Main Course Mexican Recipes Side Dish Vegetarian

Vegetarian Chili

Mexican cuisine has developed into a distinctly new-world fusion of well evolved native food traditions with Spanish, African and Asian influences. Corn and beans were staples of most native tribes in Pre-Columbian America. In colonial times, the Spanish imposed their European traditions that would eventually become incorporated with native foods. As a result of the slave trade, spices and cooking methods from Africa and Asia were introduced to compliment the dish. This influence evolved into the dish’s signature spice combination of chili and cumin.

puerto vallarta
Jalisco, Mexico. Photo: K.R. Lamoureux

Most of us are familiar with chili con carne (Spanish for chili with meat). But once you’ve tried the meatless version, you will be surprised at how awesome it is a purely vegetable dish. For your guests who want meat with the meal, simply accompany this chile with some chorizo or slow roast baby back ribs.

vegetarian chile

Vegetarian Chili

Kevin Lamoureux
This healthy and hearty chili dish works as a main or a side dish.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people
Calories 280 kcal


  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 rib celery chopped
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 1 can kidney beans (19 oz)
  • 1 can black beans (19 oz )
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (12 oz)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup passata or tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese grated


  • Sauté the onions, red pepper and celery in a large skillet or wok until tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, open the cans (saving liquid) and mash about ½ of the black beans.
  • Stir in the garlic and chili flakes. Cook for about a minute.
  • Add all the beans, corn, (including liquid from cans), tomatoes, vegetable broth, tomato sauce and spices. Bring to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer for about 60 minutes.
  • Serve with hot crusty bread or tortilla chips and top with grated cheese. 


For a gluten free option, serve with corn flour tortillas, tostados or chips. 
Keyword chili, vegetarian

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