Vegetarian Chili

Total Time:
55 min
25 min
30 min

6 to 8 servings

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
  • 1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  • 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (about 5 large), stemmed, wiped clean and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespooon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable stock, or water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cooked brown rice, accompaniment
  • Sour cream or strained plain yogurt, garnish
  • Diced avocado, garnish
  • Essence, recipe follows, garnish
  • Chopped green onions, garnish
  • Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado. Sprinkle with Essence and green onions and serve.

Per Serving (based on 6 servings): Calories: 311; Fat: 7g (Saturated Fat: 0.5g); Protein: 13g; Carbohydrates: 51g; Sugar: 15g; Fiber 12g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1,040mg

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch

Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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    284 Reviews
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    Pretty good chili for an all veg chili. Like most chilis it was even better if you let it sit for a few days in the fridge.
    This is FANTASTIC! I just made it tonight but the adjustments I used were STeamables Corn, 2 cans diced tomatoes, 1 can black beans drained, 1 can garbanzo beans and I can red kidney beans. Most of these things were already in my cabinet. I did make the seasoning and it was great. I topped it with greek yogurt.
    so much flavor! i'd happily eat it even if it weren't healthy. instead of fresh tomatoes, i substituted 2 28-oz cans of whole tomatoes (crushed by hand) with juice and skipped the tomato sauce. also, i added 1 T of Essence while cooking. re: the heat, make sure you know how spicy your chili powder is. some of them (like the one i use, spice island) are very hot!
    Delish! Didn't have any serranos so used pepper flakes but followed otherwise. 11 year old ate it up! Served over baked potatoes. Will make again!
    Great! My 9 year old is going through a picky phase and ate two helpings! I thought the mushrooms would be overwhelming, but they're not. In addition to the three serranos, I roasted an additional jal and poblano pepper. The spice was perfect. Added bonus ? super healthily! Keeper! 
    This is a staple at our house as my daughter is vegetarian. I chop the veggies in advance and then make it one day during the week. I put the onions, peppers and garlic in one bag. Then the mushroom, corn and zucchini in another. Then the seasonings in a little Tupperware. The tomatoes in a Tupperware and the beans get rinsed and drained and go in a Tupperware. Then it literally comes together in about 15 minutes the day you make it. I make it in a stockpot to sauté everything and then transfer to the crockpot and put it on low for the day. I add the cilantro right before serving. I also use one can black beans, 1 can kidney and 1 can pinto beans for a nice variety. I usually need to double the broth and add a full 28 oz can of tomato sauce. I freeze leftovers for my daughter in individual containers for quick meals after sports or comes out a little watery after freezing but the taste is still great and she doesn't complain :-) Enjoy!
    This was a lot of chopping for someone who doesn't cook a lot, but turned out amazing! I added cheddar herb dumplings at the end since it is meat-free, which tasted really good. Highly recommend this recipe.
    Has anyone tried to make this recipe in a crock pot?
    I just won the chili cook-off at work today for Best Vegetarian chili with this recipe. Everybody loved it, and it was very easy to prepare.
    This is amazing. I fed it to meat eaters without the rice and it still went over extremely well. To save time on the tomatoes, I subbed, 2 (28 oz.) cans of whole tomatoes, drained, with the seeds squeezed out, and roughly chopped, and due to the extra juice cut the tomato sauce by about 1/4 C. I used jalapenos and reduced down longer than 20 minutes to thicken it more. The portabellos and so much meatiness and the spice quantity/combination is more than sufficient! Prep is time consuming--might make a double next time to have it on hand in the freezer.
    This is the BEST vegetarian chili EVER. Watch out for those serrano hot peppers - make sure to wear gloves when seeding it!
    This is delicious! I was recently diagnosed with animal protein intolerance, and I was worried that going 95% vegetarian meant that I would be relegated to boring or tasteless foods. This is so flavorful, and I don't miss the meat at all! I don't serve it over rice, I just stick a piece of nice, crusty bread on the side. Oh, and a tall glass of milk is a MUST!
    Entering this into a neighborhood chili cook off today!! Don't skip the essence spice!!!! The oregano and thyme are a nice touch.
