Hearty 3 Bean Vegetarian Chili


Hearty 3 Bean Vegetarian Chili

Fall is here and in my kitchen that means soup season has begun! One of the lighter and healthier versions I like to make is my 3 Bean Vegetarian Chili. It has all the comfort of a hearty bowl of soup on a cold day without the fat that likes to stick around my waistline. Even though this is a vegetarian chili, the flavors are bold. I like to let the flavors meld all day in the slow cooker, but if necessary, I can have this in our bowls in less than 30 minutes from the stovetop. And if you’d like to learn how to make your own chili seasoning, I have a combination you’ll love just a few scrolls down. Let me show you how to make it: 

Start by dicing a medium-sized yellow onion and a large zucchini.

Then chop up an extra large tomato (or two smaller ones). This is one of the beefsteak tomatoes from my garden and they are perfect for hearty vegetarian chili.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a stock pot over medium to high heat and cook the onion and zucchini for about 5 minutes or until they’re tender.

vegetarian chili

Then throw in your diced tomato. You’ll also need to add a can of great northern beans, chili beans, and dark red kidney beans. Pour them in with their liquid so that the chili is not too thick.

Add in a packet of your favorite chili seasoning. In a pinch, I always default to Lawry’s Chili Seasoning. However, if time allows, I like to make my own seasoning. You can do this by mixing the following spices:

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

vegetarian chili

Mix all the ingredients together and then let the vegetarian chili come to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir it occasionally so that the chili doesn’t burn at the bottom of the pot. If you want to leave it in the slow cooker, skip the boiling step and transfer everything to the Crockpot. Let it cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.

I like to let the vegetarian chili sit all day in my slow cooker so that the flavors can meld together, but it also tastes wonderful ladled right into your bowl! I top mine with fresh parsley. My kids love shredded cheese on theirs and my husband likes a scoop of sour cream. However you decide to top your vegetarian chilli, you can rest assured that you are eating something healthy. Your tummy will thank you for all the vitamins and protein and your tastebuds will be more than dazzled by the spices.

But let’s be serious. I cut back in the chili department so that I don’t feel entirely guilty when I eat a (rather large) piece of Skillet Cornbread. This one is made with creamed corn and just a smidge of sugar. Can you even eat chili without cornbread? Not where I come from!

For more comforting soup ideas, check out my Recipe Index or my Slurpable Soups Board on Pinterest. Happy Cooking y’all!

Hearty 3 Bean Vegetarian Chili

Heidi Davison
This vegetarian chili is a healthy and quick dinner option full of vegetables and protein. It tastes great topped with parsley, cheese, or sour cream.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 diced medium onion
  • 1 large chopped zucchini
  • 2 small or 1 large tomatoes
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 can dark kidney beans
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 1 packet chili seasoning or your own mix
  • Optional toppings: parsley cheese, sour cream
  • For chili seasoning:
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Chop all vegetables.
  • Heat oil in large pot and add onion and zucchini. Cook 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Add in tomatoes and beans.
  • Add in chili seasoning. Mix well.
  • Let chili come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • If using the Crockpot, skip the boiling step and cook in the slow cooker on LOW for 3-4 hours.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Serve warm with toppings.


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  • Holy Wow!! Making this ASAP! Will update with rating once I make it but I can only it’s going to be 5 stars and more!

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