Vegetarian Chili

Week night dinners often end up being some leftover protein from the weekend paired with something on the side. When we don’t host a Saturday night gathering though I have to come up with something. Yesterday I decided I had most of the stuff to make a decent chili for dinner. A quick stop at the store for a red pepper, sour cream and shredded cheese sealed the deal.

Chili, the meated variety, was probably the first thing I sat down and figured out how to make from scratch on my own. Over the years the recipe has changed a bit as I find something new or read another recipe or just want to mix it up. I went for a vegetarian version tonight because were trying to eat a bit healthier and chili is hearty enough to stand alone without meat.

Vegetarian Chili
Servings: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 52 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped into 1/4″ dice (about 1 cup total)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into 1/4″ dice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 15.5 oz. can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16 oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of fire roasted dice tomatoes
  • 1 29 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup frozen cord (I used Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn)
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven until it shimmers. Add the onion & peppers. Sprinkle with a healthy pinch of kosher salt and stir. Cook for 5 minutes to soften the vegetables, stirring periodically.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute, stirring to prevent burning.
  3. Once the you start to smell the garlic you can add the spices. Stir to mix the vegetables together with spices. The heat and oil will help enhance the flavor of the spices as well.
  4. Add the beans, tomato products and frozen corn. Stir everything together to combine.
  5. Continue to cook over medium heat until bubbles start to come up through the center of the chili. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Taste the chili. Add salt & pepper to taste. Maybe you want more chili powder or cumin. Go for it. Cook, uncovered now, for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Serve up a hearty portion and sprinkle with some of the fresh cilantro. Top with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese to your taste. If you’re my husband douse it with sriracha as well.

We ate our chili over white rice last night. If the weather had been cooler I would have made some corn bread. This would make a pretty tasty sloppy-ish joe as well.

Everything is better with bacon. If I had some in the house I would have fried it up crisp and then cooked the onions & peppers in the bacon fat. Crumpled bacon on the top would be great. Not as healthy, but great. 🙂


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