Vegetarian Chili


This month, we’re featuring comfort food recipes, and what could be more comforting than curling up with a warm bowl of chili? (It’s also an easy meal to serve when friends come over.) Today, Erica from The Mama Circle shares her recipe for this hearty vegetarian chili that’s good for your body and soul. Here’s how she makes it…

Vegetarian Chili
by Erica Chidi of The Mama Circle

Winter is for cozy bowl food. Winter also means an abundance of my favorite vegetable—squash. Beautiful, colorful, oddly shaped squash.

I prefer to use delicata squash in this chili because the flesh gets tender and sweet when cooked, which means no need for a peeler! Hearty, nutritious and ready to serve in under an hour, this fail-proof chili always hits the spot. In fact, I find that it tastes even better the next day. Quick tip: If you’re planning to eat the chili over a few days, add some fresh kale each time to reboot it!


Recipe: Vegetarian Chili

What you’ll need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups of 1/2-inch pieces delicata squash, unpeeled
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon of red chill flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 can of black beans, rinsed, drained
1 can of pinto beans, rinsed, drained
1 can of kidney beans, rinsed, drained
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
4 cups roughly chopped kale
1 handful of chopped cilantro and italian parsley
Grated monterey jack cheese and sour cream, for serving

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and golden, about 7-10 minutes. Then add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more or until fragrant. Add squash; sauté for 5 minutes.

Stir in chili powder, cumin, brown sugar and cinnamon, and coat onions, garlic and squash. Then stir in beans, broth and tomatoes with juices; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Feel free to serve it up with a dollop of sour cream and grated jack cheese.

Thank you so much, Erica!

P.S. More best recipes, including chicken soup and cheesy mashed potatoes. And Erica’s beauty uniform.

(Recipe and photos by Erica Chidi. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for helping with this series.)

  1. Misha says...

    I just wanted you to know that I love your recipes the most of any site – and I am making this one tonight almost three years after you first posted it – thank you so much!

  2. I made this tonight and it was delicious!! Only one problem–I had to guess at when to add the kale (unless I’m totally misreading the recipe–with 2 kids underfoot you never know!) This was a perfect CA fall dinner!

  3. I don’t know that I’d call that chili, but it looks like a tasty soup, nonetheless.

  4. Looks amazing! And utterly delicious. I crave soups/ stews constantly in the winter. Kinda weird to have the stem end in shot.

  5. I would never think to leave the peel of the squash on! So delicious looking!

  6. Yum! Especially with some sweet potato cornbread!

  7. Ah, man! I CANNOT find squash anywhere in Japan!

  8. Great idea! I love to add corn, carrots, and sweet potato to my veggie chili! Sometimes I will even throw in a can or two of green chilis from Trader Joe’s! All this plus a little homemade cornbread, it’s the perfect meal : ) So delicious!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. This looks really good! I am not a massive beans fan but have been looking for a vegetarian option of the typical (or not so typical) Chili. I think I’ll give this a try. It looks like something I would enjoy!

  11. Can you tell me where that beautiful spoon is from?

  12. I ADORE squash! Thank you so much for sharing, this looks lovely!

    Jade x ♡

  13. It looks so delicious- I’m planning to make it tomorrow. Thanks a lot for the recipe!

  14. Very pretty…but even if I don’t have to peel, I’d at least remove the stem end. And…no cilantro for me.