 5 qt. Dutch Oven or stockpot, add garlic and onions. Saute until translucent over medium heat, do not brown or caramelize. Mix together flour, spices and beer (use enough beer to make a thick paste). Add to pot. Add in minced chili peppers, cans of tomatoes and beans and 1/2 cup of beer (chicken broth or water could be substituted here). Heat mixture to bubbling and then turn down to low, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Be careful to not let the mixture burn. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (If you use dried beans instead of canned, increase cooking time by at least an hour). Taste and adjust spices, if you like, about halfway through. Do not salt until the end as this will make the beans harden. Just before serving, stir in chopped cilantro.

I would serve it with shredded cheddar, sour cream, more chopped cilantro and tortilla chips.

Notes: This chili isn't too spicy but decreasing or eliminating some of the chili peppers would make it milder.

When working with fresh chili peppers, I wore rubber gloves and scraped the seeds and veins out in a bowl of water using a teaspoon. I have flicked the pepper juice in my eye before and it is very unpleasant.

Meat could be easily added for carnivores but isn't really necessary. If you want meat, I would brown cubes of beef as if you were making beef stew as the first step and add them back in with the beans. Leftover turkey would also be excellent in this chili.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 20, 2007


  • 1 15-1/2 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-1/2 oz. low-sodium tomatoes, undrained and cut up

  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup chopped green (sweet-optional) pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. snipped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Dash ground red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice


In a large saucepan combine kidney beans, great northern beans, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, green pepper, onion, chili powder, sugar, basil, cumin, salt, ground red pepper, and garlic. Bring to boiling, reduce heat, simmer, covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top each serving or chili with 1/2 cup cooked rice. Makes 4 servings

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare chili. Transfer to refrigerator container, cover, and chill up to 2 days. Reheat and top with rice.


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June 8, 20040 found this helpful

A tasty black bean chili that doesn't take long to cook.


  • 2 -15 ounce cans black beans
  • 2 medium sized yellow onions
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and chopped, added to taste

  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2/3 cups dry sherry
  • 2/3 Tbsp. coriander (or cilantro)
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Top with Monterrey jack cheese


Drain and wash black beans and place in pot with a tight fitting lid.

Add the onions, chiles, tomatoes, garlic, sherry, coriander (or cilantro), chili powder, salt, cumin and black pepper to the beans in the pot. Mix well, cover with lid and bring to a gentle boil.

Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Before serving, add the remaining coriander or other seasoning to taste if necessary. Serve with some Monterrey jack cheese on top.

This recipe was adapted from a similar recipe in The Garden of Earthly Delights Cookbook by Shea MacKenzie.

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March 19, 20050 found this helpful

I make a meatless chili full of veggies and spices and thick tomato base and serve it over brown rice or in a homemade bread bowl. My family never misses the meat!


By Holly Dawson

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 13, 2011

I am looking for a vegetarian chili recipe.

By elena sipkins from White Plains, NY


January 13, 20110 found this helpful

Here is the best vegetarian chili recipe I have ever tasted. I have served this to guests many times (including at church dinners), and people always ask for the recipe after tasting it.

Vegetarian Chili

2-1/2 c raw kidney beans
1 c textured vegetable protein
1 c tomato juice
4 cloves crushed garlic
1-1/2 c chopped onion
1 c chopped carrots
2 c fresh tomatoes
Juice of ½ lemon
1 t cumin
1 t basil
1 t chili powder
Salt and pepper
3 T tomato paste
Dash of cayenne, if desired
Olive oil for sauté (about 3 T)

Put kidney beans in a saucepan and cover with water. Soak three to four hours. Add extra water and 1 t salt. Cook until tender (about an hour).

Heat tomato juice to a boil. Pour over textured vegetable protein. Cover and let stand at least 15 minutes.

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Add carrots and cook until tender.

Mix all ingredients together and heat together.

Serve with cheese and parsley.

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January 14, 20110 found this helpful

Here is a recipe that I posted a few years ago. My husband won 3rd place in his work's Chili Cook Off. It makes a lot but you should be able to scale it down or use it as a reference point.

http://www.thri  9383115.tip.html
Hope you like it!

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January 14, 20110 found this helpful

I make a "dump" Chili in the wintertime:
1 package McCormick's chili spice mix (hot or mild - your choice).
1 big can tomatoes - chopped, diced, whole, crushed - your choice).
3 to 5 cans of beans, rinsed - I like to use red kidneys, white, and black for variety, sometimes I will use 5 different kinds.
1 onion - chopped.
Saute the onion in olive oil first, then add the spices, tomatoes and beans. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until you are ready to eat.
This is always better the next day. Cooks up really easily in a crock pot if you have a potluck to take it to...
I freeze it in one-cup servings for quick winter lunch or dinner meals.

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January 14, 20110 found this helpful

Here is a recipe that we use when we are doing a Daniel Fast once per year with our church. One of my favorite "fast friendly" recipes and very hearty for a cold day! Enjoy.

Three Bean Enchilada Chili

1 TB Olive Oil
1/2 C Chopped Onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can organic Pinto beans, rinsed
1 can organic Kidney beans, rinsed
1 can organic Black beans, rinsed
12 oz enclilada sauce (see recipe to follow)
8 oz tomato juice
1/4 tsp ground oregano
Can add cayenne pepper for heat if you like

Heat olive oil. Saute' onion and garlic 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Enchilada Sauce
2 TB vegetable oil (I use EVOO)
2 TB whole wheat flour
2 TB chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 8oz can tomato sauce
2 C water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Heat oil in large 2 quart saucepan. Stir in flour and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Makes 3 cups sauce which should be enough to double the chili recipe if desired.

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January 14, 20110 found this helpful

Quinoa Chili

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 can (15 ounces) of your favourite beans
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup nutritional powder (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to rinse in cold water and drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Season with the chili powder, cumin powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper.

Add the vegetable broth and the rinsed and drained quinoa. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the beans, cocoa, nutritional yeast (if using) and salt and pepper. Turn heat up to high, bring back up to a boil and then lower to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the quinoa has finished cooking. While quinoa is cooking, stir occasionally so that the chili does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
*Nutritional yeast can be found in health stores. It is primarily used in place of white sugar since white sugar contains animal product.

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