Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Packed with vegetables, beans and spices, this zesty, healthy vegetarian chili recipe is loaded with protein from textured vegetable protein, also known as TVP. We like the combination of okra, corn, tomatoes and beans, but feel free to use your favorites, such as peas, carrots or mushrooms. Using whole-grain bulgur adds fiber and helps bulk up portion size, making this vegetarian chili hearty and satisfying. After all the ingredients are added to the pot, we like to slowly simmer our chili for close to an hour to develop the best flavor, but if you’re in a hurry, reduce the liquid by half and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

From EatingWell: September/October 2013
Yield: 6 servings
Active Time: 40
Total Time: 90


  1. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  2. 3/4 cup TVP (see Tip)
  3. 1 large onion, diced
  4. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 8 ounces okra, sliced (3 cups)
  6. 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  7. 1/2 cup bulgur
  8. 2 tablespoons chili powder
  9. 1 tablespoon paprika
  10. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  11. 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  12. 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  13. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  14. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  15. 1 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  16. 1 15-ounce can no-salt added kidney beans, rinsed
  17. 1 15-ounce can no-salt added black beans, rinsed
  18. 4 cups vegetable or “no-chicken” broth
  19. 2 cups water


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add TVP, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onion starts to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add okra and corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add bulgur, chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, ground chipotle pepper, cayenne and salt and cook, stirring, until aromatic, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans and black beans, then pour in broth and water; bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and thickened and the TVP and bulgur are tender, about 50 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • TVP, or textured vegetable protein, is made from defatted soy flour. Its crumbly, chewy texture and mild flavor make it a perfect meat substitute for vegetarians. Look for TVP with whole grains in natural-foods stores or in the natural-foods aisle of well-stocked supermarkets.


Nutrition Per Serving: 343 calories; 9 g fat (1 g sat, 6 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 50 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 17 g fiber; 590 mg sodium; 1155 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (49% daily value), Magnesium (39% dv), Potassium (33% dv), Iron (31% dv), Vitamin C (30% dv), Calcium (20% dv)

3 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat