The Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe Square

The Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe

This is the BEST Vegetarian Chili Recipe. It’s savory, spicy, and vegan too! Check out our fun ideas for chili toppings! 

As a Texan, I have some opinions about chili. While many of my Texas compatriots will argue with outsiders about beans vs no beans, I’m far more concerned with flavor, specifically flavor development. What I see a lot of isn’t chili, but soup. To be chili, it needs plenty of chiles and a long cook time. This cook time melds the flavor and breaks down the ingredients so that it is truly chili. 

Techniques for The Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe

  • Use a blend of chiles. Ancho, guajillo, paprika, and chipotle all give this chili a spicy, complex flavor. 
  • Use annatto powder. Annatto, also known as achiote is a seasoning that gives chili deep red color and a slightly sweet and peppery component. 
  • Sundried tomatoes. Sundried tomatoes are packed with umami and give this chili an extra depth of flavor. 
  • Keep cooking. Cook it until the flavor is deep and the beans are tender. Depending on how evenly your oven heats, and how often you check it, the time will vary a bit.

Ideas for Chili Toppings

  • Classic: A big bowl of chili with sour cream, shredded cheese, and chives. 
  • Extra Southern: Serve your chili with jalapeno cornbread, diced jalapenos, diced red onion, sour cream, and shredded cheese. 
  • Vegan Frito Pie: Pile your plate with Fritos and chili, top it with thinly sliced radishes, jalapenos, and scallions. 

Looking for more cold weather food? Try our Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Beets.

Yield: About 8 to 10 servings of Vegetarian Chili

The BEST Vegetarian Chili Recipe

The Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe Card Image

This chili is vegan and vegetarian. Pick your own toppings and have it your way!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 yellow onion,diced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 big cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ancho pepper, seeds removed, chop flesh
  • 1 guajillo pepper, seeds removed, chop flesh
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1 cup of dried small red beans, rinsed, remove any stones
  • 1 cup of dried black beans, rinsed, remove any stones
  • 1 cup of dried pinto beans, rinsed, remove any stones
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp ancho chile powder, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground annatto powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato bullion
  • Hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Adjust rack to the third from the top position, and make sure your pot will fit in the oven. Then preheat the oven to 350°F.  
  2. Heat a large oven-safe dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  3. Saute the diced onion on the stove for until browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. 
  4. Add the garlic to the onions and saute for about 2 additional minutes until the garlic starts to brown.
  5. Pour in the can of crushed tomatoes. 
  6. Add the guajilllo pepper, the ancho pepper, the chipotle pepper, and the sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine.
  7. Add the red beans, black beans, and pinto beans. Stir to combine
  8. Add dried paprika powder, ancho chile powder, annatto powder, and tomato bullion. Stir to combine
  9. Add 6 cups of water, then bring to simmer on the stove
  10. Cover with a lid. 
  11. Put the chili in the oven at 350°F. Check every hour, and stir. Cook for about 4 to 6 hours until the beans are tender and the chili is a deep red. You may need to add more water to the pot if you are running low. If needed, add additional water 2 cups at a time. 
  12. To serve: Right before serving, season to taste with your favorite hot sauce, and salt & pepper. Serve with your favorite chili accompaniments and garnishes. 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 391mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 10gSugar: 10gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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