Guest Post: Mom’s Vegetarian Chili

When I was visiting home in November, my Mom made the most amazing batch of Vegetarian Chili, which we served over quinoa.  I loved it so much, I asked her to share her recipe with us.  

While I’ve posted several of her recipes before, this is her first time actually writing a blog post.  Please give a warm welcome to my Mom, the best cook I know!



Ah, Chili!  What a fun, versatile meal!  It can be made very simply from emergency supplies in your pantry or gourmet with fancy spices and beans.  You won’t miss the meat – whether you use all beans or add tofu or vegetarian crumbles – the end result will be almost identical since the spices will disguise the actual type of protein used!

Chili can be made as a quick lunch for two, a dinner for a family of four, or put out on game day for a mob.  It also congers up memories of camping, cooking chili from assorted can goods over a camp fire.  And, nothing tastes better on a cold, snowy day!

Chili can be made to any consistency – thick like a casserole, stew-like, or even watered down (with broth or water) into an interesting soup. Any additional vegetables on hand can be added, such as zucchini, butternut squash, green beans, etc.  And it always tastes better the next day! 

Chili makes a quick, hearty meal topped with sour cream or shredded cheddar or pepper jack, a pan of cornbread, and a tossed salad.  You might prefer to use the chili to top a bowl of fresh, steamed rice.  (This is also a great idea if your chili ends up too spicy; stir in some sour cream and use the chili to top rice. The heat will be diluted.)


Here is my basic recipe for vegetarian chili:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 3 jumbo cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 (12 ounce) package vegetarian burger crumbles (optional)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can petite cut tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pink kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can while kernel white & yellow corn


  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Stir in onion, bay leaves, cumin, and oregano and stir until onion is tender.  Add the celery, green bell pepper, jalapenos, garlic and heat through.  Mix in the burger crumbles.  Reduce heat to low and cover and simmer 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, carrots, and remaining seasonings.  Stir in the cans of beans.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes.  Stir in the corn and cook and additional 5 minutes.


Serve as is, or over rice, topped with shredded cheese or sour cream. Enjoy!