Fresh Vegetarian Chili

The cooler weather makes a great time for a hot bowl of chili. Until recently I didn’t know how delicious vegetarian chili could be! I found several basic recipes on the Internet; they all seemed to have the same ingredients, but they lacked some key components. I based this recipe on an easy vegetarian chili recipe from and tweaked it as follows:

Vegetarian chili
Bowl of fresh vegetarian chili
  •  I omit the oil. Oils are fat-laden, calorie-concentrated, and  potentially toxic. There is no reason that we need to use oil when we cook. I simply use water instead.
  • I use only fresh ingredients. I prefer to eat fresh (local if possible) instead of canned ingredients to maximize the nutrition, and to avoid additives and BPA toxins.
  • I add a cinnamon stick to the chili while it’s cooking. Cinnamon adds a just-right flavor that compliments the heat of the chili.
  • I researched the nutrition information of each ingredient. I like to know what vitamins and minerals I consume so that I can get the right balance every day.
  • I took pictures! I find that pictures and bolded words make cooking easier because you can easily scan it as you’re cooking.

Following is the recipe for 6 servings of delicious fresh vegetarian chili, along with the nutrition information. Enjoy!


Bell pepper, celery, and chili powder
Bell pepper, celery, and chili powder (and Lacey the Miniature Schnauzer)

Uncooked kidney beans, 12 oz. (2/3 of 1 lb. bag, or 3 cups cooked beans)
Water, 3/4 cup
Red onion, 1-1/2 cups (1 med.) chopped
Carrots, 1 cup chopped
Garlic, 6-8 cloves (1 small bulb) chopped
Bell peppers, 3 cups (2 med.) chopped
Celery, 1 cup chopped
Tomatoes, 2 cups (2 med.) chopped
Corn, 1 cup (or more if you love corn)
Chili powder, 2 tbsp
Ground cumin, 1 tbsp
Fresh oregano, 1/2 tbsp
Fresh basil, 1/2 tbsp
Cinnamon, 1 stick


  1. Cook the beans (See How to Cook Beans on a Stove for some tips). Skip this step if you’re using canned beans instead.
    Cooking beans on the stovetop
  2. Cook the garlic, onion, and carrots in 1/2 cup water on medium heat until water has evaporated.
    Cooking carrots and onions
  3. Stir in the bell pepper, celery, corn, and 1/4 cup water. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
    Vegetarian chili
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, oregano, basil, and beans. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.
    Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, oregano, basil, and beans. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.


A serving contains approximately 211 calories and 42 grams of carbs, and it is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc.

What do you think? If you make this chili, or have additional tips, I’d love to hear from you!


  1. So funny, I made a pot of chili tonight. I used organic cattle beans, spicy peppers, maybe too many, fresh tomatoes a shallot cumin and salt. At the end I used corn, I did not have celery or carrots. A fairly similar recipe. I normally use black beans, but maybe I will try with kidney beans, something I have not tried yet. Thanks for the idea to use the cinnamon stick, I had never considered that before.

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