Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian chili is a great meatless-Monday dinner since it packs all the flavor of chili con carne. Grains like barley or quinoa can replace the meat, or else double up on beans. We like using a variety—particularly half pintos and half black beans. If you want more of a meaty substitute, try mushrooms or tofu, and bulk up the whole dish with lots of veggies. Our favorite additions are butternut squash, zucchini and carrots. Whether you’re a devout vegetarian, or want a guilt-free comfort food dinner, our guide to vegetarian chili has plenty of recipes even carnivores will love.

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Chickpea and Swiss Chard Chili

As a cookbook author and test kitchen cook, I make it my business to learn as much as I can about the recipes I test and develop. I can easily spend hours a day researching the history of a dish or reaching out to experts in their field. I even scour popular blogs (and their comment sections) for whatever information might be useful.Along the way, especially in the comments, I’m often shocked at what I discover: unceasing aggression between people who have strong opinions on food and cooking. Opinions on everything from tomato sauce and puree to hard-boiled vs. hard-cooked eggs.I don’t make it my business to argue with anyone—whether via email, on social media, or in the comments about what makes certain recipes what they are or should be. For instance, what makes a “chili” a “chili” and not just a stew? Some say it has to have meat and meat alone—such as Texas chili con carne—while others insist it must have beans. The quarrels can become quite heated, trust me. But I think it’s safe to say that everyone more or less agrees that a chili must have chile peppers (or chili/chile powder). And I agree. So, I am pointing to the chipotles in this dish and calling it: This recipe is a chili. This smoky, rich chili is one of my go-to weeknight dinners, and for good reason. It’s a one-pot dish that has 10 ingredients (not including salt and pepper) and comes together in just 30 minutes. Plus, you can make it a day or two in advance because it reheats beautifully. If that isn’t enough, it’s also relatively healthy—bacon adds plenty of smoky flavor, but also renders enough fat to cook the aromatics, that way there’s no need for any additional oil.So, give this recipe a whirl—keeping your mind open to what “chili” really is—and remember to not read the comments.  Slideshow:  More Chili Recipes 

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Sweet Potato

This hearty vegetarian tortilla soup pulls its flavor from plenty of seasonings and bright and tender sweet potatoes. To make this soup vegan, substitute vegan sour cream and cheese. Slideshow:  More Mexican Recipes 

Vegetarian Chili

Go vegetarian with your chili. In this recipe guide, TV chef Ellie Krieger offers up a vegetarian black bean chili with ancho and orange, while Zoe Nathan cooks up a healthy variation with barley, quinoa and beans. Plus, check out recipes for chili con tofu, squash-lentil chili and more.