I LOVE chili.  Whether I am bringing a dish to a football tailgate, or looking for a meal I can cuddle up with on my couch on a cold winter night, chili is one of my most favorite go-to options.  (I’ll also eat it in the middle of the summer when it’s a zillion degrees out – but maybe that’s just me).  I love that it warms you from the inside out, is able to be made in a crock pot, and is hearty enough to keep you satisfied  for hours!

Meatless, Veggie-ful

The best part about chili is that you really don’t need to play by anyone’s rules.  You can make it with ground beef, chicken, turkey, different kinds of beans, no beans, red chili, white chili, you get the picture.  It is really simply making a concoction of your favorite ingredients!  And I must say, my turkey chili is one of my most used recipes in our household, but we have been trying to jump on the “Meatless Monday” bandwagon and get more veggies into our diet, so I wanted to create a chili option for that!  But I didn’t want to just take out the turkey from my other recipe and call it a day.  I wanted to add all sorts of veggies to this dish so that it was just as hearty and satisfying as traditional chili made with meat, yet still vegetarian friendly and meatless Monday approved.

The two main extra contributions made to this dish were the zucchini and carrot slices.  Together these veggies add SO many vitamins, nutrients, and health benefits to this dish.  Plus they make for larger chunks of veggies within the recipe so that you feel like you are getting a real meal.  You can cut them however you prefer, but I think leaving the carrots as whole circle slices while cutting the zucchinis in half (as pictured below) is the way to go.

zucchini slices

Pot or Crock Pot

You can either make this meal in a large pot on your stove top, or use a crock pot.  The first time we made it we used the stove because we wanted to eat it that same night.  If you go that route, just start it as early as possible once you get home so that you can let it simmer longer.  All good chili is made over time.  Using the crock pot allows you to leave the meal to cook for you at home while you go about your day.  The only extra work this requires is deciding the night before that you are going to have the chili the next day 🙂

vegetarian chili

So whether you are a vegetarian looking for a satisfying dinner, a carnivore looking to try a “Meatless Monday”  or just someone who loves veggies and chili and wants to have a delicious and easy meal, this is the recipe for you!  Go out and get all the ingredients listed below, bring out the crock pot, and sit back while it does the cooking for you!

Vegetarian Chili


  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 (28oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 can kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 1 can pinto beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 3 medium zucchini chopped
  • 1 can corn (unsalted) (drained)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne *or 1 chopped fresh jalapeno*


  1. Chop your zucchinis into half or quarter circle slices.
  2. Dice your onion and jalapeno (if using one).
  3. Mince your garlic cloves.
  4. Drain and rinse all of your beans.
  5. Drain your corn.
  6. Combine all ingredients in your crock pot, cook on low for four to six hours.


vegetarian chili

If you liked this and are looking for other great vegetarian options, be sure to check out my Cheesy Spinach Ravioli Roll Ups or Meatless Zucchini Meatballs.  Or maybe you are not a vegetarian and just love chili. In that case, make sure you try my spicy Turkey Chili – it is one of my favorite recipes on the blog and is a real crowd pleaser!

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