Actually, the Best Vegetarian Chili Ever

This is actually THE BEST vegetarian chili recipe you’ll ever make! You won’t believe there isn’t any meat in this delicious vegetarian chili made with two kinds of beans, veggies, tender sweet potato and sweet corn. Perfectly spiced, thick and hearty, and easy to make on the stovetop or in your slow cooker!

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hour

For years and year, my healthy turkey chili has been one of the most popular recipes on Ambitious Kitchen and for good reason. It’s cozy, hearty, flavorful and perfect for game day.

This year, I wanted to bring you both a vegan and vegetarian chili that was just as good, full of feel-good veggies, plant based protein and of course, just as crave-worthy without the meat. In an effort to eat more (and bring you more) plant based meals, I’ve already made it a few times this year and Tony loves it.

We had the leftovers over tortilla chips with some cheese for a game day chili nachos and it was fabulous. Another way to enjoy it? Over roasted sweet potatoes, then top it with cheese, avocado and hot sauce. SO GOOD and an awesome way to reinvent leftovers.

the best vegetarian chili in bowls with tortilla chips and toppings

Ingredients in this vegetarian chili recipe

This incredible vegetarian chili recipe is made with super simple ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen and pantry. There’s no meat or dairy, making it vegan too! All you need are a few cans of beans (i love kidney beans in my chili), veggies, spices and crushed tomatoes. To make this plant based chili you’ll need:

I love topping this easy vegetarian chili with tortilla chips, a squeeze of lime juice, shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt. If you like a little more heat (like I do) I recommend a few jalapeño slices, too! Feel free to customize your toppings to your heart’s content and use a vegan cheese + yogurt or sour cream to keep this recipe vegan.

easy vegetarian chili recipe in a bowl with toppings

How to make vegetarian chili in the slow cooker

This vegetarian chili recipe can easily be made on the stovetop or in your slow cooker, which makes it perfect for entertaining.

If you’re using your slow cooker, simply add all of your ingredients to your slow cooker, but reduce the broth/water and use only ¼ cup of broth total instead of 3/4 cup. Then cook the vegetarian chili on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until it’s nice and thick.

the best vegan chili recipe in a bowl

How to store and reheat this vegetarian chili recipe:

  1. In the refrigerator: this plant based chili will stay good in your fridge for about 1 week. Once your chili is completely cooled, just place it in an airtight container (or multiple, if you’d like to meal prep it) without the additional toppings and place it in the fridge. To reheat it, simply do so in the microwave with a microwave safe bowl, or feel free to reheat it on the stovetop. Add your toppings once you’re ready to serve!
  2. In the freezer: can you freeze vegetarian chili? YES! Follow the instructions above, but instead of placing the chili in the refrigerator just put it in your freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw the vegetarian chili overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.

easy vegetarian chili recipe in a bowl with avocado and cilantro

What to serve with this vegetarian chili recipe:

Feel free to serve this chili with tortilla chips and homemade cornbread. They’re both delicious for dipping! If you’re making this for game day here are a few more recipes that will pair perfectly with this recipe:

Tortilla Chip-Crusted Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Easy + Cheesy Southwest Bean Dip

The Best Guacamole You’ll Ever Eat

Fresh & Healthy 7-Layer Dip

Vegetarian Plantain & Black Bean Taco Cups

I hope you enjoy our best ever vegetarian chili recipe. If you make it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe — I really appreciate it! xo.

The Best Vegetarian Chili Ever

5 from 8 votes
the best vegetarian chili recipe in a bowl with toppings
Course Chili, Dinner, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword healthy vegetarian chili recipe, the best vegetarian chili, the best vegetarian chili recipe, vegan chili, vegan chili recipe, vegetarian chili, vegetarian chili recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 6

This is actually THE BEST vegetarian chili recipe you'll ever make! You won't believe there isn't any meat in this delicious vegetarian chili made with two kinds of beans, veggies, tender sweet potato and sweet corn. Perfectly spiced, thick and hearty, and easy to make on the stovetop or in your slow cooker!


  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mild green chiles
  • 1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (fire-roasted is great)
  • 3/4 cup vegetarian broth (or water)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 heaping cup frozen sweet corn
  • To garnish:
  • Tortilla chips
  • Lime wedge
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream/greek yogurt


  1. Place oil in a large pot and place over medium high heat. Add in garlic, onion, diced carrot, red bell pepper, cubed sweet potatoes and green chiles; saute for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Next add in chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper; stir for about 30 seconds.
  3. Finally add in crushed tomatoes, broth/water, black beans, kidney beans and corn. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until chili thickens and flavors come together. Taste and adjust seasonings and salt as necessary.

  4. Garnish with anything you'd like. Makes 6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each.

Recipe Notes

Feel free to make this in your slow cooker. If you do, I suggest reducing the broth/water and using only ¼ cup of broth total (instead of 3/4 cup)

To keep this recipe vegan, top with your favorite vegan cheese and/or vegan greek yogurt.

Servings: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 serving about 1 1/2 cups, without toppings)
Calories: 260kcal
Fat: 3.1g
Saturated fat: 0.3g
Carbohydrates: 53.4g
Fiber: 15.5g
Sugar: 11.4g
Protein: 13g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

Shop This Post

5 Secrets to Healthy and Delicious Desserts

5 Secrets to Healthy and Delicious Desserts

Get my best easy tips for healthy baking in this free email series!

    Leave a comment & rating

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    Show Comments
    You might also like

    Send this to a friend