Amazing Vegetarian Chili


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!



  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, minced (6-8 cloves or about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped (3 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder (I used Hot New Mexico)
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. beer (we used a Pale Ale, an amber or wheat would also work)
  • 2 habenero peppers, seeds and veins removed and finely minced
  • 2 serrano peppers, seeds and veins removed and finely minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and veins removed and finely minced
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and quartered (appx. 2 cups)
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes (appx. 4 cups)
  • 3 cans black beans (appx. 6 cups)
  • 2 cans kidney beans (appx. 4 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped


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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November 15, 20060 found this helpful

Mmmmmm this sounds Good! Printed out so I can make on a cold (brrrrr) day with cornbread and a fire in the pit :)

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October 28, 20170 found this helpful

Am I supposed to cover the pot for the one and a half hours the chili is simmering?

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October 30, 20170 found this helpful

I usually put a lid on it but leave it cracked to let out steam. If you don't cover it, it can get messy when it bubbles up. I will often add more water at the end if the chili or soup is too thick.

Hope you enjoy!

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