Can’t-Believe-It’s-Vegetarian Chili | Gimme Some Oven


Easy40 minsQuick

This amazing vegetarian chili recipe is easy to make in the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or on the stovetop.  It’s naturally gluten-free and vegan.  And most importantly, it is crazy good.

Vegetarian Chili


Meet…the best damn vegetarian chili I know. 

Seriously, this chili recipe is just the best.  It’s made with the most delicious, perfectly-seasoned, classic savory chili flavors we all love.  It’s also naturally gluten-free and vegan, and full of lots of good-for-you protein and nutrients.  It requires very little chopping, and is easy to cook in either the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or on the stovetop.  It makes for the absolute best leftovers, and also freezes beautifully.


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And the best part?

I can vouch that meat lovers, vegetarians and even vegans alike all go crazy for this chili.

It’s one of those back pocket recipes that you can whip out at the last second for a weeknight dinner, random game day gathering, or even enter in the neighborhood’s chili cook-off.  And every time we make it in our house, it is always, always a hit.  So if you’re looking for a healthier vegetarian chili recipe that everyone can enjoy this season, stock up on some beans and grab your favorite toppings and let’s make a quick batch!

Easy Chili Recipe (Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Vegetarian Chili Ingredients:

To make this easy chili recipe, you will need:

  • Veggies: I keep things simple here with just an onion, red bell pepper (or you can use roasted red peppers) and garlic.  If you like a sweeter chili, you’re welcome to add in a small sweet potato, but I prefer my chili more savory.
  • Veggie stock: Feel free to add in more/less according to how soupy you like your chili to be.
  • Diced tomatoes: I recommend using fire-roasted diced tomatoes if you can find a can, but otherwise any kind of diced tomatoes will do.
  • Canned beans: We’ll keep things simple by just adding one can of beans — your choice.  I used dark red kidney beans, but pinto, black or Great Northern beans would also work.
  • Lentils: For me, lentils are the key to making a vegetarian chili taste and feel a bit more “meaty.”  We will use a cup of either green or brown lentils here, so that they hold their shape and don’t get too mushy.
  • Seasonings: Just chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, salt and pepper.

Then, you know me — when it comes to chili toppings, I firmly fall in the more-the-merrier camp.  And highly recommend loading your chili up with as much diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, diced green or red onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or crumbled corn tortilla chips as possible!  Of course, if you are making this chili vegan or gluten-free, choose your topping ingredients accordingly.

Instant Pot Chili Recipe

Instant Pot Chili Recipe:

To make this vegetarian chili recipe in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker), simply:

  1. Add all ingredients to your Instant Pot.  If you don’t mind the extra step, I recommend using the “Sauté” button to first sauté the onion, red pepper and garlic in oil until softened.  (But you can also totally skip that step if you’re in a hurry.)
  2. Pressure cook.  Then cook the chili on high pressure (using the “Manual” button) for 12 minutes, followed by a quick release.
  3. Taste and season.  Give the soup a taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed, plus any extra cumin, chili powder, or smoked paprika to taste.
  4. Serve warm.  Piled high with all of your favorite toppings!

Crockpot Chili Recipe:

To make this vegetarian crockpot chili, simply:

  1. Add all ingredients to your slow cooker.  This recipe will fit in either a 4-quart or 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Slow cook.  Then cover and cook the chili on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until the lentils are tender.
  3. Taste and season.  Give the soup a taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed, plus any extra cumin, chili powder, or smoked paprika to taste.
  4. Serve warm.  Piled high with all of your favorite toppings!

Stovetop Chili Recipe:

To make this easy vegetarian chili recipe in a stockpot on the stove, simply:

  1. Sauté the veggies in a stockpot Heat the oil, then sauté the onion, followed by the red bell pepper and garlic, in your stockpot until softened.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients.  Add everything else to the pot.  Then continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Cover, and lower the heat a bit to maintain the simmer, and cook until the lentils are tender.  
  3. Taste and season.  Give the soup a taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed, plus any extra cumin, chili powder, or smoked paprika to taste.
  4. Serve warm.  Piled high with all of your favorite toppings!

The Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Possible Variations:

There are all sorts of ways to mix things up with this recipe!  For example, feel free to:

  • Make it spicier. If you like your chili to have more of a kick, feel free to add in 1 or 2 finely-diced jalapeño peppers.  (Just add them in at the same time as the onions.)  Or you can also add in a few pinches of cayenne pepper, to taste.
  • Make it smokier.  I also really love adding in a roughly-chopped chipotle in adobo sauce to my chili, for that extra smoky peppery taste.
  • Add in extra veggies.  I kept this base recipe simple.  But if you would like to add in some extra veggies, anything from sweet potatoes to carrots, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant or kale would be delicious.  If you add in many more, just add in extra broth and seasonings to compensate.
  • Add in grains/nuts.  To make your chili extra-hearty, feel free to also add in some grains like quinoa, farro, barley or bulgur.  (Add extra veggie stock accordingly if using extra grains.)  Or you can also add in some very-finely-chopped soft nuts, such as walnuts or pecans.

Easy Chili Recipe

What To Serve With Chili:

Looking for some side dish ideas to serve with chili?  Any of these classics would be delicious:

Amazing Vegetarian Chili Recipe (also Gluten-Free and Vegan)

Lemme know how things go if you make this one!  Hope you enjoy it!  🙂

Yield: 4-6 servings

Can’t-Believe-It’s-Vegetarian Chili

Instructions included below for how to make this amazing vegetarian chili in either the pressure cooker, slow cooker or stockpot.  See notes above for possible recipe variations too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3-4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (15-oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz) can beans of your choice, rinsed and drained (I used dark red kidney beans)
  • 1 cup uncooked green or brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • toppings: diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, diced green or red onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and/or crumbled corn tortilla chips

Directions:

Instant Pot Chili Instructions:

  1. Press the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot.  Add oil, followed by the onion and red pepper.  Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.  Press the “Cancel” button.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of the Instant Pot.  Place the lid on and set to “Sealing.”  Using the “Manual” button, cook the chili on high pressure for 12 minutes, followed by a quick release.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper (or any other additional seasonings) as needed.
  4. Serve immediately, piled high with all of your favorite toppings.  Or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Crockpot Chili Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a slow cooker, and stir briefly to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, until the lentils are tender.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper (or any other additional seasonings) as needed.
  4. Serve immediately, piled high with all of your favorite toppings.  Or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Stovetop Chili Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and red pepper and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the chili reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and continue cooking for 20 minutes, or until the lentils have softened.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper (or any other additional seasonings) as needed.
  4. Serve immediately, piled high with all of your favorite toppings.  Or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

*Cooking time noted above is for the stovetop method.

Difficulty: EasyCategory: Quick



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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I’d love to see what you cook!

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The Best Vegetarian Chili (Instant Pot | Crockpot | Stovetop)



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