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This Easy Vegetarian Chili Recipe is our family's go-to, one-pot meal. It's full of vegetables, made with pantry staple ingredients, and is so easy to make. It's a delicious vegan chili that everyone raves about!
Photos updated in 2020. Same delicious chili recipe.
I love sitting down to a big bowl of hearty vegetarian chili on a cool evening. I actually prefer vegetarian chili to a meat-based chili, even though I can no longer refer to myself as a vegetarian.
When I was 20 years old, I decided to stop eating meat. During those 14 years, I became really attached to my meat-free comfort foods. Vegetarian chili is at the top of my list followed very closely by Thai coconut curries and Indian curries.
There's just something about a one-pot meal where all the flavors meld together to become so much more than they could have been on their own.
Enter this Easy Vegetarian Chili Recipe …
I've been making this homemade chili for so many years that it's become second nature to make it. Honestly, it felt a little funny measuring the ingredients so I could share the recipe with you.
There is one thing you need to know: I wasn't joking about this being an easy chili recipe. Even though I have all the ingredients listed in proper measurements, feel free to eyeball and make substitutions. This is one chili that you cannot mess up.
And if you love your crockpot, I've made a Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Recipe. It's basically this recipe with a few tweaks to make it work in a slow cooker.
Check out our video for how to make vegetarian chili:
See how crazy easy it is to make vegan chili?
The one thing you need to know about this (or any) vegetarian chili recipe, is that you want to salt it well. Salt helps bring out the flavor as well as create a feeling of depth that can sometimes be lacking in vegetarian recipes. Don't be shy with the salt shaker.
I absolutely LOVE sitting down to a bowl of this chili because it's not only delicious, it's so healthy for you, too. There are so many veggies in here that you have to feel good eating it.
Usually, we'll eat it on its own or with a little cheese on top. But once in a while, we'll get fancy and make some cornbread. Our favorite is still these Cheesy Chili Zucchini Cornbread Muffins with Chili Honey Butter. If you haven't tried them yet, I highly recommend you do! We also love this chili with our Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread.
I always make my chili super spicy, but you don't have to. That's the thing about this chili, you really don't ‘have to' do anything. It's essentially just a bunch of veggies, some beans, and some spices. You can add more or less of any the veggies or spices, or leave some out entirely. You can switch up the beans by adding a different kind or a few different kinds of beans. This chili recipe is extremely flexible and can be used as a guide for making many different vegetarian chili recipes.
The only thing I wouldn't leave out of the chili is the corn. But then again, I just love the crunchy sweet bits in each bite. If corn is not your thing (do people who don't like corn exist?) then just leave it out 🙂
Vegetarian Chili Toppings
While it's delicious on its own, we love this chili with some toppings. They make it feel extra special. Our favorites are:
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Sour Cream
- Corn chips (bonus if they're nacho flavored!)
- Sliced green onions
Vegan Chili Toppings
Don't worry vegans, we've got you covered!
- Diced avocado (amazing!)
- Chopped cilantro
- A sprinkle of nutritional yeast for some healthy cheesy flavor
- Pickled red onions. This is the recipe that I LOVE!
- Corn chips (but skip the nacho flavored ones)
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- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1-3 tablespoons chili powder (more will be spicier)
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ – 2 teaspoons chili flakes (the more chili flakes the spicier it will be)
- 2 medium bell peppers (diced)
- 2 medium carrots (diced)
- 3 medium celery stalks (diced)
- 2 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes and their juice (use your hands to roughly crush the tomatoes)
- 2 15-ounce cans of beans (drained and rinsed (we like kidney and white beans))
- 2 cups frozen corn (you could use fresh but frozen is easy and works great)
- Sea salt (to taste (we like about 2 teaspoons))
- Optional toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro, diced avocados, or green onion
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and chili flakes and stir.2 tablespoons cooking oil, 1 large onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1-3 tablespoons chili powder, 2 tablespoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano, ¼ – 2 teaspoons chili flakes
- Add the peppers, carrots, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they just start to soften. Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer. Once the chili begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low. You want the chili to be at a low simmer with the lid off.2 medium bell peppers, 2 medium carrots, 3 medium celery stalks, 2 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes and their juice
- Continue to cook the chili, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add beans and corn and let the chili return to a simmer. Cook for 5 more minutes or until the corn and beans have heated through. Season generously with sea salt.2 15-ounce cans of beans, 2 cups frozen corn, Sea salt
- Serve on its own or topped with one (or all!) of the delicious toppings. Enjoy!Optional toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro, diced avocados, or green onion
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.