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vegetarian chili in a red dish topped with cheese and sour cream

The Best Vegetarian Chili Ever

If you're on the hunt for an amazing meatless chili recipe, this vegetarian chili made with ground round is exactly what you've been looking for!


  • 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

Toppings (optional)

  • 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 like to let the chili simmer for 1-2 hours because this helps thicken the chili and deepen its flavor. 
**To me, vegetarian chili tastes EVEN BETTER as leftovers! 
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. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!