Vegetarian Chili – Three Recipes for Healthful Meals the Whole Family Will Love

Chili seasonings bring out the best in vegetables and beans; your family and friends will never miss the meat. You can improvise with these recipes, using whatever type of beans you like, and adding or subtracting other ingredients to match your personal preferences. You can always freeze any leftovers.

Easy Veggie Burger Chili

4 frozen veggie burgers

1 16-ounce bag frozen pepper-onion mix

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 16-ounce can pink beans

1 16-ounce can chick peas

2 cups frozen corn

1 tablespoon mild chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

pinch cayenne, to taste

Cooked barley or other whole grains of your choice

Break the veggie burgers into 1″ chunks. Combine them with all of the other ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes or more, until ready to serve. Ladle over the cooked whole grains of your choice.

6-8 servings

Chafing Dish Chili

This recipe will serve a crowd; it’s perfect for a buffet, or just freeze the leftovers for future “fast food” meals.

2 large onions, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons mild chili powder

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1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

5 cups bouillon (or bouillon + beer)

1 pound green lentils

1 cup uncooked bulgur

2 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, undrained, broken up

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30-40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Turn off the heat and let it sit until ready to serve (or make ahead and refrigerate.)

Reheat and transfer to a chafing dish or other buffet serving dish. Surround with mugs or small bowls with handles, and your choice of:

Optional serving accompaniments

Fat-free sour cream


Chopped cilantro

Red, green and yellow bell pepper slivers


Cooked whole grains

Bottled hot pepper sauce

10-12 servings

Squash Chili

1 winter squash, about 2 pounds

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered or cut in 1/2″ pieces

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon mild chili powder

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon oregano

pinch cayenne, to taste

2 cups bouillon

1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/2″ pieces

1 can small red or pink beans, drained

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2 cups frozen baby lima beans

2 cups frozen corn

2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or to taste

freshly ground black pepper

Cooked barley or other whole grains of your choice

Pierce the squash with a knife in 2 or 3 places. Set in a microwave dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Return to the microwave and cook about 8 minutes more, or until you can easily remove the flesh from the skin.

Meanwhile, bring the onion, mushrooms, garlic, spices and bouillon to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat and simmer 5-10 minutes or until the onion is softened. Add the squash flesh, cut in chunks, along with the red pepper, pink beans and lima beans. Return to boiling, reduce the heat and simmer 5-10 minutes more, or until the lima beans are cooked. Stir in the corn and vinegar and adjust the seasonings. Serve over cooked whole grains.

6-8 servings


Source by Gabe Mirkin, M.D.