Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Wednesday 17 April 2019

One of my friends was recently in hospital, and when she got home she wasn't in any state to go shopping or  do much cooking.  I wanted to make a few meals to take over to her that she could just warm up.

She is Vegan so that presented a certain challenge, but you know me, I am always up for a challenge and I think I rose to this one really well!

When my family was growing up, I used to make a Vegetarian chili every now and then. It served two purposes. One it was fairly economical and I had a fairly large family, and two, I don't like minced meat mixed with things  . . .  so it was a way that I could enjoy chili. 

This is a slight riff on that.  The one I made for my children was more soupy with larger chunks.  This one is a lot thicker.

It has a really meaty, hearty appearance.  I have found that chopping the vegetables into smaller bits, not only decreases the amount of cook time, but it does kind of resemble chopped meat.  

Funny how that goes!

There are two cans of undrained kidney beans in this, plus a large bottle of Tomato Passata.  Tomato Passata is strained tomatoes, and is somewhat thicker than North American tomato sauce.

Garlic also adds some flavour, plus I used cinnamon and cumin . . .  both ground. Did you know that toasting your spices before using them increases their flavour?  Its true! 

Once you bring everything to the boil, you reduce to a simmer, pop a lid half on it and then let it simmer for about half an hour.  Easy peasy.

This is so thick and quite luxurious . . . I stirred in a square of dark chocolate at the very end, which added a special depth of flavour.

I served it with some sour cream and guacamole.  Of course if you are a vegan, you won't want to use the sour cream, honey or chocolate (unless designated vegan), but a simple vegetarian would use it.

Just look at how thick and delicious that looks! 

Some crisp Tortilla Chips were the perfect accompaniment!

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Yield: 6
This delicious vegetarian chili is so thick and tasty you won't even miss the meat! A food processor/chopper will come in handy as the veg needs to be chopped fairly small.


  • 2 medium onions, peeled cut into quarters
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 green pepper, trimmed
  • 1 green chili, trimmed and deseeded
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled (about 300g/10 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 TBS mild chili powder, or to taste
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 (400g) tins of red kidney beans, undrained (2 X 14 oz tins)
  • 1 600g jar of tomato Passata (about 6 cups) (strained tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp liquid honey
  • a handful of coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 square of dark chocolate
To serve:
  • dairy sour cream
  • guacamole
  • tortilla chips


  1. Chop all of your vegetables fine.  I use my electric food chopper. Does a really great job.  (a few larger chunks are okay) Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the vegetables.  Cook, stirring occasionally over medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes until they are beginning to soften.  Stir in the spices and season to taste.  Cook for about half a minute, then add the kidney beans, honey, and passata.  Half fill one of the cans of beans with water and add that.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about half an hour, partially covered, stirring occasionally.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required.  Stir in the coriander and the chocolate.  Serve in heated bowls along with some sour cream, guacamole and tortilla chips.
Created using The Recipes Generator

It makes a nice big pot of chili.  We each had a bowl of it for our dinner and I have three plastic containers to take over to my friend once Todd gets up from his nap.  I think she's going to really like this! (Or at least I hope she does!)


  1. Oh yes, this is something that we would very much enjoy. As it happens I made something very similar a couple of days ago, though the "base" of mine was a soya based Vegetarian Taco Mix they sell here. I'll send you a couple of packets to try next week (with my modified cooking instructions).

    I like this version as you know exactly what it is it with all those fresh ingredients - I will try it and compare to the one I usually make. Yum!

    1. I have never heard of such a thing Marie! I would love trying it. We are trying to eat more plant based meals. This was perfect. I think you are set to discover a new favourite! xoxo

  2. I love vegetarian lasagna so I would love this also!

    1. I am sure you would Monique. Its really delicious! xoxo

  3. I, too, dislike ground beef - it is a texture thing for me and, you never know with meat if there is going to be that piece of gristle! This will avoid it totally. I would use a lot of chopped mushrooms in this recipe, they do add such a shot of umami.

    May I ask why you do not drain the beans, is it to create a thick sauce? I ask because I have never read that in a recipe before - we are always exhorted to draind and rinse the beans.

    1. Mushrooms would be a great addition! I never bother to rinse the beans for a recipe like this. It really isn't necessary I find1 This is delicious! xoxo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!