Healthy Vegetarian Chili

Guys,! For those of us who were complaining about how unseasonably mild it’s been (me) and it seems to be making up for lost time. With that comes the inevitable craving for cozy, nourishingly warm comfort food, and I have just the recipe to cheer you up if you’re on the struggle bus this week.

I made this chili when I was back home in Dallas for the holidays. It was so nice to have access to a large kitchen and also cook something that I knew my parents would be able to freeze and enjoy following my departure. A simple vegetarian chili came to mind and turned into a surprisingly light, healthy dish. I’d personally pair it with something carb-ey (it really is more light than hearty) like french bread, Fritos (anyone else love putting them in their chili?), or crackers.

I know there are a lot of ingredients, but that’s what makes chili so good! Note that this recipe is pretty no-frills in that the chili is fairly bland. It’s easy to throw in whatever vegetables you have on hand (like zucchini or carrots, for example), and whatever beans might be in your pantry. If you want to add a kick, toss in some green chilis!

Healthy Vegetarian Chili

5 from 1 vote

Healthy Vegetarian Chili

Adapted from All Recipes

Servings 8 servings


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp black ground pepper
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • Shredded cheese (for topping; I used a Mexican blend)
  • Sour cream (for topping)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add in the onions, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt.

  2. Stir until onions are tender, then add celery, bell peppers, garlic, and chili peppers (if desired). When vegetables are heated through, turn down heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

  3. Uncover and stir in the tomatoes. chili powder, and black pepper. Stir in all three beans.

  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer (covered) for 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, cook for 5 more minutes, then serve with a sprinkle of cheese and sour cream!

Photos by Monica Dutia

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  1. Yang Yang wrote:

    Yesssss. Chili is one of my favorite things this time of year. In fact, I made some a couple nights ago and the leftovers have been keeping me nice and full. The one I like is meaty one, but this is a much healthier alternative that I’ll need to try.

    Posted 1.6.16 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Love that! The meaty ones are so good (Texas chili, especially) but sometimes a lighter alternative is needed. Let me know when you try it!

      Posted 1.7.16 Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Wow, absolutely fantastic blog. I am very glad to have such useful information. Thanks.

    Posted 9.24.19 Reply