Food
Fact Checked

How can I Make Vegetarian Chili?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Many people think that ground beef is a primary and necessary ingredient in chili. While it is true that most chili recipes call for ground beef, it is possible to make a meatless vegetarian chili that is just as delicious as chili that is made with ground beef. Furthermore, if you simply want a healthier version of any chili recipe, you can replace the ground beef with lean ground turkey. Chili con carne, which means “chili made with beef”, is not necessarily the absolute best version of the dish.

Of course, beef adds to the overall flavor of chili. However, the main sources of flavor reside in the spices. Therefore, you can make delicious chili without the beef as long as you make sure to follow your recipe’s instructions when it comes to spices. If you want to include something in your chili that has a texture similar to beef, you may want to add a vegetarian imitation product, such as TVP. TVP is shorthand for “texturized vegetable protein.” It comes in many forms and is offered by numerous food companies.

Fava beans are often included in vegetarian chili.
Fava beans are often included in vegetarian chili.

It is also possible to make a delectable chili without meat or any type of substitute meat. If you are going to make such a chili, it is important to include quite a few beans of different varieties. Adzuki beans, kidney beans, navy beans, fava beans, butter beans, black eyes peas, and chick peas are all delicious in chili. You may also add corn kernels for a bit of lovely sweetness. It is recommended, however, to use a combination of these beans along with black beans. Black beans are an important ingredient in chili because of the rich flavor that they offer.

Adzuki beans, which can be included in vegetarian chili.
Adzuki beans, which can be included in vegetarian chili.

Many chili recipes that include beans call for canned beans and instruct cooks to rinse the beans from the starchy liquid in which they are packed. However, if you are making a vegetarian chili, it is advisable to add the entire can of beans to your chili. The starchy liquid surrounding the canned beans is full of flavor and helps to add a nice thickness to the dish.

Butter beans, which are often used in vegetarian chili.
Butter beans, which are often used in vegetarian chili.

Vegetarian chili is a healthy alternative to chili made with meat. Not only is it lower in cholesterol, but it is also likely to spoil much less quickly than a chili con carne. Therefore, vegetarian chili can be packed for lunch, taken on picnics, and transported for longer periods of time than chili con carne can before spoiling.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

Heavanet

That is a good vegetarian chili recipe tip Talentryto. I also like to add extra beans with I make meatless chili. They make the mixture thicker, and the flavor richer.

Talentryto

When you use the right combination of spices, you will most likely not miss having meat in homemade vegetarian chili. I recommend experimenting with your favorite spices and chili powder to get the flavor that you prefer.

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    • Fava beans are often included in vegetarian chili.
      Fava beans are often included in vegetarian chili.
    • Adzuki beans, which can be included in vegetarian chili.
      By: Elena Schweitzer
      Adzuki beans, which can be included in vegetarian chili.
    • Butter beans, which are often used in vegetarian chili.
      By: Elena Schweitzer
      Butter beans, which are often used in vegetarian chili.
    • Navy beans, which are often used to make vegetarian chili.
      By: BronxPhotog
      Navy beans, which are often used to make vegetarian chili.
    • Some chili recipes call for tomatoes while others do not.
      By: Dusan Kostic
      Some chili recipes call for tomatoes while others do not.
    • Soya mince may be substituted in chili recipes that call for ground meat.
      By: andystjohn
      Soya mince may be substituted in chili recipes that call for ground meat.
    • Vegetarian chili is essentially ground beef chili without the meat.
      By: Viktorija
      Vegetarian chili is essentially ground beef chili without the meat.
    • Some cooks add texturized vegetable protein (TVP) when making vegetarian chili.
      By: Fotocat4
      Some cooks add texturized vegetable protein (TVP) when making vegetarian chili.
    • Black beans are an important ingredient to vegetarian chili.
      By: Jaimie Duplass
      Black beans are an important ingredient to vegetarian chili.