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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

Marvelous and meatless, this chili is still hearty enough to warm the heart and belly of any chili lover. The chipotle chili powder gives this slow cooker recipe the kick it needs to make it an instant favorite for vegetarians with a penchant for spicy foods. We are positive you are going to love this homey and satisfying meal.

— Shelby Kinnaird

Click here for more recipes from the Diabetic Foodie.

Click here for more of the 101 Best Slow Cooker Recipes


  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Cups kidney beans, cooked from dried beans (or use rinsed canned beans)
  • 10 Ounces frozen corn
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 avocados, diced just before serving

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Need a hearty chili that will satisfy not only the veggie eaters but even the meat eaters too? This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili is so rich and tasty that nobody will miss the meat!

If you are lucky enough to be in an area that has not been impacted this week by the polar vortex that brought sub-zero wind chills and temps, then chili might not be on your radar. But it's certainly been on mine, because the only thing I've wanted to eat for the last several days are bowls of piping hot soup and chili because staying warm on the inside has even been a challenge. Now, with the big game coming up this weekend, chili is likely on everyone's radar. And whether you are feeding veggie eaters or just want a healthier option, this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili is delicious and filling enough to please all.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

With the air starting to crisp, we all seem to crave comfort food. I'll gladly take any comfort food, but give me a bowl of chili and I'm content.

If you haven't noticed yet, football games have begun - preseason for the professionals and college. Are you in it for the food or the games? I'm a for a little bit of both. The best of both worlds.

Before I get any further into this post. How many times a week or month do you have meatless nights? Are they typically on Monday for you? I try to aim around two meatless nights a week. Sometimes my better half doesn't even notice! Particularly this slow cooker vegetarian chipotle chili.

This fall and football season, I encourage you to take the #MeatlessMondayNight challenge. Not only are meatless and dairy-free diets great for you, but they can be amazing - trust me.

You will be surprised at how easy this slow cooker chili is! All you have to do is add all of the ingredients into your slow cooker and allow it to cook-all-day long. Besides the occasional stir and taste. Oh, please taste because it has to be perfect to serve it to our guests.

That's what I keep telling my better half!

Don't mind any kind of meat in your chili? Try adding our shredded beef chili or even pumpkin chili to your menu! You will be surprised how delicious the pumpkin chili is.

There are a couple of tips I think I could share with you. You can sauté the onions before adding them to your slow cooker, or you can add them raw. To keep the recipe completely meatless and dairy-free, I added Silk Almond Milk to make it a little creamier.

Smoky Chipotle Vegetarian Chili

Special Equipment: Slow cooker (if following the slow cooker method)

Ingredients US Metric

  • For the chili
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper (if unavailable, double on red), chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Stems from 1 bunch of cilantro (leaves reserved for garnish)
  • One (7-ounce) can mild green chiles
  • 2 or 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Three (15-ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • Two (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • One (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • One (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • One (12-ounce) bottle dark Mexican beer (Negra Modelo if you can find it)
  • For the garnishes
  • Leaves from 1 bunch cilantro
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 limes, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 avocados, seeded, peeled, diced, and tossed with lime juice


To make the Smoky Chipotle Vegetarian Chili in your slow cooker, see the Slow Cooker Variation below.

To make the Smoky Chipotle Vegetarian Chili on the stovetop, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and sauté until they’re beginning to caramelize, about 8 minutes.

Add the zucchini and yellow squash and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, combine the garlic cloves, cilantro stems, green chiles, and chipotle chiles in a small food processor and process until minced. Add 1/2 cup of the stock and pulse to combine or stir together in a bowl.

Add the chile mixture and the tomatoes to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the beans, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, beer, and the remaining 1 1/2 cups stock. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the chili thickens and the vegetables soften, about 30 minutes.

Remove the pot of chili from the heat and plonk it on another burner, the countertop, or the table. Place each garnish in a bowl and call your guests. (The chili is best if made the night before and rewarmed gently over low heat. It can keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.)

Slow Cooker Variation

Can we make this vegetarian chili any easier? You betcha. Follow step 1 as directed, then transfer it to the slow cooker. Repeat with the zucchini and yellow squash. Then add the chile mixture, tomatoes, beans, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, beer, and stock to the pot, using only half the amount of beer and stock called for in the original recipe. Cook on medium, covered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then cook on high, uncovered, for another 1 hour and 30 minutes.

