Vegetarian Skillet Chili Recipe (2024)



out of 5


user ratings

Your rating

or to rate this recipe.

Have you cooked this?

or to mark this recipe as cooked.

Private Notes

Leave a Private Note on this recipe and see it here.

Cooking Notes

B Mehta

Never add chili powder and sauté, unless you want to burn the chili and have a coughing fit. Instead, add it after the tomatoes soften and just before you add the beans


Instead of using canned beans, which are too mushy for me, I bring a bag of dried beans to a boil and let them go for 5-10 minutes, turn off and let them sit in the water, covered for an hour. I take what I need and bag the rest and freeze. I do this with every type of bean I use regularly so I have beans with a little tooth to them. This could be done on a weekend day so it wouldn't cut in to after work meal cooking time.


Make it 28 oz of tomatoes, 2 tb Chile powder and 1 tb each of oregano and cumin. Intense and delicious.

Steve Ruis

In my veg chili I use grated carrots along with the onions which adds a texture not unlike what you get when you make chili using hamburger.


I like to puree a can of chipotles in adobo, then freeze them in a plastic ice cube tray and transfer them to a container for the freezer. Then I always have about a tablespoon of the stuff whenever I need it. I do the same with a can of tomato paste. Saves so much waste.


Am I missing something? There is no suggested amount for the chili powder or oregano.


WOW. 10/10, blew away my mom's recipe. Does not need the pickled shallots to be great (they weren't my fav anyway). These are the exact ingredients I used in the order I added them to the skillet:1 small sweet yellow onion (sauteed until softened)3 tsp minced garlic (sauteed for 30 secs)1 can of black beans (drained, rinsed)1 can of kidney beans (drained, rinsed)1 can of petite diced tomatoes1 Tbsp chili powder1 tsp oregano1 tsp cumin3 pinches of salt1 pinch of pepper


Personally, I liked this dish. Unfortunately, the co-diner gave it a thumbs down and rummaged through the freezer for something else. Don't know what he finally decided on because I was too annoyed to bother to find out.

I loved the pickled onions - a winner

Barbara LeBlanc

Great chili with following modifications:
One red pepper, one green pepper with onions
add two cloves of minced garlic
3/4 TBS cumin and chili powder
1tsp oregano and basil
2 cans diced tomatoes, one of them fire roasted
juice of 1/4 lime


You know what would be really nice in this? Some pureed chipotles in adobo. I keep a container in the freezer and scoop out a couple of tablespoons to add to chili.


When I read this from you (six months late), Karen, and, like so many others, found it "helpful," I wrote to Melissa Clark. Her reply, which I provide below, was prompt and what you might have imagined if you were desperate or just feeling creative or in a guessing mood:

"The idea is that you add it to taste. start with a teaspoon of chili powder and say, 1/2 teaspoon oregano (or less if you don't love it) and go from there."

Have fun!

Susan Jagendorf

I used one can kidney beans, one can of black beans, 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes, 2 Tbsp chili powder (1 Tbsp Hatch medium and a scant 1 Tbsp smoked ancho powder), 1 tsp dried oregano and 1 tsp ground cumin. I also added 1 chopped red bell pepper and 1 chopped yellow pepper to the onion/garlic mixture. I sautéed the onion, garlic and peppers until soft, then added spices, cooked for a minute or two and then added tomatoes. Simmered for 20 minutes, added beans and simmered for 10 more minutes.


I made this last night and it was wonderfully satisfying. The first time I make a recipe, I always follow the directions explicitly and then modify it when I make it again, if necessary. With this recipe, I don't think I would change a thing. I used Canellini beans and all of the garnishes and it was great. If you're desperate for meat, I think a pound of ground turkey or beef would work and I would brown it along with the onion and adjust the seasonings accordingly.


Perhaps it would be good to remember that taste is a matter of...well, taste. What tastes better to you won't necessarily taste better to someone else. And what's more, what tastes good to an individual is often as much a matter of what they are accustomed to as anything else.


