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Vegetarian Chili (for the Meat lover!)

Family Friendly Plant-Based Recipes

Spicy Vegan 3 Bean Chili

My son says I make vegetarian chili at least once a week, which is only a slight exaggeration. I love chili; it is easy to make and I usually have all the ingredients on hand, which saves a trip to the grocery store in a snowstorm. This Vegetarian Chili is so hearty even the meat lovers in the family will love it! It has very few calories and fat  compared to it meat counterpart!

The best thing about Chili is that you can do lots of fun things to change it up a little. Serve it over hotdogs and you have Chili Dogs. Serve it over Mac & Cheese and you have Chili Mac. Try it over some baked French fries and top it with some Cheeze Sauce and you have Chili Cheese Fries…AMAZING! You can even bake it in the oven with some corn bread batter on top and call it chili pie.

So yes, my son, it is okay to make vegetarian chili every week.

Ingredients in Vegetarian Chili

Onions and Peppers

I know some of you are tempted to skip the onions because someone in your family does not like onions don’t do it!! Onions add a ton of flavor! I’ve learned over the years that most people like the flavor of the onion just not the texture and if they see an onion its all over so chop them very small or even liquify them in a food processor. I like to use my chopper for this and while I am at it I chop a few extras so I have some prepped for other meals during the week.


I am still using jalapeno from my garden, I chopped them up when I had an abundance of peppers and keep them in the freezer for when I need them. You can use a fresh jalapeno here and use the chopper or jarred works fine.


I know everyone says fresh is best and I am sure it’s true, but I know that if I have to peel, chop or press garlic every time I make a recipe you can be sure I won’t be doing making that recipe! So fresh may be best, jarred is better than ordering take out! Which ever you use will be fine.

Meat Substitute

Depending on where you are in your journey you can make this an all bean chili or add some meat substitute. If you are making this for a meat lover you will definitely want to add a meat substitute I use a combination burger crumbles and sausage to make it extra meaty when serving to omnivores. There a lot there are a lot of really good burger crumbles choose from I will add one of these impossible sausage links to take this chili to the next level!


You can use canned or frozen it adds color and sweetness as well as some vegetables to the chili.


I usually used canned beans, pinto, red and black. If I plan ahead I put the dried rinsed beans in a crock pot and cook them over night and add the sautéed vegetables and meat substitute.

Canned tomatoes

I like to use petite diced tomato or fire roasted are delicious in this recipe.

Better Than Bouillon Chili Base 

I tried Better Than Bouillon Chili Base for the first time and loved it! This Chili Recipe is good without the Chili Base but it really does give it that long slow cooked flavor without all of the time.

Can you make this in a crockpot?

Yes if you are using a crock pot you can save a little money and use dry beans.  Clean and rinse your dry beans and place them in the crock pot with at least water that is two inches of water over the beans.  Cook on high for 8 -10 hours checking to make sure you have enough water.  Once the beans are cooked add your sautéed vegetables and vegetarian burger with the remaining ingredients.

What makes this a healthy chili recipe?

Yes by calculation cup for cup this chili recipe has almost half the calories and 25 grams less fat than traditional recipe. It also contains healthy plant protein and fiber from the beans plus it has at least one serving of vegetables per 2 cup serving.

5 ways to serve vegetarian chili

  1. In a bowl with your favorite toppings like Tofutti sour cream, avocado, diced peppers, green onions, cilantro, corn chips or corn bread. Let me know what your favorite toppings in the comments below.
  2. Loaded baked potato – Baked potato smothered in vegetarian chili, chopped onions, vegan cheese sauce.
  3. Vegetarian hot dogs topped with vegetarian chili and chopped onions and pickles.
  4. Chili mac – Macaroni noodles stirred into the chili and topped with vegan cheese or even better yet leftover vegan mac and cheese mixed with chili to stretch the leftovers and make a fantastic supper or lunch.
  5. Homemade French fries made from russet potatoes topped with vegetarian chili and cashew cheese sauce!

I hope you’ll give this vegetarian chili a try and let me know how the family liked it down below!

Vegetarian Chili (for the Meat lover!)

Vegetarian Chili

Are you tired of cooking two meals every night. One for the Vegetarians and one for the meat eaters. Try this vegetarian chili everyone will love it.


  • 1 ½ teaspoons oil
  • 1 ½ cups onions, diced
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ package vegetarian burger
  • 1 link Impossible vegetarian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 1½ cups corn, frozen or canned
  • 2 cans (15 ounce) pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounce) red beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounce) black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans (14 ounce) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 3 ½ cups water


    1Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.
    2Add onions, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until the onions look translucent (almost clear), about 4-5 minutes.
    3Add vegetarian burger and seasonings and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
    4Add corn, beans, tomatoes and water and bring to a boil.
    5Reduce heat and let simmer for at least 30 minutes so all the flavors start working together.

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