Here it is, the best vegetarian chili recipe I’ve made yet. Omnivores, do not skip this chili, its great. Butternut squash adds a sweetness and a fun color to your mix. Watch our recipe video and start cooking. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Tips on the Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe
You can use canned beans or cook some dried beans – see our pressure cooker vids here. I used pinto beans, but use what you got. Northern beans, kidney beans, whatever works for you. They will all have a slightly different flavor.
Start with a small amount of cocoa! In the video I added too much, and have since adjusted the recipe. Add in the cocoa before the squash to preserve the orange color of the squash.
Cut the squash smaller and it will cook faster. I cut the squash in to pretty large chunks, if they are smaller, it less time to be done.
Chili powders can be very different. They vary in the amount of heat and smokiness, I’ve found. Start with less powder when you first start. You can add more later to boost the chili flavor if need be.
This recipe is perfect for a slow cooker. Cook down the onions, then throw everything in a slow cooker for the day on low.
What are your thoughts and experience with making chili? Let me know below.
- 1 sweet onion, coarse chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 carrots sliced into rounds
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 28 ounce can chopped or diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 24oz to 28 oz can kidney, pinto, or northern beans (do not rinse the beans)
- 1 medium butternut squashed, peeled and cubed
- Use a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot for this chili. Turn the burner to high.
- Pour a few glugs of vegetable oil into the pan, about ⅛" deep or so. In other words, enough to saute the onions.
- When the oil is getting hot, turn down the flame to medium and add in the onions. I like to cook the onions down to where the edges are getting brown.
- Add in the minced garlic, be sure it doesn't stick and burn in the bottom of the pan. Cook for about a minute
- Add in the carrots and mix it all up. If you have time, I like to get some cooked edges to the carrots, but its not a deal breaker if this doesn't happen.
- Push the vegetables towards the sides of the pot and allow the oil to flow back into the center of the pot. Add in the chili powder and cumin and let the spices toast in the hot oil for about 30 seconds.
- Mix the spices into the vegetables and pour in the can of tomatoes.
- Drop in the oregano and tomato paste and salt. I usually do two squirts of the tomato paste from the tube.
- Measure in the cocoa powder and mix it all together.
- Add the squash and beans.
- Bring this to a low simmer, cover the pot, and let cook on low. Depending on your stove, pot, and how thin the squash is cubed, this should cook down in about 30 minutes.
- If the chili is too watery for your taste, you can leave the top off while cooking for part of the time.
- The chili is done when you can easily pierce through the squash with a fork.