Basic Vegetarian Chili Recipe
Unlike its slow-cooking, meaty brethren, this chili recipe is easy, fast, and vegetarian. It makes for a hearty weeknight dinner. Freeze leftovers in small containers for a ready-to-eat meal.
To see this recipe with illustrated steps, check out The Basics: How to Make Veggie Chili.
This recipe was featured as part of our Healthy Cooking photo gallery.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, medium dice
- 1 carrot, medium dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bell pepper, medium dice
- 1 zucchini, medium dice
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 (15-ounce) cans light kidney, dark kidney, or black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Quartered lime pieces, for garnish (optional)
- Shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled queso fresco, for garnish (optional)
- Sour cream, for garnish (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid or a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and zucchini to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Add the cumin and chili powder and stir to incorporate. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are knife tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the beans, water, and tomatoes with their juices and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the vegetables are soft and the flavors have melded, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve and garnish as desired.