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

Veggie-Loaded Chili Recipe

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.

Print this recipe
Veggie-Loaded Chili

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

40 minutes

Total Time

55 minutes


4-6 servings


  • 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.


Hi Sarah! I think this would work in a crockpot. I’d have to guess at the cook time, but I’d say 3-4 hours on low or 5-6 on high.

I always end up making a huge batch of veggie chilli on Christmas Eve – filling but not calorie high and makes good use of all the veggies that might sit sadly in the fridge while all the other types of eating are going on.

I’ve been collecting chili recipes to try this Fall/Winter, and I’ve bookmarked this one! I like the sounds of the veggie combo you included (I love corn in chili!) and the mix of beans too. A higher veggie to beans ratio sounds good to me!

I just finished making this and it’s way good (even though I messed up added an entire tiny can of tomato paste instead of just two tablespoons and then had to add some water to calm down the tomato intensity that resulted!

just found your site and recently made the decision to go 100% plant based for a couple of months to sort out some health issues, so looking for lots of delicious recipes, I’m a good cook so can make anything really

I am a total chili addict and cannot get it hot enough mostly, will give your recipe a go, made one last week that was mostly cauliflower, red pepper, carrot and mushroom – was tasty but not really like a chili

gonna hang out on your site checking all the info, already love it

If you want a chili that has a texture similar to one made with ground beef, try crumbled tempeh. I usually replace it for the meat ounce-for-ounce, adding a little oil to brown it in since it’s not fatty like beef.

I made this last night and it was so hearty and delicious! I had two cans of Triple beans (black, kidney and pinto) so I used those and only change was that I added a pack of McCormick Chili Seasoning. We had crinkle fries and the chili on top. I was shocked at how delicious it turned out. I’ll admit I was nervous it wouldn’t have a hearty flavor or would come out tasting like tomato stew. This recipe is my first attempt into vegetarian cuisine other than salads, pasta and sauce or sautéed vegetable “medleys” I created.

Thank you so much.

I know this is an older recipe but I just made it today and I wanted to tell you how much I love it! This is the most flavorful chili I have eaten and it’s the first I’ve made without meat. I made a few adjustments to the recipe – I added a can of green chilies, a can of garbanzo beans, and I cut a sweet potato into small pieces and tossed that in as well. I cooked it a little longer than the recipe said (to ensure the potatoes were well done) and it turned out spectacularly! I have been making chili and freezing individual portions for the week, and I can tell you that this is one I will be making again!

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