The Best Veggie-Packed Vegetarian Chili

When I say this is the best vegetarian chili ever, I mean it is the best veggie chili ever! It’s packed with hearty beans and a ton of vegetables, so not only is it delicious, it’s incredibly healthy and nutritious. This recipe is a great source of plant-based protein, fibre, and a variety of vitamins, minerals and more. It’s vegan-friendly, vegetarian, and gluten-free!

Bean and vegetable chili in a white bowl with a silver spoon on a white marble surface.

Why Makes This the Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe?

There are ample recipes for vegan and vegetarian chili here on the internet. So you may be wondering why I, a Registered Dietitian think this recipe here is the best ever. Let me give you my thoughts.

Of course, most meatless chili recipes feature a variety of beans in place of the meat. Some may also include a few vegetables in there like corn and bell peppers. What sets this recipe apart from the rest is that in addition to black beans and pinto beans, this recipe incorporates a whack ton – yes, a whack ton – of vegetables. Because in my eyes, the more veggies the better!

In this chili recipe, you’ll find loads of hearty beans and nourishing vegetables like onion, carrot, red bell pepper, corn, mushrooms, broccoli, and zucchini. So not only is this chili cozy and delicious, it’s also incredibly nutritious. Hello, healthy comfort food!

It’s also simple to make. Nothing complicated here, friends. When I’m in the mood for something warm and comforting on a cold night, I’m usually not in the mood to spend a ton of time or effort on my meals. So like my Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup and Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Soup, this high-protein comfort food recipe makes an easy, no-fuss meal.

Now, this recipe on it’s own is totally vegan, but because I personally like to add cheese or plain greek yogurt (in place of sour cream) to my chili when serving, I say it is vegetarian. If you’re vegan, you can instead add toppings like vegan cheese, avocado, and tortilla chips as toppings.

Bean and vegetable chili in a white bowl with a silver spoon on a white surface

Ingredients for the Best Veggie-Packed Chili Ever:

Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need to makes the best veggie chili ever:

  • Canned goods: Canned black beans, canned pinto beans, canned diced tomatoes, canned corn and canned green chillies
  • Vegetables: Yellow onion, garlic, red bell pepper, carrot, zucchini, broccoli, and mushrooms
  • Spices: Chilli powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, dried oregano, dried basil and a bay leaf
  • Other pantry items: Olive oil, vegetable broth, salt and pepper
  • Optional chili toppings: Shredded cheddar cheese (or vegan cheese), sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), diced avocado, fresh cilantro leaves, pickled jalapeños, fresh lime wedges, or tortilla chips
Ingredients placed on a white wooden surface

Nutrition Benefits of This Chili Recipe:

Contrary to popular belief, chili can actually be a really healthy and balanced meal. Even traditional chili recipes tend to be high in protein and usually offer some fibre thanks to the inclusion of various beans. Chili is especially healthy if you incorporate lots of vegetables like I did in this recipe.

Here are some of the notable nutrition benefits of this recipe:

  • High in plant-based protein: Thanks to the use of both black beans and pinto beans, this vegan and vegetarian chili recipe is a great source of plant-based protein. Protein is important in the diet for a variety of reasons, like helping us to feel full and satisfied after a meal, and supporting lean body [muscle] mass.
  • High in fibre: Similar to protein, fibre also helps to keep us full. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, regulates digestion, and is important for good gut health. The high fibre content in this recipe comes from the variety of beans and vegetables used!
  • Source of vitamins and minerals: Plant foods like vegetables and legumes are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals that support our every day health. Luckily, this veggie chili is packed with plants! Some of the key vitamins and minerals that this chili offers are vitamin C, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6. Bonus: the vitamin C in this recipe helps us to better absorb the heme (plant-based) iron from the beans!
  • Naturally vegan and gluten-free: With the exception of any non-vegan or gluten-free toppings, this vegetarian chili recipe is totally vegan and gluten-free so it is great for anyone with those specific dietary needs.
Chili in a white bowl with a silver spoon on a white marble surface

Tips for Making the Best Vegetarian Chili:

  • Because there are a lot of ingredients (like I said, it’s packed with veggies!), make sure to use a large pot! You don’t want the chili spilling over and making a mess of your kitchen. This recipe is supposed to be no-fuss, remember?
  • Make sure to taste the chili and adjust any spices as necessary for you prior to serving. We all have different preferences when it comes to certain spices, salt, and heat, so please adjust as you see fit.
  • Mix up the veggies! While I love the combination of vegetables used in this recipe (broccoli and mushrooms in chili are my favourite), feel free to add more of one thing or omit another to accommodate your own preferences. This recipe also doubles as a great “clean out the fridge” recipe to use up any veggies you have that need to be used up!
  • Make sure to let the chili simmer for at least 25-30 minutes as per the recipe instructions. This allows the vegetables to cook and the flavours to really blend together and sink in. I also find that leftovers of this chili are even better because the flavours have had even more time to come out!
Chili in a white bowl on a white marble surface with a silver spoon.

Storing Leftovers and More:

  • Leftover veggie chili can easily be stored in the fridge in a sealed container up to 5 days. Chili is also very freezer-friendly, and you can freeze this recipe in a sealed container or sealable freezer bag up to 2 months.
  • Feel free to switch up the beans in this recipe if you don’t have black beans or pinto beans on hand. Both white and red kidney beans are great in chili too.

Connect with Hannah Magee, RD!

If you like this recipe, please let me know by leaving a recipe rating and a comment below! This really helps me grow my blog and helps others find my recipes.

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Veggie chili in a white bowl with a silver spoon on a white marble surface
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5 from 2 votes

The Best Vegetarian Chili (Packed with Veggies!)

When I say this is the best vegetarian chili ever, I mean it is the best veggie chili ever! It's packed with hearty beans and a ton of vegetables, so not only is it delicious, it's incredibly healthy and nutritious. This recipe is a great source of plant-based protein, fibre, and a variety of vitamins, minerals and more. It's vegan-friendly, vegetarian, and gluten-free!
Course Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Diabetic, Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword bell peppers, black beans, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, pinto beans, tomatoes, zucchini
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Hannah Magee

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 large carrot peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 19 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 19 oz. can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned corn drained and rinsed
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chillies optional
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small zucchini chopped
  • 1 small head of broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 cup mushrooms chopped
  • optional toppings: diced avocado, cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream/plain greek yogurt, lime, tortilla chips

Instructions

  • In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, diced red pepper and chopped carrot. Saute until softened and onions are transluscent (approx. 5 minutes).
  • Stir in chili powder, oregano, basil, cumin, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Continue to cook, stirring constantly until spices are fragrant (about 1 minute). Be careful not to burn.
  • Add undrained diced tomatoes, drained beans, corn, green chillies (optional) and vegetable broth. Stir well to combine. Add in bay leaf.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients (zucchini, broccoli, and mushrooms). Cover pot, reduce heat to allow mixture to simmer, and stir occasionally for 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with optional toppings. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Storing Leftover Veggie Chili:
  • Leftover veggie chili can easily be stored in the fridge in a sealed container up to 5 days. Chili is also very freezer-friendly, and you can freeze this recipe in a sealed container or sealable freezer bag up to 2 months.

2 Comments

  1. Liane @ Foodie Digital

    5 stars
    Hannah, this vegetarian chili is the perfect, healthy weeknight meal. It has just the right amount of heat and is loaded with veggies, which makes this mama of 3 very happy. Thanks for this one; it has been added to our healthy dinner rotation!

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