This Easy Vegetarian Chili Recipe Is a Family Favorite

How to make vegetarian-friendly chili, courtesy of the Culinary Institute of America

The hearty recipe from The Culinary Institute of America relies upon pantry essentials and a medley of spices for its slow-cooked flavor.

Who doesn’t love a hearty bowl of chili? Whether studded with beans or spiced up with jalapeños, chili is one of our most beloved comfort foods (well, that and mac and cheese). Thankfully, most chili recipes are flexible and simple: add your choice of beans, cooked ground meat, veggies, and spices to a crockpot and set it on low heat for four-to-eight hours. Serve with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a slice (or two) of cornbread.

Don’t have all day to slow-cook chili? Here’s one of our favorite chili dishes from the Culinary Institute of America. It’s fast and vegetarian-friendly, so everyone can enjoy it in a relatively short amount of time.

Vegetarian Chili

Makes 4 quarts (approximately 6-8 servings); recipe courtesy of the Culinary Institute of America

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¼ cup olive oil
2 onions, peeled and diced
2 red bell peppers, cored and diced
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 Serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely minced
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup corn kernels
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cocoa
1 tsp garlic powder
14 oz canned tomato purée
2 cups black beans
2 cups pinto beans
2 cups kidney beans
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup red bell peppers, roasted and puréed
2 tomatoes, roasted whole and puréed
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup cilantro, chopped


In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the zucchini and corn and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes.

Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, cayenne, coriander, and cocoa and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato purée and stir well.

Add the drained and rinsed beans and vegetable stock; stir well and bring to a boil.

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Add the roasted bell peppers and tomatoes; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauce, black pepper, and cilantro.

Adjust the seasoning to taste.

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