You're on the lookout for an amazing chili recipe and this vegetarian chili is exactly what you've been looking for! I use ground round to give it the meaty texture you want in this dish, but without any beef! Make it on a Sunday night and enjoy it all week — it gets even better over time!
Vegetarian chiliJump to Recipe
Growing up, I would only eat chili if it was loaded with sour cream and cheese. Turns out...some things never change! Ha! But really — I love this chili enough to eat it without any toppings! It's that good. It's SOOOO hearty and filling and warming and just GOOD. Comfort food epitomized.
St. Yves ground round has such an incredible texture, and it's the perfect addition to a vegetarian chili (not sponsored — I just love the stuff!). I think you could serve this chili recipe to meat-eaters and they wouldn't realize the difference...they'd just be focused on the great meal they're eating!
The wonders of meatless chili
For me, the best part of chili is its overall flavor. Chili also has a signature texture. But with meatless chili made with ground round, you get all the flavor and that classic texture without actual meat. I think it's pretty impressive that there are products like ground round that can make a dish KNOWN for being meaty, meat-free but still authentic and delicious. What a time to be alive!
ALSO: If you don't add cheddar/sour cream to top your chili when you serve it, this is actually a vegan chili recipe! Or you can substitute vegan cheese shredz and vegan sour cream for another vegan chili alternative.
What to serve with vegetarian chili
You've got SO many options here. Any kind of bread is a great thing to serve with chili because you can use it as a vehicle for getting the chili into your mouth...who needs a spoon when you've got bread for dipping, am I right? Tortilla chips can do the same thing.
But my favorite, favorite, favorite thing to go with chili is CORNBREAD! Vegetarian chili and cornbread are a match made in heaven, my friends. I just happen to have the BEST cornbread recipe ever. AND it's got jalapenos and cheddar in it...perfect pairings with chili.
You'll find my skillet cornbread recipe right here.
My chili recipe
My chili recipe is pretty straightforward.
- Cook your onion and green pepper in some olive oil for about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook it for another minute.
- Add the tomato paste and stir well to combine everything.
- Now it's time to add the ground round and stir it well, making sure it's broken up and not in chunks.
- Add your spices, brown sugar, and salt and pepper
- Pour in the drained and rinsed kidney beans and the diced tomatoes (not drained)
- Bring to a boil and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes. I personally prefer to let it simmer at least 1-2 hours. This helps the chili thicken up and makes the flavor more pronounced.
- Spoon into bowls, serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, or whatever else you like on top!
By the way, my chili recipe isn't a very spicy one. Try adding ¼ teaspoon of cayenne powder for some spice if you want it, then taste test and add more until you get the desired heat level.
The Best Vegetarian Chili Ever
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ green pepper diced
- ½ large white onion diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1.5 lbs ground round or another vegetarian ground beef substitute
- 1.5 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 0.5 teaspoon paprika I use smoked paprika
- salt to taste, start with 0.5 teaspoon and add more to taste
- 443 ml kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 828 ml canned diced tomatoes plain, NOT drained
- shredded cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- tortilla chips
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and green pepper and cook until soft — about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Then add tomato paste, stirring to combine.
- Add the ground round, and make sure it's broken up with your spoon.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, brown sugar, and season generously with salt and pepper. Pour in the kidney beans and crushed tomatoes and bring the vegetarian chili to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer at least 30 minutes*. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Ladle the chili into bowls and top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips, or any other toppings you prefer. Store in the fridge for up to a week.**
I'm SUPER excited to hear what you guys think of this one! I'm extra proud of it, and it's the perfect time of year for chili, right?
Keep me posted on what you think!
XO - C