Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

This vegetarian chili is every bit as warm, comforting, and filling as my Weeknight Chili With Homemade Chili Paste. It’s loaded with veggies and the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and fire-roasted tomatoes give it a delicious smoky kick that every chili needs. It’s made with the most delicious, perfectly-seasoned, classic savoury chili flavors we all love. It’s also naturally gluten-free and vegan, and full of lots of good-for-you protein and nutrients. It also freezes really well so go ahead and make a double batch - you will thank yourself later.

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

This is a chili we make often especially in the winter when we are craving hearty and delicious soups and stews. This is one of my favourite chili recipes that whips up in no time. There is a fair bit of chopping involved like any recipe that is veggie loaded but worth it - they all add flavour and delicious texture to this chili. It’s the perfect meal for weeknight dinner, game day, or even potlucks.

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

What’s in a vegetarian/vegan chili?

  • Veggies: I love to use my basic soup and stew combo of veggies to start with - carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Then I add some sweet peppers and jalapeños for some sweetness and a touch of heat. You can pretty much add whatever veggies you like - the veggie combo in this recipe is my go to for chili.
  • Stock or water: When given the choice I will always choose stock for extra flavour. Feel free to add in more/less according to how soupy/ or thick you like your chili to be.
  • Diced tomatoes: I love using fire-roasted diced tomatoes but any kind of diced tomatoes will do or whole tomatoes work too they just need to be chopped before going into the pot. I usually used canned but fresh tomatoes can be used in this recipe too - details and amounts below in recipe. I also add some crushed tomatoes or passata for an extra rich and saucy chili.
  • Beans: My favorite to use in chili are black beans and pinto but you can use whatever beans you prefer. Other options are red kidney beans, Great Northern beans or you can add Chick peas or even lentils too if you want your chili even more hearty. I tend to use good quality canned beans because they are so convenient but feel free to use cooked from dry beans. Exact amounts for cooked beans below in recipe notes.
  • Quinoa: For me, quinoa is the Ingredient that makes a vegetarian chili taste and feel a bit more “meaty.” Feel free to swap out the quinoa for another grain like farro, barley or bulgur making sure to add extra stock accordingly. Or you can also add in some very-finely-chopped nuts, like cashews, walnuts or pecans for that extra texture! If you wanted a grain free option - cauliflower rice would work well in this recipe too. The shredded carrot also plays a big textural part as well and adds a nice subtle sweetness to the chili.
  • Flavourings and Seasonings: The Chipotle peppers in adobo add so much flavour, a bit of heat and smoke to this chili. I love them! Feel free to use chili powder powder if you don’t have any Chipotle peppers - amounts listed in recipe below. I love adding smoked paprika, and ground cumin too.

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

Once all your ingredients are in the pot and have simmered away until they are tender and smelling amazing, the big decision will be what to top your chili with. The options are endless. I love to load mine up with the many options I have listed below in the recipe and I recommend you do the same. I also love a squeeze of lime juice in mine as well as a coupe of dashes of hot sauce. A warm bowl of chili with all the toppings or maybe a side of corn bread or even just some crusty bread a glass of wine and my night is made. Hope you enjoy this one you guys!


Servings: 6-8
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45-60 mins


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium size carrot peeled and shredded/grated
  • 1 rib of celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed (sub with cauliflower rice for a grain free version)
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo - seeds removed and finley chopped (or 1.5 tablespoons of chili powder)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 28 oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes (if using fresh use 2 medium or 6 plum tomatoes)
  • 1½ cups crushed tomatoes or Passata
  • 1½ cup of broth or water plus more if needed
  • 1 (19-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (19-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste

Garnish options:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Lime wedge
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Sour cream/greek yogurt
  • Chopped chives or red onion


  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery carrots, pepper, garlic and jalapeño and sauté, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa, paprika, cumin, chipotle peppers and stir until well combined.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes, the crushed tomatoes, broth and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 45min to 1 hour adding more stock as needed. Season with salt to taste.
  3. Serve immediately, piled high with all of your favorite toppings. Or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

  • If you would like to use your own cooked beans you will need 1½ cups cooked pinto or kidney beans and 2½ cups cooked black beans.
  • I like a little bit of heat in my chili - I would say this is on the milder side. Please test and vary the amount of jalapeños and chipotle peppers in adobo you add to suit your taste. If you don’t like heat I would just add ½ of a jalapeño and only one chipotle pepper just enough to add some flavour and smokiness without too much heat.

Adapted From Epicurious

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili