The Best Vegetarian Chili

Served with a side salad and some whole grain bread, this hearty chili makes a complete and satisfying meal.

The Best Vegetarian Chili |

If you have to open a can of chipotle peppers and don’t plan on using them all within a week, freeze the remaining peppers and sauce in an airtight container.

For another vegetarian chili option, try our recipe for Slow Cooker White Bean Butternut Squash Chili!

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The Best Vegetarian Chili With Unconvential Ingrediants! |

Vegetarian Chili

  • Author: lhy48
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x


  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium zucchini (cut into bite sized cubes)
  • 1 can kidney beans (14 fluid ounces)
  • 1 can black beans (14 fluid ounces)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (14 fluid ounces)
  • 1 can honey lager beer
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (finely minced)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup plain (unsweetened Greek yogurt)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 cup shredded (sharp cheddar cheese)


  1. Drain and rinse the kidney and black beans and set aside.
  2. Heat a heavy cooking pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil and sauté the onions until transparent.
  3. Add the garlic and zucchini, sautéing for another minute.
  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, beer, chipotle peppers, chili powder and salt, mixing well.
  5. Turn down heat, continue cooking at a low simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. In a bowl, combine yogurt and lime juice.
  7. Serve the chili in bowls, topping with the shredded cheese and a generous dollop of yogurt.


I’ve included canned beans in this recipe for convenience, but don’t be afraid to prepare your own.

The Best Vegetarian Chili With Unconvential Ingrediants! |

About Lorna Kring

Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.

38 thoughts on “The Best Vegetarian Chili”

  1. I’ve never tried vegetarian chili before, but I’m glad you got to feature a dish where the age-old substitute to animal protein is prominently used: beans. Kidney beans and black beans are great substitutes for ground meat, especially if you seasoned them earlier with something like soy sauce, but that isn’t needed here.

  2. Beautiful pictures. This looks delicious. Usually I buy this kind of food pre-made in a can, and it tastes pretty good. I especially like the turkey variety, but I could try it without meat to see how it tastes. I wouldn’t mind trying to make this from scratch, seems easy enough. I like almost any dish that has black beans in it. I don’t have many of these ingredients on hand though, have to wait until I replenish my pantry.

    • Hi Cuuki, this veggie chili is super easy and quick to make. And fills the kitchen with wonderful aromas while it’s cooking – it’s well worth the effort.

  3. Interesting recipe, although why not use mushrooms instead? Their earthy taste makes them a really good substitute for meat in most cases, and I think it’d give the dish some texture against the beans. Another thing is the coconut oil… Why not just use regular oil? I can’t imagine a coconut flavor in a chili of all places.

    • I was wondering about the coconut oil too – surely vegetable oil would suffice to sautee the onions in? Or does the oil impart any particular flavor to the onions?

    • Hi queenbellevue, this dish is so adaptable you can add any number of ingredients, mushrooms included. I prefer coconut oil for it’s great resistance to oxidization at high temperatures, necessary for sauteing. And it blends wonderfully with the smokey chipotle peppers.

  4. I am really curious to try this and see if it has an authentic chili flavor. I really like chili but I don’t like it when it only tastes like chili powder. I feel like too much over powers the entire dish so I like that this has the addition of lime and the chipotles in adobo. The beer also has me very curious. I don’t cook with a lot of beer so I am intrigued. This will make a perfect NO MEAT MONDAY meal in our house. : )

    • I’d be interested to see what you think after trying it daniconk. The cipotles in adobo give it a velvety, smoky flavor while the lime and yogurt add some cooler, refreshing tones.

      And yes, it’s great for Meatless Monday’s!

  5. This is a great idea for a meat-free meal, for veggies and carnivores alike. Things like pulses make great meat substitutes and are a lot cheaper than ground beef. Another bonus is the reduction in calories and saturated fats this recipe offers.

    The only thing is, I wouldn’t bother with is the coconut oil. It’s not something I keep in the cupboards anyhow and seeing as only a tablespoon is needed to sautee the onions in, I’ll just be using plain old vegetable oil.

    • This recipes is very flexible missbishi, so if you don’t have coconut oil on hand use a healthy alternative like canola oil. I’m sure it will still taste great.

  6. I really enjoy seeing vegetarian recipes that are simple. The vegetarian chilli is a great classic and I like to serve it with rice or even some wholewheat noodles. I think using canned beans is much better when you are making a small quantity and takes less time and has less waste. I’ve never knowingly had any beer in mine before, but that’s why maybe I get drowsy after a chilli?

  7. This is a very rich chili that I have never seen before. I think it is pretty bold to use two different types of beans. There is so much extra flavor with the beer and cheese. Plus, I have used and seen recipes using chili powder and cayenne pepper, but never the actual peppers themselves. What a hearty recipe. I like that you use the healthy coconut oil too.

