45-Minute Recipes/ Dinner/ Lunch

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

This easy vegetarian chili recipe is made in just one pot yet packed with veggies, beans and spices. Perfect for a hearty plant-based meal on a chilly winter day!

Vegetarian chili recipe in a bowl garnished with cilantro, vegan sour cream and avocado.

It’s officially autumn and that means just one thing: chili season! If you love a thick, bean-y, meaty vegetarian chili, this recipe is for you!

I’ve been developing a smoky mushroom fajita recipe for my upcoming cookbook (tentatively titled 30-Minute Frugal Vegan Recipes) and went a bit overboard on the bell peppers. I wanted to have one of every colour and that ended up being way too much.

So what better way to use up leftover peppers than in a delicious vegan chili?

Vegetarian chili in a white pot.

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In fact chili is great for using up all kinds of leftovers since there are so many ways to make it. This time I opted for a more “traditional” style with beans and tvp to replace the ground beef, but another one of my favourites is the red lentil chili recipe included in Nutriciously‘s Vegan Starter Kit’s 14-day meal plan.

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Tvp is one of my favourite vegan ground beef replacements. It’s much cheaper than buying a ready-made ground round and you can season it however you like. It makes a great taco meat substitute for this vegan nacho pizza recipe.

Most vegetarian chili recipes with tvp will instruct you to soak the tvp beforehand. This is totally unnecessary. Tvp rehydrates perfectly well on it’s own in soups, stews and chilies provided you add enough liquid. Furthermore, it can soak up all the yummy spices and seasonings.

So to make this easy vegetarian chili recipe simply add everything to a pot and let it simmer for a bit to meld the flavours. I added the typical spices like paprika, cumin, chili powder and oregano, and since I’ve been hearing a lot about adding chocolate to chili, I wanted to give it a try.

Squeezing a lime over vegetarian chili in a bowl.

It’s no secret that chocolate and chili peppers are a match made in heaven and the 1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder in this recipe added an interesting depth of flavour and great colour.

Top your vegetarian chili with your favourite chili toppings: vegan sour cream or plain vegan yogurt, cilantro, avocado, tortilla chips or vegan cheese. Serve with crusty bread, cornbread or a fresh green salad.

Wanna see how easy it is to make this vegetarian chili recipe? Watch the video:

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 - 6 Cooking Time: 45 minutes Total Cost: $8.09 Cost per serving: $2.02


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil - $0.10
  • 1 medium onion, diced - $0.32
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced - $0.24
  • 1 ½ cups diced bell pepper (215 grams), any colour or a mix - $1.44
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, diced - $0.41
  • 1 (6-oz) can tomato paste - $0.99
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano - $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon cumin - $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika - $0.12
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder - $0.15
  • 1 cup (90 grams) tvp - $1.53
  • 1 large can (19 oz / 570 grams) kidney beans, do not drain - $0.75
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder - $0.06
  • 1 can (15 oz / 400 grams) diced tomatoes, do not drain - $0.69
  • 1 ½ cups (355 ml) vegetable stock - $0.69
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce - $0.04
  • Salt and pepper, to taste - $0.03
  • 1 lime, sliced - $0.23
  • Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, vegan sour cream or plain vegan yogurt, diced avocado, tortilla chips



Heat a pot over medium heat and add the oil and onion. Fry the onion until soft and translucent then add the garlic and fry until fragrant.


Add the bell pepper and jalapeño and fry until soft.


Add the tomato paste and spices and fry, stirring frequently, for a couple of minutes until the tomato paste darkens and the spices are fragrant.


Add the tvp, beans (with the aquafaba), cocoa powder, diced tomatoes (with their juices), vegetable stock and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to meld. Stir from time to time and add more stock or water if it begins to look dry.


Taste and add salt and pepper if you think it’s necessary. Serve with a slice of lime in each bowl and your favourite chili toppings.

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  • Reply
    Silpa | Silpa's kitchen
    September 26, 2018 at 7:56 am

    vegetarian chili recipe is so colorful and yummy. Thank you for the spicy recipe.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Made this chili tonight,exactly as written, and it was excellent.

    Thank you for posting.

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