Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Ready for Meatless Monday? Try this family favorite spicy vegetarian chili!

Last weekend Atlanta had our first snow of the winter! I know a lot of southerners don’t love the snow but I feel like snow days here are few and far between so I cherish each cold white day we get. I put the pups in their winter sweaters (which you can see here 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. 😉

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.

Yum! A spicy vegetarian chili that even meat lovers will enjoy!

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.

I can't wait to try this spicy vegetarian chili! This looks so good and it's such an easy recipe.

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).

I’ll usually serve the spicy vegetarian chili with sweet cornbread so it balances the spice of the jalapeno and sriracha.

Yum! This spicy vegetarian chili recipe looks delicious and it's such an quick dinner idea!

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. 

Honey Walnut Breakfast Loaf
A delicious and hearty breakfast loaf sweetened with honey rather than sugar.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 1 cup milk
  7. 3/4 cup honey
  8. 2 tbsp butter, melted and brought to room temperature
  9. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 1 cup chopped black walnuts, divided
  1. Preheat your oven to 350-degrees
  2. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until well-blended.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the large egg until no solid remains.
  5. Add milk, honey, butter, and vanilla extract to the medium bowl with the egg. Beat until well-blended.
  6. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, beating until just combined.
  7. Gently fold 3/4 cup chopped walnuts into the dough.
  8. Add the dough into the greased loaf pan and top with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped walnuts. Gently press the walnuts into top of the bread dough.
  9. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 - 15 minutes before removing from pan.
  1. If your bread turns out dense you likely overworked the dough when combining the wet and dry ingredients.
  2. You may substitute pecans for walnuts if you don't have walnuts available.
Adapted from Grandma's Family Recipe
Adapted from Grandma's Family Recipe
Honey & Pine http://www.honeyandpine.co/

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


  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 😉 experiment time!!!

    Thanks for a great recipe!

    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    • 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. 😉

  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. 🙂

  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! 🙂

    • 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. 😉

    • 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. 🙂

  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 🙂

  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 🙂

  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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