Spicy Vegetarian Chili

We love cooking up this spicy vegetarian chili during winter months. This vegetarian chili recipe is so good even meat eaters will love it (I promise!). Recipe via Honey & Pine #recipes #chilirecipe #spicychili #vegetarianchili #meatlessmonday #easyvegetarianrecipe

Last weekend we had our first snow of the winter! I put the pups in their winter sweaters (which you can see on Instagram) and we trotted outside to play in the snow a little bit. They weren’t really fans but at least I can say I tried. πŸ˜‰

When we got back inside I knew I was going to cook up a pot of my spicy vegetarian chili. There’s just nothing quiet like chili on a cold winter night. This chili is one of my go-to favorites around here because it makes enough for at least 6 and since it’s only the two of us here it’ll make dinner for 3 nights. I usually make it on a Sunday because that means I don’t have to fret about dinner on Monday night after what is always a hectic day.We love cooking up this spicy vegetarian chili during winter months. This vegetarian chili recipe is so good even meat eaters will love it (I promise!). Recipe via Honey & Pine #recipes #chilirecipe #spicychili #vegetarianchili #meatlessmonday #easyvegetarianrecipe

There are two main ways to make this a vegetarian chili and I regularly do them both. The first (the way I did it for this post) is to use meatless crumbles in place of the ground beef. I prefer to use Gardein Meatless Ground but you can use any sort of beef-substitute crumble. Gardein is just the best-tasting one I’ve found so far; I regularly use it in tacos/nachos, chili, burgers, etc. The other way to make this vegetarian is to use 1 cup of red quinoa. You can actually use any color quinoa but I prefer the red so it blends in with the color of the tomatoes and the kidney beans in the spicy vegetarian chili.

As a bonus, even the meat-eaters in my family love this recipe and I’ve made it for them plenty of times when they’ve visited in the winter. My Dad is a big steak-and-potatoes guy but when he visited during Christmas, 2015 I had this on the stove when the arrived and he loved it (although I did leave out the sriracha and jalapenos because he doesn’t really like spicy food).

We love cooking up this spicy vegetarian chili during winter months. This vegetarian chili recipe is so good even meat eaters will love it (I promise!). Recipe via Honey & Pine #recipes #chilirecipe #spicychili #vegetarianchili #meatlessmonday #easyvegetarianrecipe

We love cooking up this spicy vegetarian chili during winter months. This vegetarian chili recipe is so good even meat eaters will love it (I promise!). Recipe via Honey & Pine #recipes #chilirecipe #spicychili #vegetarianchili #meatlessmonday #easyvegetarianrecipe

I’ll usually serve the spicy vegetarian chili with sweet cornbread so it balances the spice of the jalapeno and sriracha. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! I make this at least 3 – 4 times during the winter and it’s a hit every single time with both the vegetarian’s and the meat-lovers. It’s just one of our favorite meals. 

Spicy Vegetarian Chili
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
  1. 1/2 lb Gardein Meatless Ground or 1/2 cup cooked red quinoa
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 onion, diced
  5. 2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  6. 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
  7. 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
  8. 1 large jalapeno, diced
  9. 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  10. 2 tsp ground cumin
  11. 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  12. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  13. 1/2 tsp oregano
  14. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  15. 1 (15-oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  16. 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  17. 3 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
  18. Cheddar cheese, shredded, optional
  19. Sour cream for garnish, optional
More Love:   Spicy Breakfast Potatoes with Sunny Side Up Egg
  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become slightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. If using, add Gardein meatless ground and cook until browned. If using quinoa, add quinoa and immediately proceed to the next step.
  2. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, sriracha, and 1.5 - 2 cups of water. The water should fully cover the top of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 - 45 minutes, until thickened. Add beans and cilantro. Simmer until heated through, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately garnished with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, if desired.
Honey and Pine Co

Doesn’t it sound delicious? Are you looking forward to trying it?

