Vegetarian Chili

October 20, 2011

A few weekends ago I woke up with the desire to make chili. It was a crisp, fall day – perfect weather for a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs type of meal. My husband and I decided to make a pot of vegetarian chili. Off we went off to the supermarket to buy the ingredients we needed and we spent the afternoon in the kitchen. Something about cooking together on a Sunday afternoon is so relaxing, especially on a chilly day (no pun intended)! (I have to give my husband credit though – he did the majority of the cooking.) We invited my brother, sister-in-law, and their two kids over for dinner too, so we kept the chili child-friendly – that means we made it without the kick we normally would include (I didn’t think a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 1/2 year old would go for hot peppers!). We served the chili with various toppings, including nonfat Greek yogurt (in place of the traditional chili topper sour cream), shredded Cheddar cheese, chives from our CSA, and Fritos (my husband insisted!). Here’s my husband’s plate:

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili 

Serves 6-8


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 small purple pepper, seeded and diced (we had this from the CSA)
  • 1 hot pepper, seeded and diced (add some seeds for spice)
  • Cumin, to taste
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • Dried oregano, to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt added kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt added navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, shallots, and peppers and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, water or stock, kale, and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the beans and corn, cover, and continue cooking for about 15-20 minutes longer. Uncover and cook another 10-15 minutes until the chili is nicely thickened. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
This chili is also perfect for the fall and winter game days, especially Super Bowl Sunday!
What do you like to cook on crisp, fall days?

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  1. Thanks for posting this Jessica, we are having a football party this sunday and I was on the hunt for a good recipe 😉

  2. For a Superbowl party this year, I was going to make my usual touchdown turkey chili. The host asked whether I would do a vegetarian version instead to accommodate his roommate. I am all about kale lately so did a search on vegetarian chili and kale. Yours was the first hit and rightfully so. Everyone gave it a thumbs up! Thanks for the recipe! I will be making this again.

    1. Hi Jay,
      So glad everyone loved it! Really appreciate the positive feedback. Hope you try out some of my other recipes– let me know what you think of them too!