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Contest-Winning Vegetarian Chili Recipe
Contest-Winning Vegetarian Chili Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Contest-Winning Vegetarian Chili Recipe

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My husband and I try to have at least one vegetarian meal each week, and this is one of our favorites. The recipe makes a large pot of chili that's chock-full of color and flavor. Once the chopping is done, it's quick to cook. —Marilyn Barilleaux Bothell, Washington
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 40 min.
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 40 min.
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 4 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) Italian stewed tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup each minced fresh cilantro and parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Nutritional Facts

One serving (1 cup) equals 131 calories, 4 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 622 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 5 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.


  1. In a Dutch oven, saute zucchini, onions and peppers in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, jalapeno and seasonings. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Yield: 16 servings.
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Originally published as Vegetarian Chili in Taste of Home February/March 2001, p27

Nutritional Facts

One serving (1 cup) equals 131 calories, 4 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 622 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 5 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

Reviews for Contest-Winning Vegetarian Chili

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Reviewed Nov. 17, 2014

"Ok this is my first time making vegetarian chili and I could not have been more thrilled with the results! It was hands down the best vegetarian chili I've ever had and I can't believe I made it. My daughter turned vegetarian 6 weeks ago, I was having a football party with family and friends and decided to give it a try. Well everyone LOVED it and my family is a bunch of meat eaters! They couldn't believe how good it was and told me it could win a chili contest for sure! I was really pleased with the flavors and it had a bit of a kick to it because I tweaked it just a bit. Instead of 4 cloves of garlic I think I used ten! (You can never have enough garlic! Keeps my immune system strong in cold weather!) and also I used 1 TBSP of chipotle chili powder and 1 TBSP regular chili powder and used about 1/2 cup cilantro instead if 1/4 cup. I used one big fat jalape?o and again it was deliciously spicy. Too spicy for my youngest daughter but my vegetarian daughter likes spice and loved it with some sour cream blended in to cool it down a bit. If I were making again for my daughters I would turn down the heat but for the football crowd it was a huge hit! No one missed the meat. Also I think this is a great basic recipe for vegetarian chili. I am excited to try it again with different vegetables and seasonings. I am going to try it next with butternut squash or pumpkin. Again this recipe is awesome. I am always on line getting recipes but have never felt compelled to write a review before. That's how much I loved this dish!"

Reviewed Jan. 10, 2014

"I'm taking this to an upcoming Super Bowl Party. Can't wait for everyone to sample it!

Come the first of the year we are all trying to shed those extra pounds from the Holidays and incorporate more vegetables & fiber into our diet. It is so versatile too. You can substitute or add many other types of vegetables to this recipe. I've used red pepper, yellow squash, and different types of beans as well. I know it will be a big hit!"

Reviewed Dec. 6, 2013

"This is hands down the BEST vegetarian chili I have ever tasted! My sister is a vegetarian so I originally got on TOH to look for a recipe one weekend she was coming in town. I saw all the positive reviews so I thought I would give it a try. We absolutely loved it, even my husband (who is a meat lover) asks for this tasty chili! This has now become the family favorite and between my sister, my mom, and myself, we make it all the time!!!!"

Reviewed Oct. 12, 2013

"This is one of my favorite recipes but it takes me a long time to prepare all the fresh vegetables. It makes a very large quantity so the preparation time is well worth it. My daughter is vegetarian so any time she is scheduled to visit us I make it a point to make this recipe so that she has something that is absolutely delicious and nutritious to eat while she is with us and while the rest of us enjoy a meal with meat. I highly recommend this recipe!!! You will not be disappointed."

Reviewed Aug. 9, 2013

"Loved it!"

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