Vegetarian 4-Bean Chili

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READY IN: 1hr 15mins
Recipe by Spoonfed

I’m definitely NOT a vegetarian. I’m a die-hard carnivore but I do like to try to do meatless, or nearly meatless, meals about once a week. It’s good for the earth, it’s good for our bank account and it’s a sneaky way to get my husband and kids to eat more veggies. If you’re not into any of that, you can definitely use meat in this dish and it will be great! That’s actually how I made it the first time, using ground turkey instead of the soy crumbles and chicken stock instead of the vegetable broth. It’s your call! Also, if you’re missing any of the spices or ingredients, don’t sweat it! Everything is negotiable and this recipe is based on what I had handy when I made it – you could switch out things, or just omit a few items, and change it up a bit. The idea is to have fun! Enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium high heat. Add all the chopped vegetables (onion, jalapeno, sweet peppers, garlic, and carrots). Cook about 5 minutes until softened. Add in the spices, using amounts to your preference. Continue to cook for 2-4 minutes to allow the spices to toast so their flavor and aroma will fully bloom.
  2. Add the Dijon mustard and the frozen meatless crumbles. (If using ground turkey, brown that first in the oil and then add in the vegetables and spices and proceed to the next steps.) Now, deglaze the pan with the beer – feel free to drink the other half of the bottle at this point too! Deglazing is a fancy word for adding liquid to a pot with meat and/or veggies and aromatics cooking. When you add the liquid, and scrape up the bottom of the pot, you’ll get a lot of yummy browned its packed with flavor.
  3. Next add the tomatoes along with any liquid in the can, and add the broth. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes on medium. Now, add all the well-rinsed and drained beans and simmer for 5-10 minutes more uncovered. Add the frozen corn kernels and diced butternut squash, cover, and simmer on med-low for about 15-20 additional minutes. Add cilantro and season to taste with salt, pepper, hot sauce, and any more of the spices from the earlier addition.
  4. This is a great healthy chili on it’s own. It’s also wonderful over whole-grain spaghetti, or as topping for a baked potato. I like to top it with finely chopped green onions, shredded reduced fat Monterrey jack cheese, and light sour cream. It makes a big batch so feel free to freeze half of it right away. If you don’t dig corn, butternut squash or cilantro, you can omit those. Be daring though – all of those unusual additions give the chili great texture, and a wonderful depth of flavor. Plus, they boost the fiber, vitamin and antioxidant content, and they stretch the dish very economically. Round out your meal with some more of that beer (you probably had to buy a 6-pack anyway, right?) and something light and fruity for dessert.

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