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  1. This looks delish!!! I think I would probably go with the red quinoa as I like the texture in chili.

    We’ve recently given up beef for the new year, while I normally make my chili with turkey (seriously, it’s all in the spices flavour wise anyway) I like this veggie idea since I want to try and work that in to my diet more often… I doubt the mister would even notice πŸ˜‰ experiment time!!!

    Thanks for a great recipe!

    Laura @

    • Laura, I made this exact chili when my parents came to visit and my Dad didn’t notice at all. He owns a hunting lodge and is a big steak and potatoes guy but he loved it so much he had two big bowls of it. I bet your husband will love it too.

  2. Holy cow this looks amazing! I love spicy foods. The spicier the better! We’ve recently cut back on a lot of our meat consumption so I’m excited to give this a try. Thanks!

    • You’re welcome Courtney! It’s ridiculously easy and it’s super good! The first time I made it I overdid it on the Sriracha a little bit and made it a bit TOO spicy. In that case, serving with a dollop of sour cream solved the problem. πŸ˜‰

  3. You’re welcome Divya! Soup and chili is pretty much all we eat during the winter because it’s easy and it warms us right up. This is one of our favorites for sure and I hope you enjoy it as well.

    • Thanks Terri! I make a sweet yellow cornbread when I make this chili so the sweetness balances the spiciness of the chili. I made a jalapeno cheese cornbread once but it was too much spicy stuff. πŸ™‚

  4. Hmm, I don’t know, it’s hard for me to eat a meal without meat. But this sounds really good and comforting on a cold night! πŸ™‚

    • Abbey, I totally get that but I promise you that won’t miss it if you use the Gardein meatless ground. I’ve found it at Publix and at Target in the frozen food section. I’m just super specific about it being Gardein because I’ve tried other brands and haven’t loved it. If you didn’t make it yourself I’ll bet you wouldn’t even realize it wasn’t beef in the chili. It fooled my Dad once. πŸ˜‰

    • Allison, we are kind of the same way only it’s me that prefers it spicy and him that prefers it a little bit milder. In that case, you have options. I’ll either leave the sriracha out and stir a little bit into my bowl as I serve the chili or I’ll serve his with a dollop of sour cream on top which will help cool the spiciness of the sriracha and jalapenos. πŸ™‚

  5. I will most definitely have to try this recipe! It looks delicious and I have been looking for some great recipes for #meatlessmondays and chili is always a good thing in the winter months!

  6. this looks so yummy! i love the shredded cheese on top! i have a few friends that are vegetarian and i could make this at my next gathering! i’m sure everyone would love it!

  7. I have never made a vegetarian chili my kids liked so i will defintely pin this and try it this winter.

  8. This looks perfect for these cold winter days! I have never tried red quinoa though, so that would be something new for me!

  9. Oh yum. I am all about spice since having baby #7 so this would be right up my alley! Looks and sounds just delicious!

  10. We try to do Vegetarian day at least once a week but I always struggle with recipes! I’ll definitely be trying this over the winter!

  11. This looks so yummy! I’m a huge lover of spicy food so I might try and make this for me and my boyfriend πŸ™‚

  12. Yum! That looks sooo good! The hubs and I have been trying to plan more meat free nights into our weekly menus and this looks like a winner!

  13. I adore chili in the fall and winter. I don’t eat red meat anymore so I use ground turkey or veggies. I actually prefer the vegetarian version because it is more filling and hearty.

  14. This looks like just what I need (though, I might add some ground turkey to it lol) to cuddle up with and a good book. Thanks for sharing!

  15. This sounds like a great chilli! You’re right, you really want warm, homely food when its cold outside. I want to try and get away from eating so much meat so this would be great for me πŸ™‚

  16. I have never had a vegetarian chili before but it looks delicious! I might even be able to get my family to eat it.

  17. My whole family loves chili. It is our favorite. I love trying different variations. I think my kids would like a little kick to the chili.

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