Loaded with kid-friendly vegetables including sweet potato and corn, as well as plant-based protein from beans, this Vegetarian Chili Recipe makes enough for two dinners—so you can stash one in the freezer for a future meal that’s all ready to go!
Easy Vegetarian Chili
Lately, I’ve been trying a new family dinner method. I cook a double batch of a soup and have it for dinner that night, and then freeze the rest and have it the following week. This Vegetarian Chili recipe, which is so super simple, is one of our new favorites for this cook once, eat twice idea.
I’m sure that part of my internal reasoning for doing this is to have a few tricks up my sleeve for when the baby is here. But it’s been unexpectedly rewarding since I only have to do it every other week—plus there’s the whole bit about having a dinner already made. I’ve mostly been doing this with bean soups because they come together easily and freeze so well. And they tend to be thicker and easier for toddlers to eat.
Healthy Vegetarian Chili Recipe
I love that this chili recipe is packed full of beans and veggies, making it a great source of Vitamin C and A, as well as vegetarian protein and fiber. The pieces of the veggies are big enough to be finger food if your toddler prefers their hands over a spoon. And the sweet potato lends a pleasant sweetness that pairs well with the mild Mexican flavors.
Ingredients in Vegetarian Chili
To make this recipe you’ll need vegetables—I like to use onion, sweet potato, carrots, bell peppers—garlic, beans, spices including cumin and chili powder, and corn. You’ll also need stock (chicken or vegetable), crushed tomatoes, and lime juice. You can adjust the vegetables according to what their kids like most, leaving out the onions or peppers if needed and using more of other vegetables.
Vegetarian Bean Chili
You can use one type of beans in this vegetarian chili recipe or a mixture, depending on what you and your family prefers or what you have on hand. We tend to like pinto, kidney, and black beans best, but see what you like. If you use canned beans, rinse them in a colander first to remove the sometimes murky liquid and excess salt.
Can I make this with all black beans for Black Bean Chili?
Of course! That would be a delicious way to make this recipe.
How to Make this Vegetarian Bean Chili Recipe Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the process involved in making this chili.
- Add oil to a large pot and stir in the diced vegetables Cook until they are just starting to soften.
- Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, beans, salt, cumin, and corn. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce and cook until the veggies are soft.
- Add the lime juice and serve with desired toppings.
What goes well with this chili?
We like to have our chili topped with shredded cheese or sour cream, or diced avocado. A side of plantain chips is never a bad idea either! I’ve also been known to serve leftovers of this chili over brown rice as a slight variation on the original.
How do I freeze this recipe?
This recipe freezes really well. Just let half of it cool and store it in a freezer-safe airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. I like to let it thaw overnight in the fridge, them warm on the stove with additional stock or liquid as needed. You can of course warm individual bowls in the microwave too.
My toddler doesn’t love soup…how can I serve this to him?
You can drain off most of the liquid and serve it over rice or pasta or alongside some cheese. That might be enough of a departure from soup to help him try it. Or, if they just really like beans, simply spoon out some beans and don’t force the rest of the chili! Remember: A child doesn’t need to eat every single component of a meal for it to be a happy one!
How can I make Spicy Vegetarian Chili?
If you want to make the adult portions spicy, add cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce to your bowl.
I’d love to hear what your family thinks of this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share feedback!Print
When serving this to a little one, I like to drain off much of the broth. This makes it a little easier (and less messy) for them to eat. If your family likes spice, add in a dash or two of cayenne pepper.
- 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil (like coconut or canola)
- 6 cups diced vegetables including sweet potato, onion, sweet bell pepper, celery, and carrot. (You can use as much or as little of each as you like, though do include the sweet potato since the flavor is so nice in the mix!)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
- 3 14.5 ounce cans beans such as black, pinto, or kidney, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 1 16-ounce bag frozen corn
- 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- Warm the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the vegetables and stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are just starting to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, beans, salt, cumin, and corn. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely cooked through.
- Stir in the lime juice. Serve warm topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and/or avocado.
To store: Let cool completely and store in the fridge in air tight containers for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.