Veggie-Loaded Chili (and it’s freezer-friendly!)

Veggie-Loaded Chili
After what I posted last week about not being ready for fall recipes yet, you probably think I’m a big hypocrite for posting this Veggie-Loaded Chili today. But let me explain! This is not a fall recipe, you see. It’s what I like to call a transitional recipe. It uses summer produce (which is still readily available!), but it’s a perfect dinner for a chilly September evening. And if it’s still too early for chilly evenings where you live, well, that’s okay, because you can make this chili ahead of time and freeze it.

Veggie-Loaded Chili Ingredients
I know I’ve mentioned this several times before, but I’m a volume eater. A lot of chili recipes have pretty paltry serving sizes, but I want to have a BIG bowl of chili. If I had a big bowl of chili made with tempeh or beans, that would mean a lot of calories–calories that I don’t need to eat. So my solution is to cram as many veggies into my chili as I can. This gives me more bang for my buck calorie-wise, but it’s also a lot tastier too. Because: VEGGIES! Isn’t a bowl full of veggies much more appetizing than a big bowl of beans?

If you decide you want to make this with summer produce and then freeze it for later this fall, you’ll follow the recipe instructions as they’re written below, let the chili cool a bit, then pack it in a freezer bag or Tupperware container and pop it in the freezer. If it’s in Tupperware, you can microwave it while it’s still frozen; otherwise, just let it thaw in the fridge for a day or two and heat it up on the stovetop over medium heat. Easy!

Veggie-Loaded Chili
Chris tops his chili with pepper jack cheese, sour cream, and cilantro, while I opt to leave out the sour cream. Crumbled tortilla chips or crackers would be perfect too and if you really want to go wild, you could serve this over baked sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes! Am I slowly getting used to the idea that fall is almost here? Perhaps. But only if there’s chili involved.

Veggie-Loaded Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Veggie-Loaded Chili

A freezer-friendly chili recipe made with end-of-summer veggies.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional; 1/4 teaspoon is very spicy!)
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small yellow squash, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ear corn, kernels removed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can), rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans (or 1 can), rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it’s softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the zucchini, yellow squash, and red pepper; cook until they’re softened, 7-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, corn, and beans. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.   Read more from Kiersten →

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  1. says

    Yes, chili is good any time of year! I hear you on leaving out the sour cream- it’s so easy to eat too much of it 😉 Off to check on our garden corn (almost ready!)…

    • Kiersten says

      YES! Ha! I was wondering if anyone would notice that. There’s a store about an hour from here that carries them and when we were there last time, my husband bought about 6 cases. We don’t even have room for them in the pantry, so they’re sitting on the floor. 🙂 I needed something else in the shot, so I grabbed a bottle.

  2. says

    My chili has got to be packed with veggies! Looking at the grey sky outside and wrapped up in a blanket right now it’s definitely chili weather :S

  3. says

    Chili season is upoooooon usssss! I LOVE soup and chili and my eyeballs are going crazy over your veggie-filled bowl. I’m a volume eater too!!! I’ve never “heard” anyone else say that, so I feel like my heart and soul is connected right up to yours right now (phew, okay, no more creepiness, I promise). Stuffing myself on veggies is my favorite thing to do…we’ll leave it at that. Hope you had a great weekend!

    • Kiersten says

      HA HA! Maybe I just have no shame. Maybe I should keep volume eating as my dark, dark secret? I pile veggies onto and into everything–pizza, pasta, casseroles, soups.

  4. says

    this recipe is speaking to me, as well! i’m a volume eater, as well. i want a BIG plate of food, or huge bowl of soup. this will do the trick quite perfectly 😉

    is this spicy? dayv isn’t a big fan of spice, but a tiny bit is ok. i’d really like to make it for us 😉

    • Kiersten says

      It’s spicy, but it’s easy to take care of that–just use regular diced tomatoes and omit the cayenne. Or, if you just want a little kick, maybe use one can of regular tomatoes and one can of tomatoes with chiles. 🙂

  5. says

    I love this seasonal chili recipe. It’s getting cool enough in the evenings to eat heartier food like this, but I’m still staying away from pumpkin/winter squash anything right now! There is plenty of time for that 🙂

    • Kiersten says

      I went grocery shopping two days ago and there were hardly any peaches, it was slim pickins for corn, but they had TONS of winter squash. I guess fall is coming soon…

  6. says

    Chilli loaded with veggies is something just wonderful! In Mumbai, it is still very hot and you’ll be surprised to know that we don’t have to wear warm clothes even in winters, when it is just slightly cold. Well, whatever is the weather, I am in love with your chilli recipe. Going to make it soon!

  7. says

    I’m making chili tonite! I’m so excited. It’s such a nice recipe for a big “veggie dump” and throw all kinds of stuff in there! I’m already hungry and it’s only 3 pm!

  8. says

    Chili season and football season go hand in hand…even if it isn’t cold out yet. I make a batch to reheat on nights when we have soccer practices too. Your recipe looks great.

  9. says

    My oldest JUST asked me last week when I would be making chili again! I thought for a moment, then realized that I didn’t necessarily want to eat chili when it was 80 degrees! I just said “Soon – when fall is here” but now … I want it – NOW!!
    Your pics are gorgeous and I love that it’s not an all day ordeal to make! I could easy whip this up between after-school activities!

  10. says

    I am a fan of saucy warming chilli too! Adding veggies are definitely the right way to enjoy guilt-free deliciousness…I like to add mine with aubergine and pumpkin 🙂
    This looks totally right up my alley, Kiersten.

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