Vegetarian Chili

vegetarian chili guacamole

Working my way through my mom’s recipe book and deciding what to “veganize” next, I came across a classic dish that doubles as what I classified as a “hidden gem” in my recent post about the 3 phases of adjusting to vegan cooking. Chili is one of those dishes that is super easy to make vegan by simply omitting the meat.


Even though my mom’s recipe calls for ground sirloin, I’ve been making vegetarian chili for a really long time. I think it started when my sister was vegetarian for a while back when I was still in high school and my mom would make both a meat chili and a vegetarian chili to satisfy everyone. The tactic came in handy again a few years back when a few of my friends became vegetarian and I would do the same for them. In fact, it became a huge hit and I was known for making a large pot of it for certain friends as a birthday gift! During these times I would usually opt for the vegetarian chili myself due to the lower fat content and my desire to watch my calorie intake. So by the time I finally decided to become vegetarian I was pretty darn used to eating vegetarian chili – and pretty darn good at making it if I do say so myself.

vegetarian chili ingredients

Over the years, I have made a couple tweaks. For instance, I don’t always use the exact types or quantities of chilies that are listed in the original recipe. Feel free to mix and match as you like to adjust for flavor and spice levels. The one pepper that is consistent for me is the green bell pepper which I dice to give the chili some extra chunkiness.

So here it is – a vegetarian chili recipe passed down from my mom that I’ve been eating – and cooking – for as long as I can remember.

chilies in the food processor

vegetarian chili

Please comment and share if you like it! Enjoy :)

Vegetarian Chili
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
  1. 2 pasano chili peppers
  2. 2 yellow chilies
  3. 1-2 jalapenos or serrano peppers (if you like it spicy!)
  4. 1 red onion, diced
  5. 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  6. 1 large tomato, chopped
  7. 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  8. 2 15-ounce cans of tomato sauce
  9. 1 15-ounce can black beans
  10. 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
  11. 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans
  12. 3 tablespoons cumin
  13. 2 tablespoons chili powder
  14. 1 tablespoon paprika
  15. 2 teaspoons salt
  16. 3 cloves of garlic
  17. Optional toppings
  18. Cashew nacho cheese
  19. Guacamole
  20. Pico de gallo
  21. cilantro
  1. Prepare the chili peppers by removing the tops and the seeds.
  2. Put all of the chili peppers and garlic with half of the onion into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the chili mixture to a large pot with a little vegetable broth over medium low heat.
  4. Chop the other half of the onion, the green bell pepper and the mushrooms and add to the pot.
  5. Simmer for about 10 minutes to soften the vegetables.
  6. Add the tomato sauce, spices and beans and cook on low heat for an hour.
  7. Chill to room temperature and then chill overnight.
  1. Alway use vinyl gloves when you are working with chili peppers. You may not notice at the time, but the spicy juices can easily soak into your skin and leave your hands burning for hours afterward if you don’t! And if you forget and touch your eyes or your face you will not be happy. Wearing gloves is an easy way to prevent any of this unpleasantness. I just buy a box in bulk and keep it in the cabinet for whenever I make anything with peppers and also any other tasks around house that I want to protect my hands.
What Vegetarians Eat
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