Animal Lovers Surprise – Vegan Chili


If you’re a carnivore like me, you may see the word “vegan” and snarl your lip a bit. It’s all right. We all come with our own judgements and assumptions about non-meat eaters, but I have to say, I’ve made this meat-free chili on many occasions, and often prefer it to its meat-full brethren. I recently participated in a friend’s annual Chili Cook Off, and while I did not win (womp, womp), my chili still received high marks. The biggest beauty is that the chili doesn’t take hours to cook (although it can if you want it to), so inside of an hour, you could be enjoying a delicious, nutrition-filled meal with the people you love. Really, is there a better way to live?

Vegan Chili

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
(modified from Emeril Lagasse)

  • 1 yellow onion, largely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, largely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, largely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced (keeps the seeds if you want a LOT more kick)
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 2-3 portobello mushrooms, cubed
  • 1 ear of corn, cut off the cob (or 1 can of corn – make sure to check that there’s no added sugar – just corn!)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (change things up by adding an infused oil, like this jalapeño garlic olive oil)
  • salt to taste


  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp mixed Italian seasonings (oregano, parsley, etc)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar


  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium, and gently sauté onions and peppers, then add garlic (don’t brown them). Cover skillet and let the vegetables sweat for a few minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and zucchini, and stir in seasoning until well coated and fragrant.
  3. Add in all other ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Partially cover the chili and simmer for 30 min.
  5. Garnish with sour cream, cilantro and cheese (or nothing!).



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.