Killer Vegetable Chili

Michele Howard

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Finally, some cool weather has arrived to allow residents to appreciate a good home cooked batch of chili with their family and friends.

Now that I have confessed trying out the vegetarian lifestyle, I want to share my version of beef chili without the meat.

I have over the years entered many chili cook-offs and won first, second and third places, plus people’s choice awards.

My favorite part of the contest is making the booth presentation or theme. For the last contest, the team name was “Pilfered Pirates Chili;” it tastes better when it’s stolen!

We made an​ eight foot pirate ship similar to the “Black Pearl” ​with fire flames behind it, cannons, parrots and a treasure chest with coins for children, and we all dressed the part, ARRRgh!

So mateys, enjoy this recipe with all vegetables or add your own meat with some extra sauce. Captain Sparrow would have been proud.


Michele Howard photo

Killer Vegetable Chili

Serves 10 – 2 cup portions

  • 1 onion yellow or white, chopped
  • 2 cups red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped small
  • ​1 zucchini, chopped small
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine​
  • ​3 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped fine​
  • 29 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 14.5 ounce can of petite cut tomatoes, save juice to use later
  • 15 ounce can of white beans, drained​
  • 15 ounce can of black beans, drained
  • 15 ounce can of kidney beans, drained
  • ​4 ounce can of fire roasted green chilies, mild or medium hot, drained
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons cumin, ground
  • 1 heaping tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 level tablespoon Ancho chili, ground
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dried Anaheim chili, ground
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine

NOTE: This recipe is not that hot tasting, so if you prefer hotter chili flavor, add more jalapenos, smoked chipotle and ground chili powder.​

In a five-quart skillet, saute on medium-high the first five ingredients with two tablespoons olive oil or canola oil until half cooked. Add in the jalapeno and garlic and stir well. Drain the beans and green chilies in a large strainer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add tomato sauce and petite cut tomatoes including the juice into the skillet and stir well. Add in all spices, chili powders and stir well.

Stir in beans and green chilies.

Cover the skillet with a lid and simmer on low for 45 minutes, before adding cilantro. Use a heavy duty skillet, like a Dutch oven for this part, so the bottom won’t burn.

Chili can be served with cornbread, warm tortillas, biscuits or cheesy jalapeno toast. Chili can be frozen in portions.

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