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Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Slow-Cook Your Way to Vegetarian Chili

Do you buy one of every vegetable when you are at the market? Do you find yourself with a stuffed fridge and not enough time to get through it all before it turns? Has this happened to you more than once? You may be suffering from overeager farmers market shopper syndrome, but there is a cure! This slow-cooked vegetarian chili takes all of your late Summer bounty and in a matter of hours transforms it into a thick, hearty stew. I'm still relatively new to slow cookers, but I'm amazed by how the veggies and beans hold their shape while softening to the perfect, toothsome texture. If you don't have all the ingredients on hand or you want to throw in something else to the mix (like pumpkin instead of zucchini), go right ahead! Just keep the proportions in mind.

Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Chili

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Slow-Cooked Vegetarian Chili


  1. 2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil, like canola or grapeseed
    1 1/2 cups yellow onions, chopped
    1 cup red bell peppers, chopped
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
    1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
    2 cups (about 3 ears) fresh corn kernels
    1 1/2 pounds (about 5 large) portobello mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean, and cubed
    4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne
    3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained
    1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 cup vegetable stock, or water
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped plus more for garnish
    Shredded monterey jack cheese (optional), for garnish
    Sour cream (optional), for garnish
    Lime wedges (optional), for garnish


  1. In a large slow cooker, combine all ingredients except for cilantro. Cook over high heat for 3 to 4 hours or low heat for 7 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally. Before dividing into bowls, stir in cilantro and season with more salt to taste (optional).
  2. Divide chili into bowls. Garnish with more cilantro, cheese, sour cream, and lime wedges.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts
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