Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

A cold winter day calls for a bowl of hot chili. If you are trying to incorporate more plant based foods into your diet, you’ll want to give this recipe a try. A hearty mixture of walnuts, mushrooms, carrots, and celery takes the place of ground beef and lends big flavor to this vegetarian version. You can also use this mixture as a stand in for meat in other dishes such as in your favorite spaghetti sauce or taco “meat” recipe.

When I have chili, I always make a skillet of cornbread and cook up a pot of greens, such as collards, chard, or kale to serve on the side. It’s the perfect winter meal. You can also check out my Buttermilk Cornbread recipe.

Vegetarian Chili

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, cut in chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 6-oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice, (optional)
  • 1 14 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can pinto or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can vegetable broth


Suggested toppings:  sliced avocado, plain yogurt, Shredded cheese, chopped cilantro

Make the “meat” – pulse walnuts, mushrooms, carrots, and celery in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.

Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Stir in peppers, tomato paste, brown sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, and allspice.

Add the mushroom mixture. Once it mixes in and starts cooking, it should start to resemble chili meat. Cook, stirring periodically, for 10 minutes or so to soften the vegetables.

Add tomatoes, beans, and half the can of broth. Cover partially with lid and bring to a slow simmer. Let the chili simmer for about an hour, stirring periodically, and adding more broth as needed for desired thickness.

Nutritional Information per serving
Yield: 8 servings per recipe
Calories: 216; Fat: 12g; Carbohydrates: 23g; Protein: 7g; Sodium: 624mg; Fiber: 7g


Kim Becker

My name is Kim Becker. I live in Lavalette, W.Va. I love to eat! I also love to feel good about what I eat. That's why I'm always looking for healthy, seasonal recipes that don't require a lot of time or ingredients. The thrill of making a delicious, nourishing dish that came together with a minimum amount of effort and clean-up inspires me to continue on my quest to find another equally impressive dish to add to my repertoire. If you don't know where to begin when it comes to making healthy food choices, or if you are already following a healthy diet but need some recipe ideas, I hope you will find some inspiration in my monthly recipes and cooking tips.