Best Damn Vegetarian Chili

September 20, 2016

The title does not lie. This is the best damn vegetarian chili I’ve ever made and if you go back and search chili on this site you’ll see that I’ve made a lot, the current recipe is an improvement on the one posted here. I’m not sure if it was the fresh tomatoes, the fresh bay leaf or the fact that I didn’t drain the beans this time but this chili had us licking our bowls.

best damn vegetarian chili

There is something about football that just makes me want to dive into a huge bowl of chili. It’s been our tradition to begin football season with a soup or a stew. To celebrate the first Sunday of the season we got all cozied up, it was a cold and foggy day here so it worked out well, and we soaked up the beginning of a season (football and fall).

I have a love hate relationship with this time of year. I love summer, the light, the warmth, the overall ease of everything, but there’s also something about fall. I love the turning leaves, the coziness of having to turn a light on in Noe’s room before bedtime and the smell of something bubbling away on the stove.

best damn vegetarian chili

It’s that comfortable, hunker down feeling that a good stew or soup or chili gives you when it’s made well and when it’s the damn best vegetarian chili ever? Well now that’s just a bonus.

I won’t keep harping on this but if you’re looking for a football meal for next weekend or if you still have a summer garden of almost overripe tomatoes calling to be used, I urge you to make this recipe. It’s the perfect accompaniment to first downs and falling leaves.

Best Damn Vegetarian Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The best damn chili ever! Gluten-free and vegan.
: Stew, Soup
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 carrots. diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, diced
  • 3 cups veggie stock
  • 3 cups fresh tomatoes (or substitute on 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 can cannellini beans, do not drain
  • 1 can black beans, do not drain
  • 1 cup corn, I used frozen
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Dice all vegetables and heat olive oil over medium heat in a big stock pot.
  2. When oil is hot, saute veggies for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften.
  3. Add spices and garlic, saute the mixture for another minute.
  4. Add veggie stock, tomatoes, beans, corn, bay leaf and chocolate chips.
  5. Stir together well.
  6. Let the mixture come to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  7. Simmer for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Today’s Makings Of Small Step: Comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. This is the best damn chili and it’s filled with good for you stuff too! Try revamping one of your comfort food recipes.




You Might Also Like


  • Reply Tamara Bish September 20, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I’m going to have to try this one! The chocolate chips got my attention and I realize I’ve never used them for seasoning. Smooches!

    • Reply Lisa September 21, 2016 at 9:31 am

      Thanks Tam! The chocolate chips give it such a deep, rich flavor. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!

  • Reply Demelza - The Year Of The Daffodil September 23, 2016 at 11:59 am

    This looks like a great healthy comfort food. Love the chocolate chip addition!

    • Reply Lisa September 23, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you so much. The chocolate chips give it a great depth of flavor!

  • Reply Sandra September 23, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Looks so yummy! I’m going to try this receipt 🙂

    • Reply Lisa September 23, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks Sandra. Please let me know if you do!

  • Reply Jas September 23, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I never thought to use chocolate chips! wow

    • Reply Lisa September 23, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks Jas! I really love the flavor, they add such a richness.

  • Reply Suzanne Spiegoski September 23, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    This chili looks so healthy and delicious! Never made a vegetarian version, so will definitely be trying this soon! Xo

    Suzanne | MaQ + Suz

    • Reply Lisa October 3, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Suzanne, vegetarian chili is my favorite fall meal. It’s so healthy and filling. If you’ve never made a veg chili before I highly recommend it!

  • Reply kathy September 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I can not wait to try this! Chocolate in chilli Yesssss! Thanks for posting such a great vegetarian option with a twist 🙂

    • Reply Lisa September 23, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks Kathy! The chocolate is a great addition, I highly recommend it. If you try the recipe I’d love to hear what your thought were!

  • Reply Sara September 23, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Super chunky chili!! This looks / sounds so good!!

    • Reply Lisa September 23, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you Sara! It’s really the best chili I’ve ever made. So good!

  • Reply How To Make Prepackaged Soup Better - Makings Of September 27, 2016 at 6:06 am

    […] Used some pre-made veggie stock I had on hand from making this chili. […]

  • Reply Moroccan Style Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - Makings Of February 17, 2017 at 10:38 am

    […] a roll call of all the usual dishes: veggies and peanut, soup, chili, paninis, taco […]

  • Leave a Reply