This Hearty Vegetarian Chili is packed full of veggies, beans, and flavourful spices, making this my go-to wintertime vegetarian meal. It’s perfect for cold winter nights, or anytime you need a dose of healthy comfort food.
You guys, this weather is killin’ me! -36 is dreadful, and has left me questioning my life decisions – namely the one in which I thought it was a good idea to remain a resident of Saskatchewan. So, to get me through these brutal winter days, I make chili.
For the month of January, I go without meat, so my chili isn’t the traditional kind with ground beef – it’s plant based, and you won’t even miss the meat. It’s still hearty, thanks to chickpeas, kidney beans, and a whole lotta veggies. Don’t forget to whip up a batch of buttermilk biscuits to have on the side.
January was a whole month of trying out new plant-based recipes and I found some excellent ones, and some real flops. I intend on sharing some of those awesome new recipes with you guys in the coming weeks, but I wanted to start with this long-standing favourite – Vegetarian Chili. I’ve had this recipe in my back pocket for almost 15 years, and I’ve been tweaking the ingredients ever since day one. For instance, the original recipe called for zucchini, which I didn’t care for. Turns out, I prefer my zucchini in a cake. With chocolate. But honestly, who doesn’t?
The spices have also evolved over time. My original recipe boasted plenty of chili powder and a touch of cumin, and that was about it. I’ve tried a variety of things, but find that adding smoked paprika is my favourite. The smokiness of the paprika takes this vegetarian chili from great to phenomenal.
It’s also in your best interest to add a dollop of sour cream, or loads of grated cheddar cheese to your bowl of chili. Even a generous sprinkling of green onions is superb. If you like a little extra heat, a dash or two (or three) of your favourite hot sauce works wonders. And don’t forget to pass the biscuits.
Hearty Vegetarian Chili
- canola oil
- 1 medium yellow onion coarsely chopped
- 1 medium red pepper coarsely chopped
- 1 large carrot coarsely chopped
- 2 celery stalks coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 398 ml can of corn kernels drained and rinsed
- 1 398 ml can of kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 398 ml can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 large 796 ml can of diced tomatoes
- 1-2 tbsp tomato paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- grated cheddar cheese sliced green onions and sour cream for serving
- In a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat, add enough canola oil to lightly cover the entire bottom.
- Add onions, red pepper, carrots and celery, to the pot, and season lightly with salt. Sauté until onions are translucent and other veggies are tender.
- Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika, and cook for about a minute.
- Add in corn, kidney beans and chickpeas and stir to combine.
- Add in can of diced tomatoes with its liquid.
- Stir in tomato paste.
- The chili may look a touch dry, but don't worry. Place the lid on the pot, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. After about 10 minutes, remove the lid, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering for 30-60 more minutes.
- Serve warm with shredded cheddar cheese, green onions or sour cream.