How to Cook Vegetarian Chili

A delicious and spicy vegetarian chili that will please even picky meat eaters is not hard to make! Simple ingredients, easy instructions and you have a delicious pot of rich, meat-free chili! What more could you ask for?


  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons quality chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 10oz or larger pkg vegetarian beef or sausage style crumbles OR 1 lb extra firm tofu, frozen, thawed and crumbled OR 2 cups TVP crumbles, rehydrated
  • 2 large cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large can of black beans, undrained
  • 1 large can of red kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 large can of peeled Italian tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed or other good cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons vegetarian beef-style broth powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup water(optional)
  • dried spicy pepper flakes to taste
  • salt to taste
  • finely chopped onion, grated cheese, and extra hot sauce for garnish
  • cooked brown rice, whole grain noodles or couscous


  1. Image titled Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 1
    Take a large, heavy bottomed pot, add 2 tbsp olive oil, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Image titled Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 2
    Sauté over medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring to toast the spices.
  3. Image titled Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 3
    Add the soya crumble, tofu or TVP, and stir well to coat.
  4. Image titled Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 4
    Add the garlic and chopped onion, stir, and Sauté, adding up to two more tablespoons of olive oil if needed.
  5. Image titled Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 5
    Cook, stirring occasionally for about three minutes, making sure the mixture does not scorch.
  6. Image titled Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 6
    Add the beans,tomatoes and water. Stir well.
  7. Image titled Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 7
    Add the cocoa powder, broth mix, and yeast.
  8. Image titled Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 8
    Stir all in well, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (be sure to stir the bottom of the pot!).
  9. Image titled Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 9
    Add salt, freshly ground pepper and red pepper flakes to adjust spices to your taste.
  10. Image titled Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 10
    If you'd like a thicker chili, stir in the corn starch mixture and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until broth is thick.
  11. 11
    Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles, garnished with cheese and onions (omit the cheese for vegans) Pass hot sauce at the table for those who like theirs super hot![[Image:Cook Vegetarian Chili Step 11.jpg}}


  • Be sure to pour all the liquid into the pot...draining and rinsing your beans eliminates taste and nutrients.
  • "Gimme Lean" brand of crumbles seem to work best -- it's usually available in grocery stores in or near the produce section. Boca Bits and Morningstar Farms crumbles, found in the freezer section, are also good.
  • Stir your pot all the way to the bottom...this is a thick chili and the beans sometimes settle and burn
  • Make sure your ingredients never burn. Scorched tomatoes taste awful and usually can't be saved. Ditto for burnt garlic.


  • Adding everything at once results in tasteless chili. The spices need to toast in the oil for them to release their flavor. Adding the soy product to the spices spreads the flavor throughout the chili.

Article Info

Categories: Vegetarian