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Chunky Vegetarian Chili

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This is our family friend Deb’s chunky vegetarian chili recipe! I first tried it years ago and I’ve made it probably every couple of months since.  It’s super tasty, perfectly spiced and fun to eat, especially with some cornbread or a corn muffin.

A crock filled with chili with a spoon in it and a corn muffin behind it and the pan and another crockPin

Christopher and I love to have chili regularly not only because it’s delicious with and without meat, but because that means we can have corn bread or corn muffins, too.

I know you’re thinking, “Can’t you have baked corn goods anytime?”

Of course we can, but we usually don’t. We usually have our corn bread/muffin with something else. Like chili.

One of the things I love about this vegetarian chili recipe is how good it tastes. If you are a meat eater, you won’t even miss not having beef in the dish.

It’s chunky, full flavored and very satisfying. Perfect on these chilly (or chili) winter days!

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How to make vegetarian chili


Get large Dutch oven or  stockpot.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – onions, red bell pepper, sliced portobello mushrooms, diced tomatoes, black olives and kidney beans.

Onions, red bell pepper, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, black olives and red kidney beans on the table with a red Dutch ovenPin

Step two

Chop the vegetables in chunks because chunky veggies, are perfect in this chili.

Step three

Heat the Dutch oven on medium and once that has heated up, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Step four

Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté them for 8 minutes.

Step five

Add the sliced mushrooms and two teaspoons of garlic paste and continue sautéing them for 2 minutes.

Step six

Add diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, dried basil and salt and pepper. Lower the heat under the pan and simmer it for 30 minutes.

Step seven

Add the kidney beans and olives and continue simmering the chili for another 10 minutes.

DING!  ⏲

Pan of chili in a deep cast iron pan with two crocks and a corn muffin in the backgroundPin

Ladle the chili in the a few crocks.

Close up of a crock of chili with a half of a corn muffin, another crock and pan of chili in the backgroundPin

It’s chunky and soooo good!

Dive right in!  I’m going to.

Overhead shot of a crock vegetarian chili with a spoon in it and a crumbled corn muffin in the backgroundPin

Other popular comfort food recipes

I hope you enjoyed this vegetarian chili recipe! It is super delicious, thick and chunky. Christopher likes his with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Please feel free to leave me a comment!  What’s your favorite vegetarian dish?

And as always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below.  I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

A crock filled with chili and a corn muffin on a plate behind itPin

Vegetarian Chili

Thick, chunky and full bodied, this chili is so delicious!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Soup
Keyword: vegetarian chili
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 346kcal


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions cut in chunks
  • 1 Red bell pepper cut in chunks
  • 10 ounces sliced portobello mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 56 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder or more if you love spice
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano dried
  • 1 tablespoon basil dried
  • .75 teaspoon salt
  • 15 ounces red kidney beans drained
  • 15 ounces medium black olives drained


Make it!

  • Heat sauce pan or dutch oven on medium
  • Add olive oil
  • Add onions and red bell pepper and sauté for 8 minutes
  • Add mushrooms and garlic paste and sauté for 2 minutes
  • Add diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, basil and salt
  • Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes
  • Add kidney beans and black olives, simmer for 10 more minutes
  • Ladle some in a bowl or crock
  • Eat
  • Sigh
  • Smile
  • Enjoy


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Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1473mg | Potassium: 1167mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2045IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 6.8mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to crafting delightful dishes and cocktails, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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  1. We are chili-a-holics too! (Is that even a word?? If not it should be!) Your friend’s chili looks delicious, and so healthy! I am glad you were able to share with us 🙂

  2. I also can’t ever remember a time that I’ve made cornbread unless it’s to go with a pot of chili. As kids, we would slather them in butter while they were still hot, and sometimes also honey. I love a good pot of chili and yours sets itself apart with its nice hearty chunks of mushrooms – great idea! I can’t wait to try it!

  3. I am partial to a big bowl of chilli and I love that this is vegetarian! Looks and sounds delicious!

    1. Hehe, Amy! I’m a creature of habit and I’ve never had non-breakfast foods (at least breakfast foods in my mind) for breakfast. Hubby would but not me! But lunch? Let me at it! Thanks for your comment!

  4. This recipe looks so hearty for these cold days we have been having. I have never tried olives in my chili before. Good idea. I will give this recipe a whirl.

  5. Hey Elaine! This vegetarian chili looks awesome and a nice treat from the traditional meat chilis. I need to make some of this!

  6. Chili of any variety is always a winner here. The perfect comfort food. Love making a huge batch to tucking some away in the freezer for later.

  7. i love chili in all shapes and forms…and vegetarian ones sounds really good and comforting!

  8. A few years ago I introduced Meatless Monday (and often many other days of the week) and this is exactly the kind of recipes my family loves on these occasions!

  9. That chili looks perfect! Nice and chunky! I’m with you, I don’t have cornbread unless it’s with chili, either! I know I’m thick but I get the “fig” comment from Mom! 🙂

  10. A big bowl of hearty chili is always good for the soul and this vegetarian recipe looks so great. I agree that corn bread with chili is definitely called for.

  11. This does indeed sound fantastic! I’m a meat lover but having vegetarian every once in awhile is right up my ally!! Love the addition of red pepper!!

  12. I was just thinking about making vegetarian chili last week, but never made it…) I love your recipe + it is so simple! Will save it and make it)

  13. I love that you put olives in your chili. I have never, ever thought to do this, but my toddler and I are both huge black olive fans. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  14. I usually load up my chili with ground beef and bison, but this recipe has reminded me that it can be perfectly filling and amazing sans meat!

  15. Lovely recipe. It’s funny I’ve got a vegetarian chilli on the stove as I type this and I’m still thinking “got get some more chilli on the menu!” This sounds amazing!

  16. Been eating this recipe for YEARS! And don’t see myself slowing down any time soon. Love this chili.

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