Skip the meat and still enjoy a protein-packed meal with a fast and fresh recipe for The Best Vegetarian Chili.

Two white bowls filled with chili and smaller bowls surrounding them containing chili toppings

Chili is a mainstay at our house, and as odd as it may sound from this southern California girl, we actually eat it in some form or another during every season. Winter? Slow Cooker Chicken Chili. Spring? Chipotle Chili con Carne. Summer? Salsa Corn Chowder (very chili-esque!). Fall? Pumpkin Turkey Chili.

Chili covers all of our mandatory bases on the dinner front:

  • It’s quick to prepare and can sit in a slow cooker all day
  • It’s pretty darn healthy and yet still insanely flavorful
  • It’s very filling, which is essential for this family of four (including two toddlers who eat like teenagers!)

Small glass bowls containing the ingredients to make vegetarian chili

This recipe for The Best Vegetarian Chili was actually a happy accident. I had originally updated my Pumpkin Turkey Chili with a variation of this recipe, however I got so many comments and emails requesting the original recipe back that I had to revert it!

And then I started getting emails asking for the new recipe to be returned, and so here we are … with both!

A Dutch oven containing chili being ladled out on a gold spoon

You get your tried-and-tested longtime favorite Pumpkin Turkey Chili AND you get this updated vegetarian version that still stars creamy pumpkin, tons of spices and a whole lot-o-beans.

When it comes to toppings, creamy avocado, cool sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar and cilantro aren’t required, but boy oh boy do they ever take this flavor-packed recipe to a whole new (hearty, sorta healthy) level. And don’t forget the Simple Skillet Cornbread for a side dish!

Two bowls of chili surrounded by cilantro, cheese and sour cream

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The Best Vegetarian Chili

  • 1/4
    cup
    olive oil
  • 1
    medium onion, small dice
  • 3
    cloves garlic, minced
  • 2
    chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    ground cumin
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    dried oregano
  • 1
    Tablespoon
    ancho chili powder
  • 1
    bottle
    light beer (See Kelly’s Note)
  • 1
    (15-oz.)
    can diced tomatoes
  • 1
    (15-oz.)
    can pumpkin purée
  • 2
    cups
    vegetable stock
  • 1
    (15-oz.)
    can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1
    (15-oz.)
    can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1
    (15-oz.)
    can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2
    Tablespoons
    light brown sugar
  • Avocado, sour cream, cheese and cilantro, for serving

Add the olive oil to a large heavy-bottomed stock pot set over medium-low heat then add
the onions, garlic chipotles in adobo, cumin, oregano, ancho chili powder and 1
teaspoon salt, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.  

Increase the heat to medium, add the beer and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, pumpkin purée, vegetable stock, black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans and
reduce the heat to low.

Simmer the chili for one hour then stir in the brown sugar. Taste and season it with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, top the chili with avocado, sour cream, cheese and cilantro.

Kelly’s Note:

If you prefer not to add the beer, you can substitute it with 3/4 cup additional vegetable stock, used exactly the same way as specified in the recipe.

★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition Facts

The Best Vegetarian Chili

Amount Per Serving

Calories 123
Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Fat 9g14%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 404mg18%

Potassium 99mg3%

Carbohydrates 7g2%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 865IU17%

Vitamin C 2mg2%

Calcium 36mg4%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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