This Homemade Vegetarian Chili With Beans and Cheese is packed with flavor, loaded with protein, and oh-so-satisfying. Whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian or just looking for a delicious and nutritious meal, this chili won’t disappoint.
Why I Love This Recipe
I absolutely love this recipe because it’s not only delicious but also super easy to make.
It’s a one-pot wonder that’s perfect for busy weeknights or cozy weekends.
Plus, it’s a great way to sneak some extra veggies into your diet, and the combination of spices makes your taste buds dance with joy!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
▪️ Flavor Explosion: This chili is a flavor bomb with a perfect blend of spices, beans, and veggies.
▪️ Protein Powerhouse: It’s loaded with protein from various beans, making it a satisfying meal.
▪️ Customizable: You can tweak the spice level to suit your taste and add your favorite toppings.
▪️ Versatile: Serve it on its own, over rice, or with a side of warm, crusty bread – it’s delicious in every way.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
▪️ Olive Oil (2 tablespoons): Olive oil adds more flavor to the recipe and will also be used to saute veggies.
▪️ Onion (1, diced): Onions give a delicious base flavor to our chili. They’re like the foundation of a tasty building!
▪️ Garlic (3 cloves, minced): Garlic is like a flavor superhero. It adds a fantastic taste and aroma to our chili.
▪️ Red and Green Bell Peppers (1 each, diced): These colorful peppers bring sweetness and crunch to the party. Think of them as the artists that paint your chili with flavor.
▪️ Carrot (1, diced): Carrots are like the natural sweeteners of the veggie world. They add a hint of sweetness to balance our chili’s flavors.
▪️ Zucchini (1, diced): Zucchini is like unsung heroes. They blend in, adding extra nutrition and texture.
▪️ Canned Diced Tomatoes (1 can, 14 oz): Canned tomatoes are like a flavor shortcut. They’re juicy, tangy, and ready to go!
▪️ Mixed Beans (2 cans, 15 oz each): Beans are our protein-packed pals. They make the chili hearty and satisfying.
▪️ Corn Kernels (1 can, 15 oz): Corn adds a touch of sweetness and a burst of color. It’s like confetti for your chili!
▪️ Vegetable Broth (2 cups): Vegetable broth is like the liquid gold of our recipe. It gives the chili a delicious, savory base.
▪️ Chili Powder (2 teaspoons): Chili powder is like the chili’s personality. It brings the heat and that signature chili flavor.
▪️ Cumin (1 teaspoon): Cumin is like the sidekick to chili powder. It adds depth and a hint of earthiness.
▪️ Paprika (1/2 teaspoon): Paprika is like the chili’s secret ingredient. It gives a mild smokiness and a pop of color.
▪️ Salt and Pepper (to taste): Salt and pepper are like the seasoning superheroes. They bring out all the flavors in our chili.
▪️ Shredded Cheddar Cheese (1 cup): Cheese is the creamy, melty crown of our chili. It’s the finishing touch that makes it oh-so-good!
▪️ Fresh Cilantro and Sour Cream (for garnish): Cilantro adds freshness, while sour cream gives a cool, creamy contrast. They’re like the fancy accessories for our chili.
Making Of Vegetarian Chili
STEP 1: First, grab your big pot. Heat it up on the stove over medium heat and pour in those 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When it starts to shimmer (that’s just a fancy word for looking all shiny), toss in your diced onion and garlic.
STEP 2: Now, close your eyes and take a whiff. That incredible smell? That’s the start of something amazing. Sauté the onions and garlic until they turn all soft and fragrant. It’s like a cozy hug for your senses, about 3-4 minutes.
STEP 3: Next up, add those colorful diced peppers, the carrot, and the zucchini. Imagine a painter’s palette of veggies going into your pot. Cook them up for about 5 minutes until they start to get tender.
STEP 4: Now, it’s time to invite the stars of the show: diced tomatoes, mixed beans, and corn. Pour them all in and they’ll bring their unique flavors to the pot.
STEP 5: Pour in that vegetable broth and sprinkle in your chili powder, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
STEP 6: Let everything come to a gentle boil, then lower the heat, and let it simmer. This is when the chili starts to work its charm. Give it about 20-25 minutes of simmering time, and it’ll turn into a flavor sensation that’s worth the wait.
