Vegetarian Chili

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With Superbowl only weeks away, I thought I’d try a new chili recipe as it tends to be a game day favorite. And with everyone on a health kick in January,  vegetarian seemed  like a good option 🙂  I didn’t add corn to this recipe but you can certainly add or substitute  other vegetables from what I used.

The secret to this recipe is adding a little cocoa powder.  It definitely adds more flavor to the dish but you can omit it if you prefer.  Since I only needed a little, I used a higher quality brand like Valrhona. Any brand will do, but make sure you use unsweetened cocoa powder.

This recipe can easily be made in a crock pot.  After cooking the vegetables, transfer to a crock pot, add seasoning and rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours.

Serves 8


  • 2 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced  (I used 2 different colors)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened  cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼  teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans
  • 1 (15oz) can kidney beans
  • 1 (15oz) can pinto beans
  • 1( 28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

Optional garnish: cheese, cilantro, green onions, avocado, sour cream, red onion


Chop  vegetables and set aside.

Drain and rinse beans and set aside . I used 3 types of beans for variety and color but you can use any type you prefer.

In a large pot, heat  oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell peppers and cook, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add zucchini and garlic and cook until vegetables are soft,  about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add all seasonings to pot and cook, stirring until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add beans, tomatoes and  broth and stir well, bringing to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low and simmer stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or longer as needed.

Adjust seasoning and add garnish, to taste.

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