This is a great almost no-recipe recipe. I used a combo of red kidney beans and black beans, a minced chipotle, whole 28ozer of roasted/diced tomatoes, and splash of IPA to add some liquid. The pickled onions were a welcome addition. My toddlers loved it.


I'm not a raw onion fan, but these pickled onions with the chili were amazing. i used two limes as one lime didn't offer enough liquid. The onions added a level of complexity that made the dish. i used about 4x the spices, and added smoked paprika. Also used 2 15 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes and served with avocado and sour cream. Will make this again, great tasting, easy and a pantry staple.

Diane Lauzon

I added chopped chicken thighs for the carnivore men in my life and they love this Chili!!

Clo W

Add a scoop of avocado and half the juice of a lime per plate just before serving.


Delicious. Added chopped kale - used black and kidney beans, and added a little extra garlic power. Delicious!

Mary Ann

Add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and a teaspoon or two of brown sugar when you add the beans. You’re welcome.


I add half a pound of ground beef to this. Also up the chili powder to 2.5T and add 1T cumin and a mince jalapeno. Its a really good ratio of beans/onions/tomatoes, but is very mild as written.

Rio S

Fine pantry meal. Not super flavorful and needs a lot of sour cream and veg to make balanced


Wow. More flavor than I figured there would be. I used 1 can of flavored chili beans and 1 can of navy beans. Added a couple of canned adobo chiles chopped up. Otherwise followed directions as written. Wasn’t a fan of the pickled onions. Avocado is a great garnish. Used a little shredded cheese instead of sour cream but I’ll bet that would be good. Thumbs up.


Made exactly as written, and it was good. To suit my personal taste, I added toward the end of cooking a little tomato paste, a little water, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and because it was too late to add fresh, some jarred roasted red pepper. For my family’s taste this was a perfect set of additions.

Aunt Katie

Fantastic! Followed the recipe (except used white kidney beans instead of red) used it to top angel hair pasta, then had the onion, avocado, sour cream and shredded cheese so each could make it to their own taste.


Family loved this, including our kids, for a quick weeknight meal.


Added a diced sweet potato, can of corn, cup of water, can of chile in adobo, a few bay leaves. Want to add meat substitute in the future.


We cooked a bag of Rancho Gordo domingo rojo beans before making this and added all of the bean broth to the recipe, so it was a little more soupy. It was great! I would chop the pickled onions though next time, as the slides are a little hard to eat with the spoon.


Followed the recipe and found this "chili" to be dry and bland. Would definitely add more tomatoes and spices, and possibly some tomato paste or adobo to give it some depth. Disappointing.


On taste alone, I'd say this is a 4-star recipe, but considering the completely minimal amount of effort required, this is probably worth 5 stars. I made it as described, save for a few spice additions (bay leaves, a bit of cayenne pepper). It also scales up nicely - I used 3 cans of different beans and a 28oz can of tomatoes, because that's what I had in the kitchen...

Private notes are only visible to you.

Vegetarian Skillet Chili Recipe (2024)


Can you cook chili in a cast iron skillet? ›

You can build the whole recipe in one pot. as usual it depends cooking an acidic chili is usually fine in cast iron as long as you don't let it sit in cast iron.

What is vegetarian chilli made of? ›

All you need are a few cans of beans (I love kidney beans in my chili), veggies, spices and crushed tomatoes. To make this plant based chili you'll need: Veggies: we're adding onion, carrot, bell pepper, sweet potato and corn for the perfect mix of hearty veggies.

What can I add to chili to make it unique? ›

Cocoa powder, bacon, cinnamon, ground coffee and tomato paste will all add a rich sweet & salty flavors that are sure to surprise and delight. Warming spice blends, like Garam Masala, Ras el Hanout or Baharat are another simple and delicious way to add layered flavors to this simple one-pot meal.

