Gail’s Veggie Chili

I love chili. A while back Alex asked me to make a veggie version so her roomie could also enjoy it. I was skeptical; chili with no meat? But Baby Girl asked for it so I gave it a swing. Out when the meat… never to return. Since then I’ve made veggie chili exclusively: I don’t miss the meat one little bit. In fact, with the extra beans I put in for texture and protein, this might be my most healthful recipe.

This recipe makes a huge pot of veggie chili, which I then decant into single-serve containers and stick in the freezer. When I need a quick lunch or am just in the mood for Mexican, I defrost, grate some old cheddar, make some guacamole and toast some taco shells to dip and scoop. Ooooh sooo good!

Just so you know, I chop everything but the zucchini in a food processor so it’s very fine. The zucchini I cut by hand for more texture.

  • 7 large carrots chopped fine
  • 1 head cauliflower chopped fine
  • 3 red, yellow or orange peppers chopped fine
  • 1 bunch of celery chopped fine
  • 4 medium onions chopped fine
  • 5 cans (19 oz) beans: your choice. I use red and white kidney beans, chick peas and black-eyed peas (with juices from the tin)
  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 4 zucchini’s chopped medium
  • 2 large (or 4 small) tins of tomato paste
  • 5  680 ml cans tomato sauce
  • 1/3  cup (or to taste) chili powder
  • 1/3 cup (or to taste) cumin
  • 1.5 tsp celery salt
  1. Chop all the ingredients.
  2. Put the tomato paste, sauce, and beans/peas in a large pot. I use my stock-pot for this.
  3. Add chili powder, cumin, celery salt. Stir.
  4. Add carrots, cauliflower, onions.
  5. Stir and let cook on low heat for about one hour.
  6. Add celery, peppers, and corn.
  7. Let cook for another 30 minutes. Taste and adjust (add more) chili powder and cumin keeping the ratio 1:1
  8. Cook for another 30 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  9. Add chopped zucchini, stir and let cool.
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Gail Vaz-Oxlade

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13 Responses to “Gail’s Veggie Chili”

  1. Can’t wait to try! My brother in law is a vegan and I am always on the lookout for any new recipe.

    Gail – you may want to branch out and have a TV cooking show with all these terrific recipes you keep sharing!! :-)

  2. I love veggie chilli, I’ve already got 3 different recipes and I can never decide which one is better! Sure can’t wait to add this one to the stack.

  3. I hate chilli!

    Sorry, just wanted to provide an opposing view. My wife loves chilli and makes it all the time, so if anyone asks me publicly, I love chilli.

  4. If you like the idea of vegetarian but enjoy the meaty texture, try adding some cooked bulghur to the pot. It gives the illusion of ground beef.

  5. I’ll give this one a try. I like the large variety of veggies. Usually I hold the beans back until the chili is almost done so they remain firmer. Will they keep their shape if put in at the start?
    Has anyone found a good vegetarian “meat” substitute that they would recommend?

  6. TVP or Textured Vegetable Protein is a good substitute for ground beef. You would not know it is not beef. I can be found in Health food stores and I think the Bulk Barn.

  7. Healthful wise, for ladies in particular, chili with red meat and tomatoes is an excellent source of iron. You dont get the same type or enough iron from just beans.
    Though I add them to my chilli too.

    This information is from several doctors and registered dieticians.

    I would recommend for the non-vegetarian ladies to add red meat to their chilli since most women are low in iron.

    I will try the recipe,
    I may be a bit of a hypocrite since I make my lasagna vegetarian, hehe

  8. Ok, I am definitely trying this one!! Looks yummy!

  9. The easiest way to make veggie chilli is to buy Heniz chilli beans, they’re pre-seasoned. Just saute some veggies add beans and done! No need for fake meat products.

  10. avatar Adrianna Says:
    March 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’m currently challenging myself to cook one vegan dinner a week for my family and I’m glad to have another recipe to try out.

  11. avatar Michelle Says:
    March 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    We eat too much meat and this is such a nice alternative. You had mentioned this recipe in a previous radio show and this week I was going to try to make something up with the ingredients that you spoke of. So I was thrilled with the timing of this post!

    I used the (available Champion) juicer instead of the (non-existent) food processor. The texture was still amazing.

    Also, I started this recipe before I read the whole thing properly and ended up making 3/4s of it instead of halving it for the size of pot (and for the amount of ingredients) that I had. Oops. Called my sister to pick up some (it won’t all fit in my freezer…) and she loved it too!

    Thank you again, it is yummy!

  12. Looks great. My recently vegetarianized Wife sent this to me bright and early with my marching orders 😉

    Shopping today, chili tomorrow!

    As far as the cooking show idea… Can you imagine? Gail’s charisma and humour combined with money friendly meals! Zowie!

  13. If you add a square or two of dark chocolate, you’ll be shocked at the new dimension it can add to chilis. Spectacular!

    @Ashley – Read Dr. Neil Barnard’s book on Power foods for the Brain. Excessive iron consumption is linked to many problems, but particularly Alzheimer’s. Vegeratians and vegans get all the iron and protein they need from plants. Have a look at any review of T. Colin Campbell’s book “The China Study” on the links between animal foods and cancer as well. The science is solid, but the iron and protein myths are still prevalent thinking.

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