[Editor’s Note: Bear in mind, no two slow cookers are exactly alike, just as no two cooks are exactly alike. This slow-cooker approach worked really, really well for us, although if you have a different slow-cooker cooking technique you want to try by all means, do so. And, natch, we’d love if you’d share it with us in a comment below.] Curious to hear more about working magic with your slow cooker? Peruse our entire selection of slow cooker recipes.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Sofia Reino

All I can say is…let football season—and the parties that come along with the games—start! I’m looking forward to replicating this recipe for a bunch of friends during football season, as this will be a hit! Spicy enough to enjoy a nice beer with it, yet not so crazy-spicy that kids (at least mine) won’t be able to eat it. The aroma was absolutely divine—the whole house smelled as good as the chili tasted. Also a great way to make kids and adults who usually shun veggies fill their tummies with wonderful fall vegetables.

Tricia Seibold

Wow. You definitely do NOT miss the meat in this flavorful chili! I was a little unsure about it at first, but with the combination of three different beans and the squash, layered with the depth of the chipotles, spices, and beer, this is a hearty, delicious meal. Definitely a keeper, and makes adding vegetarian meals (Meatless Monday, anyone?) into the mix a breeze. I served this with corn cakes (nothing fancy, just off the side of the Jiffy box, but with some added cheese), along with the leftover Negro Modelo, and it was a big hit for dinner.

Linda Pacchiano

This is a great vegetable chili recipe. The ingredients all work well together and create wonderful texture and flavor in the dish. The chipotles add a dimension of smokiness not usually found in chili recipes. For garnishes, I cooked some rice and put out bowls of Cheddar Jack cheese, diced scallions, tomatoes, olives, shredded lettuce, cilantro leaves, guacamole, and sour cream.

Chiyo Ueyama

A perfect summertime chili. The seasonal vegetables taste fresh, and the short cooking time is always welcome during warm months. The beans give the chili substance, making it a hearty meal even for people who normally gravitate towards meat dishes. I served my chili with diced avocados tossed with lime juice and some honey cornbread. With the smoky heat of the chipotle chiles, our dinner had yin, yang, and then some! The recipe calls for just 1 tablespoon oil for the entire pot, so if your heart desires, go crazy with cheese and sour cream without any guilt.

Tamiko Lagerwaard

I love this chili. The taste is outstanding and ages very well. It’s very hearty, with a rich, smoky flavor, and healthy to boot. I don’t miss the meat in it at all. I did have to make a few changes. Fire-roasted tomatoes are hard to come by in Canada, and I had two 14-ounce cans with green chiles in my pantry from my last trip south of the border, so I used them and chose not to add an extra 14-ounce can regular tomatoes. This worked out fine. Also, I couldn’t find a yellow squash, so I just increased the amount of zucchini again, fine. I omitted the veggie broth, as I had added the beer first, and the chili was quite liquidy already. It would have been chili soup if I had added the two cups broth, and that wouldn’t have been to my or my family’s liking. I simmered it with the lid askew, and there were plenty of juices for sopping up with either cornbread or rice. I will certainly make this again, but I’ll add some mushrooms next time, as they add a nice, dense, earthy meatiness. It’s my own bias that a veggie dish of this sort needs mushrooms, though I loved this perfectly as is. I would add the peppers towards the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking instead of sautéing them with the onions, as I would have liked a bit more firmness to them.

Anne D.

This is a great take on vegetarian chili, with lots of fresh vegetables to bulk everything up and make you feel less guilty about the layer of cheese you’ll throw on top. The chipotles en adobo make it hot and smoky, and the beer adds a lot of flavor. It’s a super hearty meal with an endless number of ways to change it up for an entire week’s worth of lunches! My chipotles must have been exceptionally spicy, because the resulting chili was a touch hotter than I would have liked. I think next time I’ll start with 1 and go from there. My boyfriend and I have been eating this for days in a number of ways, all good: On tostadas with a crumble of queso fresco and chopped avocado over eggs with some shredded cheddar poured over baked sweet potatoes (a favorite) and finally, just as is — with plenty of oyster crackers and cheese. Yum. P.S. I’ve never plucked the leaves of cilantro off the stems in order to use only the stems before. That was interesting!