What foods Cannot be cooked in cast iron? ›

4 Foods You Shouldn't Cook in Cast Iron
  • Acidic foods (unless you make it snappy) ...
  • Fish (particularly delicate varieties) ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Skillet brownies (if you just fried a batch of chicken last night) ...
  • A lot more (if your skillet isn't properly seasoned)
Mar 11, 2023

Is there anything I shouldn't make in a cast iron skillet? ›

Is There Anything You Shouldn't Cook in Your Cast-Iron Skillet? Experts Weigh In. While there's nothing that's technically off limits, the pros say you should be careful with acidic foods, like tomato or wine sauce, which can corrode the seasoning if left in the pan for too long.

What is a vegetarian substitute for ground beef in chili? ›

bulgur or quinoa - inexpensive and usually easy to find in the bulk bins at the grocery store, bulgur adds even more of a ground meat texture to vegan chili. Use quinoa for a gluten-free option.

How to add umami to vegetarian chili? ›

Either sauté a bunch of fresh mushrooms with the rest of the veggies you're using, or soak a few dried mushrooms in warm water to rehydrate them, chop them up, and add them to the pot. Mushrooms are another great source of meaty, umami flavor. Plus, more vegetables never hurt anyone!

What is chili called without beans? ›

Commercial chili prepared without beans is usually called "chili no beans" in the United States.

Why is chilli not a vegetable? ›

A 'vegetable' in botanical terms on the other hand, does not have a set definition but is more of a general term encompassing all other edible aspects of the plant, the roots, stems and leaves. So, putting our botany caps on, we would classify foods like apples, strawberries and cherries as fruit, including peppers!

What are the best beans for chili? ›

The best beans for chili are pinto, kidney, and black beans, like in this easy and tasty recipe. This 3-bean chili freezes great for meals later in the week. If you prefer thinner chili, add an extra can of tomato sauce. The green chiles are not hot and add a wonderful flavor, so don't be afraid to use them.

Is vegetarian chili good for you? ›

High in Nutrients: One of the main benefits of vegan chili is that it is packed with nutrients. Beans, which are a staple ingredient in vegan chili, are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins.

What is the secret to amazing chili? ›

Here Are Our Six Secret Ingredients for the Best Chili
  • Canned Puréed Pumpkin. You already use this to make pumpkin-infused quick breads and waffles, but did you know you can add it to chili too? ...
  • Cocoa Powder. ...
  • Coffee. ...
  • Maple Syrup. ...
  • Pepperoncinis (Plus Liquid) ...
  • Root Beer.
Sep 2, 2022

What is the secret to really good chili? ›

Add a touch of sweetness

Chili is rich, deep and often spicy, so adding a sweet ingredient is a great way to create balanced flavor. We've found that adding diced carrots is the easiest way to add natural sweetness, but you can also use vegetables like sweet potatoes or winter squash.

What kind of pan do you use to cook chili? ›

A heavy stainless pot will do, as will an aluminum one if you're careful not to let the bottom of the chili burn.

Can you cook ground meat in a cast iron skillet? ›

If you have a cast iron skillet, that's an especially good choice as the strong, consistent heat of cast iron will help brown ground beef exceptionally well. 2. Heat the Oil: Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil or your vegetable oil of choice in the skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.

Are you not supposed to cook tomatoes in cast iron? ›

Anyone who's ever eaten a tomato or cooked with tomatoes can verify that this fruit is quite acidic. As it happens, the tomato's acidity is precisely why doesn't work well with cast-iron cookware, especially for long cooking stretches. "Cast-iron skillets can handle a small amount of acidic fruit at a time.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Last Updated:

Views: 6485

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Birthday: 1994-06-25

Address: Suite 153 582 Lubowitz Walks, Port Alfredoborough, IN 72879-2838

Phone: +128413562823324

Job: IT Strategist

Hobby: Video gaming, Basketball, Web surfing, Book restoration, Jogging, Shooting, Fishing

Introduction: My name is Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner, I am a zany, graceful, talented, witty, determined, shiny, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.