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Vegetarian Chili: favorites?

I am making a big pot this weekend... was going to use the below recipe but if anyone has better ideas, let me know!


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  1. I'm sorry I can't provide you a recipe because I made it up, but the one I made last night included diced turnips which ended up to be a nice surprise as they stay somewhat toothsome vs. breaking down or going completely soft like other veg.

    carrot, onion, bell pepper and turnip in equal proportion, diced and sauteed, (deglaze with a bottle of dark beer) plus herbs, seasonings, hot peppers and tomato products, soaked and pre-cooked black beans, rinsed quinoa and bulgur added uncooked, everything simmered until the grains cook through.

    1. Saturday's dinner was Eggplant Chili
      1/2 onion chopped, one eggplant cubed, one green bell pepper chopped, one garlic clove mashed, vegetable broth to cover - simmer until onion and eggplant are softened and liquid is absorbed. Season with chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Add 15 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes and 15 oz. of chili beans, slice one zucchini in thin rounds and heat. Top with chopped cilantro and serve.

      I often cube the eggplant with skin... salt and let rest for 20 minutes, rinse off the salt and excess water, press dry with paper towels before cooking to prevent the eggplant from becoming a sponge for the oil if you saute. Otherwise, if you want an oil-free dish, skip this step.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cynsa

        I'm definitely going to try this! What kind of beans did you use?

      2. Thanks much for both of these!!

        1. Tom P
          If you do use this recipe please let us know how it turns out. I'm going to be in a charity chili cookoff on Super Bowl Sunday. I want to make something different that will stand out. I was considering a vegetarian chili.

          There was a vegetarian chili in Cooks Illustrated Nov 2012 issue. It looked like a good recipe and I always like CI recipes. I would post the link, but I think you have to be a member to read most of their online recipes.

          5 Replies
          1. re: pagesinthesun

            I just found that recipe in Cooks Illustrated (I am a member also) and I think I am going to try that one at The Super Bowl! I think the people for whom I am cooking this weekend will enjoy the Emeril one. But I love the idea of The Cooks Illustrated one in that it tried to make it taste like actual chili!

            All told, I will let you know about the Emeril one. But that CI looks great!

            In case people are members:


            1. re: Tom P

              Pages, I am going to try this walnut one Sunday.. .will let you know how it goes.

              1. re: Tom P

                Tom, I made the chili today, as I work the next two days and will not have time. It was a little time consuming (not so much as cassoulet, wink wink) There was plenty of time to do things during cooking time.

                I made the recipe as written.

                I had to use chile powders (both NM and ancho). I didn't have time to go to the Mexican market and my regular grocery didn't carry the whole dried chiles.

                I used two jalapenos. They were smaller than grocery store jalapenos, but jalapenos are so unpredictable in the heat range.

                I used cannellini and cranberry beans. This is what I had on hand.

                The amazing thing about the recipe (as advertised) is that it looks like meaty chili and has a meaty chili texture. It really tastes like a meat based chili. I don't think a meat eater could tell the difference and your vegetarian friends might be afraid! I really don't have a single complaint about the recipe. I wouldn't do anything different...other than maybe use a bigger dutch oven. I used my 8 qt and wish I'd used my 10 qt.


                1. re: pagesinthesun

                  I made it, too, on Saturday. It was a big hit, I will make this again. I think powders are fine. I had to use powder with NM and the Ancho Powder from scratch I don't think was any better.

                  I used canned beans, as I was in a rush. I love making beans from scratch so I might do that the next time, but the canned beans were also just fine. (I used Red Kidney and Pinto.) I also used Vegetable broth, my own, rather than water,

                  I agree about the consistency, etc. Tastes remarkably like regular chili, and was very tasty. With onions and grated cheese, it was terrific. Some of my guests put it over tortilla chips for a hearty nacho like thing (I had queso and guacamole) and it was wonderful that way as well.

                  I will spice mine up a bit more next time but otherwise, a real winner, thanks for pointing this recipe out!

                  1. re: Tom P

                    I didn't win the chili cookoff, but everyone was really surprised that this was a vegetarian chili. There were 12 entries and some very tasty chilies. It was a fun event to add to a surperbowl party and we raised money for our charity as well!

                    I love the nacho idea. If only there were chili leftovers.

          2. America's Test Kitchen vegetarian chili, I've made it for years with rave reviews. http://gastronomyblog.com/2010/11/05/...

            I also like this one for something a bit different (although I halve the amt of orange): http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/qui...

              1. I tend to use the same recipe as my meaty one. Of course I just use vegetable stock rather than beef or chicken. I also add in cooked lentils as a replacement for the meat. I find they make up for the loss of texture that ground beef brings.

                Sorry, no recipe, something I wing each time.

                1. Ok, so I made the Emeril recipe, with tweaks, and it was a big hit. I started with a bunch of different chilis... where he calls for just serano, I used serrano, red jalepeno, poblano and anaheim, then started the recipe as he called for. I used 3 types of beans... pinto, black and red kidney. I also added turnip, as recommended by splatgirl, which was a terrific addition. I then cooked it a couple of hours in the oven, letting it really cook down and thicken. Just keep tasting and add seasoning as you like (I added some oregano eventually and am glad I did.)

                  I served it with Suzanne Goin's cornbread, the best cornbread in the world (link below, she prints it, so the link is kosher.) While I contemplated adding quinoa, the texture turned out so well, I never added it.

                  I am still going to try to cook's illustrated version at the Super Bowl, as it seems so interesting. But this was excellent, and very healthy, I will make it again and again.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Tom P

                    Thanks for the review! I actually watched the video for the CI veg chili. I think I'm going for it for the Super Bowl chili cookoff. I might just make this cornbread to "butter" people up and serve on the side.

                    Let's compare notes afterwards.

                    1. re: pagesinthesun

                      Sounds great! :) Trust me on the cornbread !

                    2. re: Tom P

                      I'm glad to hear you like the turnip idea! It's one I'm going to stick too, I think.

                      Adding the cornbread to my to-make list!

                    3. I just made this green chili and it was delicious. I actually regretted not making a double batch. (I used canned beans instead of the dried.)


                      1. My favorite vegetarian chili is from the Green's Cookbook (Deborah Madison). I make it just as written, although I usually pressure cook the black beans, as I like the texture better. And it is so much faster!

                        If you don't have the book, there are several blogs that have posted it on-line.

                        1. I've been using the recipe from The Silver Palate Good Times cookbook since the book came out. My only change is to use to use 2 teaspoons of chipotle chili powder instead of 2 tablespoons "regular". I'm not a big spicy fan.This is an absolutely fool-proof recipe!