Natalie Reebel

The vegetables took a good deal of time to chop. I was wondering if the resulting chili would be worth the effort. It really was worth it. The chili was chunky, hearty, and satisfying. The flavor had depth, heat, and a touch of sweetness. My husband did not realize he was eating a vegetarian dish until I mentioned it. I served it with cheese and fresh cornbread. It was a crowd-pleaser, and it makes enough for a pretty big group great game-day fare.

Sofia Reino

I decided to make this recipe in the slow cooker. I started by following step 1 exactly: I sautéed the onions and peppers and then added them to the slow cooker. Then I added the zucchini and squash. After that, I added the tomatoes and the paste. I only used half the beer, as well as half the stock. I first covered it for the first 1.5 hours on medium, then I uncovered for another 1.5 hours on high. Even though it came out softer than cooking it on the stove top, the flavors were still all there.

Amy Iacopi

I followed the directions for making this chili in the slow cooker but also relied on one of the commenter’s thoughts about reducing the liquid. The chili is gorgeous with all of the pepper colors and textures of the vegetables. Overall, I thought the recipe was delicious, but it’s not a great recipe for the slow cooker since you have to dirty a pot to precook the onions/peppers, zucchini, etc. I substituted summer squash for corn, which I added at the end, and it was delicious. I’d try it again on the stove but wouldn’t make it in the slow cooker again.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


I just wanted to say that I made this tonight and even though we didn’t have beer on hand (we subbed 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts veg broth) it was AMAZING!! I have been looking for a use for the can of chipotle chiles in my pantry for months and this was perfect. Adding to our permanent rotation. Thanks so much!!

You are more than welcome, G!

Sheila – if you really want the nutritional information just Google Recipe Nutritional Data Calculator. There are some great websites where you simply copy and paste all the ingredients above in to them and they calculate it for you. If you haven’t already definitely make this recipe, it’s incredibly flavorful, filling and delicious!

Rachel, thanks for the heads-up about the databases and the kind words about the recipe.

Step By Step Photos For This Crockpot Chili Recipe

Step 1. Sauté onions and garlic. Step 2. Bloom spices.
Step 3. Deglaze with beer. Step 4. Stir the onion mixture, peppers, sweet potatoes and canned tomatoes in the slow cooker.
Step 5. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. Step 6. Add in beans and corn.
Step 7. Cover and cook for one more hour. Step 8. Serve with favorite toppings

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Happy Meatless Monday, friends!

Since soup season seems to be in full swing lately, I thought it would be apropos to kick the week off with one of my favorite recipes that just so happens to be meatless, vegan, gluten-free, super-easy to make, and wonderfully warm and comforting for chilly fall nights — my Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili!

This recipe is admittedly a riff on my Slow Cooker Chili recipe that’s usually made with ground beef. But I’ve been making it meatless for my vegetarian and vegan friends for years, adding in some farro (not gluten-free) or quinoa (gluten-free) for extra protein. And let’s just say, it is always a hit with vegetarians, vegans and meat-lovers alike. My friends love this chili.

If you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to whip up in about 30-ish minutes on the stove (see instructions below). But for anyone who loves coming home to a delicious meal simmering in the Crock Pot, I think it’s hard to beat the ease of letting your slow cooker do all of the work with this one. Whatever method you choose, I think you’re going to love this one too. :)

As I said before, I love adding in some extra grains to this vegetarian chili recipe to thicken it up and add some extra protein. About half the time I go with quinoa, which is a great gluten-free option that people seem to enjoy. But my favorite option is to actually use farro, which isn’t gluten-free but does add a deliciously chewy texture and nutty flavor to the chili. That said, you could also sub in barley or rice or other grains that you’d like, or just nix adding extra grains entirely. The choice is yours.

To make the chili in the slow cooker, simply toss all of your ingredients in the Crock Pot and stir to combine. Then cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours until everything is cooked through. So easy!

Or, if you’d like to make this chili on the stovetop, saute your onions in a tablespoon of oil until soft. Then add all of your remaining ingredients (minus the vegetable stock and quinoa or farro) and cook on high until the chili reaches a simmer. Meanwhile in a separate pot, simmer the quinoa or farro in the vegetable stock until it is cooked through. Then add that entire pot (including the extra broth) to the chili mixture, and stir to combine.

