Ideas & Inspiration

How to Make Vegetarian Chili

Gather Your Ingredients
Various ingredients such as peppers and beans.

To make this chunky veggie chili you will need a few ingredients. Some you may have right in your pantry, like tomato paste, while others, such as cilantro and tomatoes, can come from your garden or local market. 


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large red or orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, optional
  • 5 (15.5 ounce) cans kidney beans (2 dark red, 2 light red, 1 white – cannellini), drained


Tip: Try roasting then freezing peppers in a vacuum sealer. In the darkest days of winter, break open a pack of peppers, chop off what you need, reseal and freeze. Peppers add a flavorful element that will season stews and roasts throughout the winter.


Preparing the Chili on the Stovetop
Chili cooking on a stovetop.
  • In a large Dutch oven, heat oil. Add onions and a pinch of salt and stir. Add chopped bell pepper, stir, and cook for about five minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
  • Add chili powder, cumin and remaining salt. Add tomato paste, stir and cook for another five minutes.
  • Stir in garlic, tomatoes, water and chile in adobo, if using. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse the canned beans and add to the chili. Simmer the chili for another 30 minutes. 
  • Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Prepare the Chili in a Pressure Cooker
An pressure cooker being used to make food.

In a time crunch, use your electric pressure cooker to quickly cook the chili. Keep the chili on warm and serve directly from the pot.

  • Set pressure cooker to sauté setting. Add the oil and allow to heat for one minute. Add onions and a pinch of salt and stir, cooking for five minutes.
  • Add chopped peppers and cook for another five minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and remaining salt. Add tomato paste, stir and cook for another five minutes.
  • Stir in garlic, tomatoes, water and chile in adobo, if using. Stir in drained, canned beans.
  • Place the lid on the pressure cooker and set to high pressure for 10 minutes. Make sure the steam vent is closed. You can quick release after a five minute wait, or do a natural release.
  • Store leftover chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Enjoy
A bowl of chili with sour cream and cilantro garnish.

Once your chili is ready, serve with your favorite accompaniments like sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, chopped green onion, a sprinkle of cilantro or slices of avocado.


This recipe should make about four to six servings, depending on the portion sizes you choose. 


For tailgates or traveling, transport chili in an airtight container or even inside a slow cooker for heat retention/reheating purposes. 


Ideal for cooler days, this veggie chili recipe is easy to follow and a delicious addition to any mealtime. 

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