This is a delicious and easy vegetarian chili. It's thick, spicy, and made with lots of veggies and bulgur wheat. It's meat-free and really satisfying!
This recipe is based on a chili that lives in my memory. A chili from a gourmet deli where I worked way back a long, long time ago.
The food there was excellent: fresh deli sandwiches served on homemade oatmeal bread, richly flavored soups, an array of cold salads, and tourtiere-style meat pies made by the dozens in the days leading up to Christmas. The owner had traveled extensively in Mexico and had all kinds of carved wooden figures from the Oaxaca region for sale in the shop, peeking down from shelves.
Every morning we had fresh vegetarian chili, thick and spicy, made with bulgur wheat. Though I ate that chili for lunch every day that I worked there, I never thought to ask the owner for the recipe.
I think that this version does it justice though. The tomato base is flavored with toasted spices and garlic. It is loaded with bulgur plus corn, peppers and beans giving the chili bite and heft.
Why you'll love it
This is a thick and hearty chili, perfect for dinner or lunch... or for late-night munchies. I like to top bowls of this chili with cheese and cilantro, and you can also add chopped avocado, or sour cream.
Planning a gathering like a Super Bowl party, Halloween party, or game night? Make this chili and serve it with tortilla chips or thick slices of cornbread. It's a crowd pleaser.
Whether you're a vegetarian or a proud carnivore, you'll really like how satisfying this chili is. Bulgur wheat cooks up as the chili simmers and gives an appetizing texture along with diced veggies and beans.
🔪 How to make this recipe
Step 1: Bloom the spices
Heat oil in a large pot and add in minced garlic and spices. Stir everything over medium heat for a few minutes until the garlic and spices are fragrant.
Step 2: Add in the rest of the ingredients
Stir in the tomatoes, bulgur, beer and the other ingredients. Bring the mixture to a simmer and add in the vegetables.
Step 3: Cook the chili
Simmer the chili for about a half hour until the bulgur is tender. Stir in some salt, and simmer it for a few minutes more.
Step 4: Serve it up
Ladle the chili into bowls and top them with shredded cheese and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
The recipe for Spicy Vegetarian Chili is below. Would you like some more spicy and flavorful recipes? I knew you would — here they are!
💬 What do you think of this chili recipe? Please take a second between bites to leave a star rating and a comment!
Spicy and Easy Vegetarian Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 28 ounces tomato sauce
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 12 ounces dark beer
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cups corn kernels
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeds and veins removed, diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeds and veins removed, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and veins removed, diced
- 15.5 ounces red kidney beans
- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Shredded Mexican cheese blend for serving
- Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped for garnish
Start with the garlic and spices:
- Put the oil, minced garlic, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin In a large pot or Dutch oven. Stir the ingredients together over medium heat.
- Continue to stir and cook the mixture for about 2 or 3 minutes, until the mixture is fragrant - do not allow the garlic to burn.
Add the rest of the ingredients:
- Add in the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and beer.
- Stir everything together and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Add in the onion, corn, green pepper, red pepper, jalapeno, kidney beans and bulgur. Stir to thoroughly combine everything and then cover.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the bulgur is cooked through and tender.
- Remove the lid and stir in the salt. Simmer uncovered for another 15 minutes until the chili has thickened.
- Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Top each with the shredded cheese and chopped cilantro. Serve it hot.