I’m so excited to share today’s post because it’s our favorite vegetarian chili recipe. I grew up having chili every year during fall, most notably on the night of Halloween. It became a family tradition, and it’s one that Matthew and I keep up now. We always look forward to our chili nights, especially after a cold fall or winter day.
The one thing we always do differently is serve our chili on top of a bowl of spaghetti. This is a Cincinnati tradition apparently, and while Matthew and I don’t have family members from Ohio, we’ve embraced this pairing wholeheartedly. If you’ve never had your chili on top of spaghetti, you’re in for a treat! Just top it with grated cheese, some fresh onions and hot sauce, if you like of course!
My Family’s Favorite Vegetarian Chili Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes with their juices or peeled whole tomatoes
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 to 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, to taste
- Favorite garnishes: grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese, chopped white onions, sour cream or crème fraiche, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado
In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, cinnamon, allspice, and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and kidney beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for about 45 minutes. Remove the chili from heat.
My favorite tip is to transfer about 2 cups of the chili to a blender, securely fasten the lid and blend until smooth (watch out for hot steam), and then pour the blended mixture back into the pot. Or, if you have an immersion blender, you can blend the chili briefly right in the pot. This helps give the dish more of a chili consistency.
Mix in the vinegar, to taste. Add salt to taste, too, if you like. I sometimes will add about ¼ teaspoon more. Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice. We’ve always served our chili with spaghetti noodles but that’s up to you!
This chili will keep well in the refrigerator for about a week.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons to be in the kitchen! Remember how I wouldn’t even use heat to cook this summer?! But during the fall, it’s so fun to cook savory dinners and whip up delicious desserts. We’ve been loving these pumpkin spice waffles with candied pecans on the weekends. For Thanksgiving, I can not wait to make these amazing pumpkin pie truffles! Sometimes it feels like there are endless options for good fall recipes. Just look at my fall recipe Pinterest board. I wish I could make them all!
P.S. Let me know what your favorite family recipes are in the comments! I would love to get your recipes!