    • Hi aphil, this chili is very flavorful, and they all seem to blend together in a lovely fusion. Like many of us, I’m trying to be more conscientious about the quality of fats I consume, hence the coconut oil…

  8. Would you say that you would normally use more or less heat in a meatless chili? I’ve found when I try to go hotter without the meat it resonates a lot louder than when there is meat present. Maybe it’s the fat that makes the heat softer?

    • I think you’re right Joan. I know that when adding hot peppers to an oil based vinaigrette, some recipes call for removing the peppers after 24 hours as the oil activates the capiscum in the peppers. So, it would make sense that in a meat based chili, the fat would absorb and disperse some of the heat.

  9. Chilli and beans have never been my ‘cup of tea’ so to speak but looking at that presentation, my guard has dropped by the pound, it looks yummy and i bet it is 😉 … side effects mean breaking wind/burping…the list is endless 🙁 perhaps i could make with less chilli, get me a glassful of yoghurt and see how it goes 😉

    • I’ve read that if you introduce beans into your diet a little at a time, the side effects are lessened substantially…

  10. I cant say I’m new to beans since they’re a part of my normal diet especially with rice but this does sound delicious. I often have spicy homemade salsa with oregano bread and this feels like the better version of it but is it alright if I make it without beer or does it need an alternative? I doubt my parents would be happy with me using beer.

    • No beer works fine rosellin. You can use a non-alcoholic version or add a cup of apple cider or apple juice instead, and the flavors will work fine.

  11. I’m a vegetarian, and I love my chili bean-heavy. I’m always looking to improve on my existing recipes. One interesting thing about this recipe is the beer. I’ve never used beer in my chili before. I can imagine how it would improve the flavour.

    I’m not such a coconut fan, so I’ll be subbing that out with a canola or sunflower seed oil. Great recipe, thanks!

  12. A side of salad and bread sounds delicious with this. I don’t usually make sides unless it’s cinnamon rolls. We were going to make chili this week, but now I want to go for the vegetarian kind to make it healthier.

  13. This recipe has some really interesting ingredients in. I’ve never heard of adding beer into a chili, is that for flavor or to change the consistency of the dish? Also wondering if you can substitute the coconut oil for regular? Although coconut oil is in so many recipes at the moment I might as well buy some in bulk! In the photo the chili has a lot more liquid than any one that I’ve ever made so I’m intrigued to give this ago. Even though I’m not a vegetarian I’m looking for more ways to sneak vegetables into me so I’ll give this a try! Thanks!

    • Absolutely hanbar101, substitute the coconut oil for your favorite – and the beer adds a nice flavor. It is a good way to get in some extra veggies, hope you enjoy it!

  14. Well now I have to say that this definitely caught my attention! It’s an extremely cold morning and I’m about to start making my menu and store list for next week. Chili is perfect for this kind of weather so I’ll be adding these ingredients to my list. It won’t be getting warm for months yet! 🙂

    The only thing I’m not certain about is the Greek yogurt. For some reason I have a terrible time with it when it comes to digesting (only Greek yogurt, nothing else!) but I’m thinking it may be okay on top of chili like this.

    I’ll probably substitute the white kidney beans but this sounds very good! Thank you for helping with my menu today. 😉

  15. Very glad to be of help Kate! And if you can’t do the Greek yogurt, sour cream works. It’s just to cool off the spice a wee bit…

  16. I see a lot of perfect alternatives for meat in this dish. Plus, you can never go wrong with adding different peppers for a variety of heat and flavors.

    • It’s a good recipe that doesn’t seem to be ‘lacking’ without any meat RumbarBrook, and works very well with some extra heat!

  17. I loved your dish. The pictures of the food were mouth watering. I wonder how they would taste if I would throw in some Indian thudka in there. Hope you don’t mind. We spice it up a little bit and add a bit of turmeric and some masala to it. We also add a few drops of Tamarind Juice and some Coconut to balance the spice. How do you think this will hold up with the original. Thanks for the recipe.

  18. A base of tadka and the other additions mentioned would work very well sharatharadhya. It’s a natural for some spicy heat! Hope you enjoy it.

  19. I really like the sound of those ingredients, but it does look more like soup than a chilli. I would definitely enjoy it flavour wise, but my preference would be for a little less juice. I might even add some Quorn mince to give it some extra bulk and soak up some of that liquid.

  20. Well I do love chili, and the truth is is that I should probably find some healthier ways to make it, so this works very nicely there. The main thing I took away from my brief vegetarian experience was that black beans are a great substitute for meat, so I am certainly glad to see them here, as well as kidney beans which are my favorite in soups and chili. Add a little sour cream and cheese and I am good to go, so thank you for sharing this.


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