Then it’s time to ladle up that chili!

You can either serve it plain…

…or load it up with any of your desired toppings. I went with (vegan) avocado, cilantro, green and red onions. But you could also add in some shredded cheese and/or sour cream if you’re making this vegetarian. Whatever sounds good to you sounds good to me. :)

5. Savory Lentil Chili With Cumin Cream

"One unique ingredient in this recipe is dark chocolate chips," Mathis says. "Dark chocolate is known for its decadent taste, but it also contains antioxidants, manganese, copper and iron." Not to mention, it adds a novel flavor that makes this chili one-of-a-kind.


I know you guys have a deep love for chili based on how popular my Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili and my Instant Pot Turkey Chili are. I also love a good chili recipe in the colder months. Chili is such a great meal option for game day, tailgating, cold winter nights and it makes a nice freezer meal. I always make a big batch and freeze half for later.

Today&rsquos Vegetarian Chili Recipe is a stove-top version for those days that you have time to let a big pot of chili simmer. My personal opinion is that stove-top chili has the best flavor. Now don&rsquot get me wrong, there is a time for those slow cooker and instant pot versions on busy days or when you need a quick meal.

But when you let a big pot of chili simmer on the stove it helps to bring out the flavors and let them develop. This Vegetarian Chili uses pinto beans, fire roasted tomatoes, vegetables along with chipotle chiles in adobo.

My favorite part of this chili is the smoky flavor the fire roasted tomatoes and the chipotle chiles in adobo give it. I love that smoky flavor! If that isn&rsquot your thing check out this White and Black Bean Turkey Chili or this Beef Poblano Black Bean Chili instead.

I also love a veggie chili because I can load in whatever vegetables I have on hand. This version I used carrots, celery, diced tomatoes and onion. You can use whatever you like. Here are some ideas when it comes to modifying this vegetable chili recipe.


SIMMER: The best way to help flavors develop in chili is to let the chili simmer on the stove for at least 1 hour.

VEGETABLES: There are a lot of options to add to a vegetarian chili. Some I like are bell peppers, poblanos, jalapeños and mushrooms.

BEANS: This recipe uses pinto beans. I thought it was a nice change from what I usually use. This recipe works great with any beans you have on hand from black beans to kidney beans to chickpeas.

SPICES: As with all chili recipe you get to create a flavor and spice level that suites your tastes. I suggest starting with what is in the recipe and then adding more from there. If you like spicy than add in cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, hot sauce or extra jalapeños.

DICED TOMATOES: I used fire roasted tomatoes because I really like the smoky flavor that it adds. Regular diced tomatoes work nicely too.


First of all I think chili always deserves a side of cornbread. I love these Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins or this Buttermilk Cornbread.

If you are looking for a vegetable to serve with your chili try this Roasted Broccoli, Balsamic Roasted Carrots or this Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower.

Potatoes make a nice side with chili. My favorites are these Paprika Roasted Potatoes, Gouda Smashed Potatoes or these Loaded Smashed Potatoes.

What other vegetables can I add?

I made this recipe as standard chili for those who are craving regular chili but without meat. If you want this veggie packed or have vegetables you want to use up, you can add them.

  • Corn &ndash Add it fresh off the cob, canned, or even frozen.
  • Celery &ndash It seems strange, but it&rsquos a common ingredient in most soups, so why not chili?
  • Carrots &ndash Dice these small, for carrots take a long time to tenderize in the slow cooker.
  • Mushrooms &ndash This will add a touch of beefy flavor to the chili.

Creamy Enchilada Crockpot Vegetarian Chili

I think it’s about time I stop complaining about the weather in every post and just accept that autumn is here to stay.

If you are a football fan like me, then you might attend many get-togethers in the fall and need something delicious to bring to the party.

So, make your family and friends happy by cooking up some huge batches of this stick-to-your-ribs crockpot vegetarian chili!

We all know the various reasons why vegetarian slow cooker recipes are awesome, right?

I don’t need to sing the praises of the hands-off, one-pot, easy-cleanup machine, but I’ll still encourage you to drag yours out of the back of the cupboard if you haven’t already done so this fall.

This is one of those vegetarian crock pot recipes that requires nothing other than chucking some ingredients in a pot and walking away.

