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Introducing the ULTIMATE vegetarian chili recipe! It’s full of tender vegetables, a combination of beans, and loaded with seasonings. It’s an easy one-pot chili bursting with so many flavors and textures that you won’t even miss the meat!

Vegetables can be the star of so many delicious recipes! I love this vegetable stir-fry because it’s so colorful and hearty. Or try my vegetable soup or this vegetable lo mein.

Close overhead view of vegetarian chili in a large pot. A ladle is lifting up a scoop of chili.

The BEST Vegetarian Chili

Get ready to taste the BEST vegetarian chili you’ve ever had! You won’t even realize it’s meatless because it’s so hearty and flavorful. It’s warm, cozy, and full of beans and veggies! This one-pot chili is a combination of tender beans, colorful vegetables, and a medley of spices. All simmered together to make the ultimate vegetarian chili that is comforting on a cold day. It’s the perfect chili recipe for making over the stove, in the slow cooker, or even the instant pot! You’re going to love how easy it is to throw together no matter what method of cooking you choose.

Adding more vegetables to our dinners is always a goal of mine. Especially when the family gets more nutrients in their day! Try this easy fried rice, these air fryer stuffed peppers, or this incredible vegetable chicken stew. Your family will LOVE them all!

Ingredients You Will Need

Chili doesn’t have to have meat to be chili! In my opinion, chili is ALL about the beans and the flavor. Trust me, you won’t be the meat in the vegetarian chili recipe. The exact measurements are in the recipe card below.

  • Olive Oil: For cooking the onions and garlic in.
  • Onion: The flavor booster in the pumpkin chili, chopped to add a touch of sweetness and texture.
  • Bell Peppers: I used red and green bell peppers to add some color and crunch.
  • Garlic: A tiny clove with a big punch, garlic makes everything taste better.
  • Green Chilies: Adds to the Mexican-inspired flavors in this chili.
  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes: I love the extra char and flavor from the canned fire-roasted tomatoes in this recipe. It adds depth to the flavor!
  • Kidney Beans, Chili Beans, Black Beans: The best trio of beans that add protein and creaminess to the vegetarian chili.
  • Vegetable Broth: A key ingredient to making this a vegetarian chili. The broth is a savory base for the chili.
  • Spices: Time to break out your spice rack! I used large amounts of chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and smoked paprika. I like my vegetarian chili seasoned very well!
  • Salt: Season to taste!

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Gather those ingredients, grab your soup pot, and let’s get cooking! Vegetarian chili is SO easy to prepare. All you need to do is give your onions and garlic a quick sauté, then combine all of the ingredients together. Let it cook until it’s hearty, rich, and packed with flavor!

  1. Sauté Onion, Peppers, and Garlic: Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and onion and cook until the onions are tender. Then add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Add in the canned tomatoes, green chilies, broth, chili beans (with juices), kidney beans, black beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and salt.
  3. Simmer: Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Serve: Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
First photo of peppers and onions cooking in a pot. Second photo of the tomatoes, green chilies, and broth added to the pot. Third photo of the beans added to the chili. Fourth photo of the seasonings added to the pot.

Can I Cook it in a Crockpot or Instant Pot?

Yes! This vegetarian chili recipe can be cooked in both a slow cooker and an Instant Pot! This recipe is so incredibly easy with any method you choose.

  • Crockpot Vegetarian Chili: Before adding the ingredients to the slow cooker, sauté the onions and peppers. Add the oil to a medium-sized skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for 5-6 minutes. Once cooked and tender, add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
  • Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili: To cook this in the instant pot, add the olive oil, onions, and peppers in the “sauté” mode. Cook until tender then add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients to the instant pot and cook on “manual” for 20 minutes. Then, do a slow release of the steam and enjoy!
Overhead view of chili in a bowl with a spoon. Avocado and cilantro are garnished on top.


Here are a few ideas on how you can easily switch up this vegetarian chili. Depending on what ingredients you have on hand at home, this chili can be different every time!

  • Use Different Vegetables: Switch this chili up easily by using different vegetables! Some that I like to add in are bell peppers, chopped zucchini, or peas!
  • Turn up the Heat: Red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or tabasco sauce garnished on top would make it spicy!
  • Switch Up the Beans: I love the chili beans in this recipe because of the tomato sauce they come in. It adds so much flavor but feel free to use pinto beans or white beans. Any beans work in this chili because it’s so versatile.
  • Toppings: Top your chili with any toppings you desire! We love cilantro, lime juice, sliced avocado, and jalapeños. It’s also delicious with sour cream and cheese!

Storing Leftover Vegetarian Chili

This vegetarian chili is perfect for meal prep throughout the week! Make a big batch for future lunches or dinners. It’s so easy to store and enjoy later.

  • In the Refrigerator: Once the chili has cooled, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • In the Freezer: After cooking and allowing the chili to cool down, transfer it to freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags. Be sure to leave some space at the top to account for expansion as the soup freezes. Then, label it with the date. This chili will last about 2-3 months.
  • To Reheat: When you’re ready to use the frozen chili, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, you can reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave until it’s heated throughout.
Close up of chili in a gray bowl topped with cilantro and avocado.

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Vegetarian Chili

4 from 2 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Introducing the ULTIMATE vegetarian chili recipe! It's full of tender vegetables, a combination of beans, and loaded with seasonings. It's an easy one-pot chili bursting with so many flavors and textures that you won't even miss the meat!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people



  • In a large pot add the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté until tender.
  • Add in the canned tomatoes, green chilies, broth, chili beans, kidney beans, black beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and salt.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Enjoy the chili with your favorite toppings!


Serving: 1cupCalories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 18gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 1688mgPotassium: 1042mgFiber: 18gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 3096IUVitamin C: 55mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is very flavorful, but as others mentioned thin. With that in mind, I used 2 1/2 cups water with the amount of Better Than Bouillion that I’d use for 3 cups. It was still thin. Normally, I’d mash some of the beans then add them back like I do when making Cajun Red Beans. However, I had Masa Harina in the pantry, so instead used 2T of that(same that I add to a pot of my regular chili). Perfect.

    Best veggie chili that I’ve tasted or made. Thank you!

  2. 3 stars
    Veggies good but found it to be too watery. I only added the appropriate broth as per instructions. Is there a way to thicken it? Might serve over rice.

  3. Alyssa … Thank you so much for sharing these recipes with us. I am anxious to try this Chili Recipe.