Southwestern Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

A couple years ago I was searching for the perfect recipe for a chili cook-off. This was one of two vegetarian chilies entered in the predominantly meat-filled cook-off. I ended up a couple votes shy of first place and took second but I was convinced it was the best chili and have been using this recipe since. Although, if you ask our father he’ll swear it is not chili, because chili has to have meat. This recipe is a slightly altered version of Emeril Lagasse’s Vegetarian Chili.

Southwestern Vegetarian Chili

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups corn (frozen is fine)
  • 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms, remove stems and cube (baby bellos work well)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes or if in season 4 large tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3  (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Cooked brown rice
  • Light Sour Cream to garnish
  • Diced avocado to garnish
  • Chopped green onions to garnish

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes.

Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, for about 30-60 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Serves 6-8

This recipe is a submission in Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

Take a look at my book, The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes.

A sampling of the recipes included:
  • Breakfasts: Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, Yeasted Waffles, Gooey Butter Cake,
  • Sides: Patatas Bravas, Pea and New Potato Salad, Braised Celery,
  • Mains: Corn Waffle Sandwiches, Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Pesto Asparagus Galette, and
  • Desserts: Blueberry Mango Crisp, Baklava Rolls, Amaretto Cake.

You can see the full recipe list on the Amazon page.


  1. This looks really good! I like how you’ve included veggies (like mushrooms and zucchini) that I never would have thought to add to chili!

  2. Thanks. They are a great edition to this dish.

  3. I love your vegetarian chili a lot , but I think , you will love my vegetarian chili too. It is a vegetarian butternut squash, red beans & quinoa chili! Here is the link:


  4. Will definitely give that a try. I’m a chili and squash fanatic so it sounds delicious.

  5. Absolutely delicious! We didn’t have cayenne pepper or cumin, so we were afraid it would be bland, but it was so flavorful! We will make this again!

  6. It was beautiful and absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe precisely and it was very good. The only thing I took a shortcut on was not chopping the vegetables very small. I just sliced the zucchini thin and cut the baby bella mushrooms into quarters and everything was delicious. The flavors are fantastic. I would consider this more of a vegetable stew than chili but I suppose the chili seasonings might help it pass as chili.

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