Classic Veggie Chili with Lots of Variations
Recipe type: Chili
Cuisine: Vegan / Healthy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
This chili recipe isn’t revolutionary, but a plant-based repertoire wouldn’t be complete without it.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium or large bell pepper (any color), finely diced
  • 4 to 5 cups cooked or two 28-ounce cans (drained and rinsed) beans of your choice (see Variations)
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 11/2 to 2 cups cooked fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1 to 2 fresh hot chili peppers (see Variations), seeded and minced, or one 4- to 8-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (optional; highly recommended)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt to taste
Optional toppings (any or all)
  • Lightly cooked or raw chopped onions or scallions
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Grated nondairy Cheddar-style or pepper Jack–style cheese
  • Diced ripe fresh tomatoes
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onion is golden.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except salt along with ½ cup water. Simmer gently, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season gently with salt and adjust the other seasonings.
  3. If time allows, let stand for an hour or so off the heat, then heat through as needed before serving. The chili should be very dense, but if you’d like it a bit more on the soupy side, add another ½ to 1 cup water and continue to heat through. Ladle into bowls and pass around the garnishes.
Recipe by VegKitchen at