    Best vegetarian chili I have made or eaten. Shared with others both vegetarian and not and both loved it. I am making this again and will freeze some for an easy meal for during the week. I ate it with crushed tortilla chips and a little sour cream. Because I didn't want to much heat I used one jalapeno but did add some ancho chilie powder and used 50% shitake mushrooms. Excellent combination of flavors.
    ONE WORD... AMAZING! Made this last night and everyone was in love with it. For all you chili lovers... its a hit!
    I was skeptical about a vegetarian chili but it is the BEST chili I've ever had!! So delicious and full of flavor you don't even need the meat. Make it and don't change a thing! Except the Essence. You don't need that. Top with shredded cheddar and prepare to have your taste buds blown.
    LOVE, LOVE this recipe!!! Didn't change a thing.... It was soooo good. 
    Thanks Emeril
    Wonderful. Husband made 7/31/13 for vegetarian relative and others. Everyone raved about it. Loved the garnishes, also used grated cheddar cheese and Fritos. Substituted Rotel tomatoes with green chilis and left out serrano peppers. Plenty spicy. Did not make the "Essence" and skipped the salt entirely since we are on low-salt diet.
    I wasn't sure how I would like veggie chili.... I trusted the other reviews and WOW!!! So good. I usually don't follow the recipe exactly, but I was out of my element on this one , so I followed more closely then usual. It's truly delicious. Great for a party
    I love this chili! I didn't miss the meat at all, the flavors were deep and delicious! It was a little spicy for my 2 year old so I put some Greek yogurt in his bowl to make it more mild, he loved it!
    I make a lot of chili and wanted to make a veggie as I am trying to drop a couple of pounds. This came out great. I actually added some eggplant which was a nice texture and flavor in this. Would probably back off the salt a little next time as I felt I got enough salt flavor from the tomato sauce and vegetable broth.
    This was amazing. I substituted brown rice with quinoa, added juice of about one lime and added just a touch of cinnamon. We are kind of new to vegetarian only dishes, but this one will most definitely be made again. My 8 and 9 year olds cleaned their bowls as well. It was also very filling. I didn't use the Essence, I forgot. However, it was not necessary at all. I can't wait to eat the leftovers!
    Excellent recipe. I could have tolerated it a bit hotter, though. Bam!
    Great recipe! The family loved it! Yay!
     I was looking for something meatless so I gave this chili recipe a try because of all the postive reviews. I omitted the mushrooms,caynne pepper powder(used hot sauce, and tomatoes AND it was still good! In addition, I used a jar of pasta sauce instead of canned sauce. Will definitely make this again...and again...and again.
     Side note: The "Essence" isn't necessary. I was sorry I spent needed money on the extra ingredients.
    This chili is delicious! I didn't have high hopes that my family would actually want to eat this chili--I was making it for myself. They started smelling it while it cooked and decided it was for them to eat too! This will stay in my recipe book for future reference!
    We love this chill!! It has been a hit at our house and we serve this when we are entertaining. Even our kids love this. I do omit the mushrooms and use cans of whole tomatoes (which I crush a little by hand instead of the fresh tomato. It seems to work much better. My husbands from Cincinnati originally so I throw a tablespoon of cinnamon into the chili to give it the famous Cincinnati Chili flavor. If you do all of this I PROMISE you will not be let down.  
    You would never know its meatless and low calorie. Tons of flavor! We love it leftover for breakfast too. Warm up and put an egg on top and.... huevos rancheros. 
    Very good chili recipe regardless of lack of meat! I made it for a superbowl chili cookoff (in crockpot with our neighbors and while it took me awhile to prep all the ingredients it was full of flavor and the essence mix gave it that "bam" wow effect! It was so good I had some for breakfast this morning! :-
    This chili came out great and was delicious! I'm a vegetarian and my husband is definitely a carnivore, and we both loved it. I followed the recipe almost exactly and used all fresh ingredients (except corn, which was frozen, and you could taste the quality of the vegetables. Also, we like very flavorful and spicy food, and I usually have to double or even triple spice amounts in recipes, but this one was right on just as written. Will be my go to chili from now on!
    use beer instead of stock
    this was sooooo good! i dont think i will be making chili with meat ever again! who needs beef chili when this one doesnt need it. Full of flavor and the mushrooms give it the meaty texture ! yu,mmm
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