Recipe 25: Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

This recipe is a big favorite at our apartment. It’s easy, healthy, and because it’s all from the produce/canned goods department, it’s inexpensive. If you own a copy of the Joy of Cooking, this is very similar to their recipe, with only a few minor additions. Either way, it’s so good I just have to put it on the list.

Recipe makes about 6-8 cups depending on how much you add. You can easily stretch the servings by adding more vegetables.

Besides the time for prep work (chopping all those damn vegetables) the chili can be done to perfection in less than an hour, but if you are really hungry, you can tap into it in about 30 minutes of cooking.

Recipe 25: Vegetarian Chili

Special Equipment:

  • large cooking pot (like a stock pot)
  • cutting board, knife, can opener.


  • 1 medium onion (yellow or purple is fine), diced.
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic (about 3 large cloves, but the amount is up to you)
  • salt & pepper to taste (you wont need much)
  • 2 green bell peppers (or whatever color is on sale), diced/chopped
  • 1 can “fire roasted” tomatoes (regular can size, about 14 oz), Hunts makes a good version.
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 3 large carrots, halved coins (chopped, lol)
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive/vegetable oil
  • water/tomato sauce to desired level.

*you can garnish with chopped cilantro, corn, sour cream, lime juice, shredded cheese, etc.


First, prep your vegetables, keeping the aromatics (garlic, peppers, and onion) together. You’re going to put them into the pot and crank the heat up to medium high with your oil. Add your spices (cayenne and cumin) and stir to distribute. Once the onions start to look translucent, add the carrots and give it a stir. Put all your beans into a colander and run them under cold water to rinse the salt or any other crap off of them. This is a good way to keep the sodium down in cooking as many beans are “salted” in cans. Add the beans and your can of tomatoes to the steaming vegetables, and top the mixture off with water or tomato sauce until there’s just enough to your liking.

Let this cook uncovered for a bit, about 30 minutes, and then sample it. If it suits you, now would be a good time to add a little salt (a few cranks of the grinder or a pinch) and then stir. Wait 5 minutes and then taste again. Repeat until it’s good to you.

If you have the time, allow it to cook for about an hour before serving. The best flavor comes out at this point. If you have less time, wait until the carrots are soft before serving. Second and third helpings are encouraged. :-)


Garnish how you like, and enjoy!

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