Since we’re going with a meatless chili, I decided to use four types of beans: black, white, red, and pinto!

I also added plenty of extra special ingredients to this vegetarian chili crock pot recipe for added depth of flavor.

They are one of my favorite ingredients to keep on hand. The adobo sauce itself is to die for!

I never use the whole can, so I stash the extras in glass jars in the freezer.

To add even MORE flavor to this slow cooker vegetarian recipe, I threw in a can of Old El Paso™ Mild Red Enchilada Sauce and half a block of cream cheese.

If for some bizarre reason you have leftovers, either stash it in the freezer (make sure to use freezer-safe jars), or, you can make it into bean dip.

To turn it into bean dip, just toss everything in the blender, blitz it until it’s pureed, then scrape it all out into an oven-safe dish.

Top it with some grated cheese (pepperjack is awesome!) and put it the oven to warm it up and melt the cheese. So easy!

I’d love for you to keep in touch! You can enter your email address below to get new recipes sent to you. Join me on Facebook and Pinterest.

11 Vegetarian Slow Cooker Meals Everyone Will Love

My omnivorous family eats meatless meals two or three times a week — not just for the grocery budget benefits, but also because it is a strategy to get my two young kids to routinely eat more vegetables. And because we’re busy parents, we often rely on the slow cooker to help get these meals done.

These are 11 of the vegetarian slow cooker recipes that my family loves (and yours will too!).

1. Light & Fresh Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

This gorgeous chowder relies on frozen corn, which means there’s no shucking, blanching, or chopping that you need to do to start the slow cooker. My kids tend to skip the red pepper topping and opt for shredded cheese — cheddar or Parmesan — instead.

2. Slow Cooker Migas Casserole

If your family loves breakfast for dinner, this slow cooker migas casserole is just the ticket. It has all the best things in one dish: cheese, eggs, avocado, and tortilla chips!

3. How To Make Mac and Cheese in the Slow Cooker

Macaroni and cheese from the slow cooker is an obvious dinner win for kids. I usually throw some frozen broccoli or peas in at the very end, because again, the mission is always more vegetables.

4. Everyday Green Vegetable Slow Cooker Soup

Speaking of green vegetables, this soup is full of them but has all the desirability of chicken noodle soup — salty, a little sweet, and totally comforting.

5. Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna

Frozen ravioli does all the work in this slow cooker casserole — no blanching noodles or boiling sauce. And you can use your favorite sauce to fill the crock — even a sneaky vegetable one.

6. Slow Cooker Butter Bean Minestrone

I make this recipe at least once a week at the urging of my minestrone-loving 6-year-old. It is so impressive that I’ve also served it to guests at dinner parties and been begged for the recipe.

7. Easy Slow Cooker Veggie Burrito Bowls

This casual take on burrito bowls is super hearty and a great place to use up vegetables getting wrinkly in the crisper drawer. By using whatever beans you have on hand and mixing up this recipe by throwing in different vegetables and salsa, and you can make this a few times a month without getting bored.

8. Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili

This recipe is proof positive that a vegetarian chili can be just as hearty and filling as its beefy counterparts. We love to serve this one over a slice of cornbread and with lots of sour cream.

9. Slow Cooker Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

I’m obsessed with this recipe. It wouldn’t have caught my attention if I hadn’t tested it out last year and fallen in love with it. What looks like a pretty simple veggie stew is actually quite layered in flavor and oh-so-creamy. This makes a big batch so plan on freezer leftovers.

10. Slow Cooker Veggie Pot Pie

I swear you and the kids will not miss the chicken here. Veggie pot pie filled with mushrooms and potatoes is just the kind of comfort food that makes eating more vegetables feel luxurious.

11. Slow-Cooker Ratatouille

This French stew of peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini is the perfect candidate for the slow cooker because it actually gets better the longer it simmers. I like to serve it over rice or pasta to make it a meal.

Meghan is the Food Editor for Kitchn's Skills content. She's a master of everyday baking, family cooking, and harnessing good light. Meghan approaches food with an eye towards budgeting — both time and money — and having fun. Meghan has a baking and pastry degree, and spent the first 10 years of her career as part of Alton Brown's culinary team. She co-hosts a weekly podcast about food and family called Didn't I Just Feed You.