My Personal Touch: Sometimes, I like to let it simmer even longer – like a good story that gets better with time. Your kitchen will smell like a gourmet restaurant, and your taste buds will thank you.
STEP 7: Once your chili is ready, grab your favorite bowls. Ladle that flavorful goodness in there. Now, here comes the fun part – sprinkle a generous amount of cheddar cheese on top. It’s like giving your chili a cozy cheese blanket. Add a dollop of sour cream, like a little cloud of creaminess, and don’t forget the fresh cilantro for that burst of color and flavor.
STEP 1: In a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the diced onion and garlic. Sauté until they’re soft and oh-so-fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
STEP 2: Transfer your sautéed onions and garlic to your trusty crockpot.
STEP 3: Now, toss in the diced red and green bell peppers, carrot, zucchini, diced tomatoes, mixed beans, and corn. Mix ’em up in there.
STEP 4: Sprinkle in your chili powder, cumin, paprika, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix it all together until everything gets cozy and acquainted.
STEP 5: Pour in the vegetable broth, and give it a gentle stir. You want everyone to be friendly in there.
STEP 6: Pop the lid on your crockpot, and set it to cook on LOW for about 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours. This is where the magic happens. Go do your thing, whether it’s work, a good book, or binge-watching your favorite series.
Tips and Techniques
▪️ Don’t be shy to taste your chili as it cooks. Adjust spices or seasoning as needed to make it just right.
▪️ Try to chop your veggies into similar-sized pieces so they cook evenly and look great in your chili.
▪️ Letting your chili simmer a bit longer lets all the flavors mingle and get cozy together.
▪️ Make extra and freeze it for a quick, delicious meal on a busy day. Your future self will thank you!
This Homemade Vegetarian Chili recipe is enough to feed 4-6 people comfortably. Think of it like preparing a meal for a friendly gathering or having leftovers for later enjoyment.
▪️ Ladle this tasty chili over warm rice for a hearty meal.
▪️ Pair it with crusty bread for a satisfying, crunchy contrast.
▪️ Top it with avocado, jalapeños, or crushed tortilla chips for extra flavors and textures.
▪️ Don’t forget a side salad to balance out the richness.
▪️ Add hot sauce or extra chili powder for a fiery kick.
▪️ Go vegan by swapping cheese and sour cream with plant-based alternatives.
▪️ Boost protein with tofu, tempeh, or quinoa.
▪️ Make it chunkier by adding diced potatoes or sweet potatoes.
After cooking your Homemade Vegetarian Chili, let it cool before storing it in a tightly sealed container. In the fridge, it’s good for 3 days; in the freezer, up to 3 months. Label it with the date. When you’re ready to eat, thaw it in the fridge for the best flavor. Enjoy your tasty leftovers!
Q. Can I use different beans?
Absolutely! Use your favorite beans or whatever you have in your pantry.
Q. Is it gluten-free?
Yes, this chili is naturally gluten-free.
Q. How can I make it less spicy?
Just reduce the amount of chili powder or omit it altogether if you prefer mild chili.
Homemade Vegetarian Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 zucchini diced
- 1 can (14 oz) tomatoes diced
- 2 cans (15 oz) each mixed beans (kidney, black, pinto – your choice!) drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) corn kernels drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- Fresh cilantro and sour cream for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Sauté onion and garlic until soft (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add diced peppers, carrot, and zucchini. Cook until they start to soften (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in diced tomatoes, mixed beans, corn, vegetable broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls, top with cheddar cheese and sour cream, and garnish with fresh cilantro
- Sauté the diced onion and minced garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft (3-4 minutes). Then, transfer them to your crockpot.
- Add the diced red and green bell peppers, carrot, zucchini, diced tomatoes, mixed beans, and corn to the crockpot. Mix them together.
- Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix it all up.
- Pour in 2 cups of vegetable broth and give it a gentle stir.
- Put the lid on your crockpot and set it to LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours. Let it work its magic while you do your thing.
- When it’s ready, serve hot with shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and fresh cilantro on top.
- Don’t be shy to taste your chili as it cooks. Adjust spices or seasoning as needed to make it just right.
- Try to chop your veggies into similar-sized pieces so they cook evenly and look great in your chili.
- Letting your chili simmer a bit longer lets all the flavors mingle and get cozy together.