A Big Bowl of Red Meatless Chili

When my husband and I first got married, he was a vegetarian. That posed a few cooking challenges for us; we didn’t want to cook two meals all the time. For chili, at least, this recipe solved our problem! My husband does eat meat now, but this is still the chili we make. Experiment with the spices; I went all out on this one the first time I made it and it was pretty spicy!

Now I found this recipe on the internet in the late ’90s, but in researching for this post I discovered it is from a cookbook! Lean Bean Cuisine by Jay Solomon. So if you like this one, there’s a used copy of his cookbook somewhere in your future…


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil [Kristi note: I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil]
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced [Kristi note: I buy a small can and add to taste]
  • 1 large tomato, cored and diced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes [Kristi note: Add another 14 oz if using two cans of beans]
  • 2 cups cooked or canned red kidney beans, drained
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder (sweet or mild)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 3 teaspoons Tabasco or other bottled hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • chopped raw onions (optional)
  • shredded cheddar (optional)
  • sour cream [optional per Kristi]
  • Frito’s [optional per Kristi]


Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, bell peppers, celery garlic, and jalapeno [Kristi note: if using canned jalapeno add with canned tomatoes]. Saute for 6 – 8 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the fresh tomato and cook for 3 – 4 minutes more. Stir in the canned crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, [canned jalapeno], and seasonings, and simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat. Stir occasionally. Ladle the chiliĀ  into bowls and serve hot, garnished with onion and/or cheddar [or sour cream or Frito’s] if you like.

Kristi Note: I found that this mix of spices makes a pretty mild chili if that’s what you’re looking for:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Frank’s hot sauce
  • few spoonfuls of canned jalapenos
  • use the rest of the spices that the recipe calls for

One thought on “A Big Bowl of Red Meatless Chili

  1. […] love to cook soups, stews, and chili in the winter. I have a meatless chili that my husband and I have enjoyed for years. Last winter, my boys wanted to eat chili, but […]

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