Vegetarian / Vegan Chili

A couple of months ago, we had chili cook-off at work and one of my friends brought in this amazing vegetarian chili.  I’d had vegetarian chili before with tofu in it, and didn’t really care for it much.  But the chili he made was really, really good.  So again, being snowed in and cold, I thought chili would be nice for dinner and called him up for the recipe.  At his recommendation, I just used what was in the house in whatever quantity I felt like.  The recipe below reflects this.  I know the list of ingredients looks intimidating, but this actually fairly easy to make!


1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
10 cloves garlic, chopped
3 medium potatoes, chopped into ~1/2 inch pieces
16 oz can black beans
16 oz can pink beans
16 oz can navy beans
16 oz can kidney beans
16 oz can pinto beans
2 carrots, sliced into into ~1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups corn
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups tomato sauce (I used arrabiata pasta sauce)
3 cups crushed tomatoes
6 cups water
2 broccoli heads, chopped into big pieces
3 stalks celery, sliced into ~1/2 inch slices
2 bell peppers, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
3 tbsp dark/bitter chocolate chips
hot peppers to your taste (I didn’t have hot peppers at home, so I used 1 tbsp of spicy garlic sauce and 1 tsp of habanero paste)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground cumin-coriander powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp nutmeg


1.  Saute onions and garlic in olive oil for ~5 min.  Add potatoes and cook for an additional 10 min.

2.  Add all the beans, carrots, corn, spinach, walnuts, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and water and bring to boil.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for half an hour.

3.  Add the broccoli, celery, bell peppers, quinoa, Israeli couscous, dark chocolate, hot peppers, and all of the spices.  Simmer on low for an additional hour.



  1. the magic ingredients here are the walnuts and celery. They give this tasty, hearty, slightly spicy chili an extra crunch that makes it very YUM!

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