Half-Hour Chili

Half-Hour Chili

8 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 1992

This truly tasty half-hour vegetarian chili is made possible by using convenient canned beans and tomatoes (no pantry should be without them). Whole-grain bulgur adds another layer of toothsome texture and nutritional heft. This chili is relatively mild, so it's a good crowd-pleaser. If you like it spicy, add extra chili powder or serve with hot sauce.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 28-ounce can plus one 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juices
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed
  • ⅓ cup bulgur (see Note)
  • ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt for garnish
  • ⅓ cup chopped scallions for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, jalapeno, garlic, chili powder to taste and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and carrot are soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes with their juices, sugar and salt; cook for 5 minutes over high heat. Reduce heat to low; stir in beans and bulgur. Simmer until the chili is thickened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Garnish with yogurt, scallions and cilantro, if desired.
  • Note: Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. Don't confuse bulgur with cracked wheat, which is simply that—cracked wheat. Since the parboiling step is skipped, cracked wheat must be cooked for up to an hour whereas bulgur simply needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains, or online at kalustyans.com, buylebanese.com.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1⅓ cups
  • Per serving: 215 calories; 4 g fat(0 g sat); 14 g fiber; 39 g carbohydrates; 10 g protein; 93 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 2,936 IU vitamin A; 33 mg vitamin C; 120 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 658 mg sodium; 860 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (59% daily value), Vitamin C (55% dv), Folate (23% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat

Reviews 8

July 16, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Yummy! 1. Used chili-ready tomatoes- would go for the petite diced next time, just cause the kids don't like tomatoes that much. 2. Used 1can medium hot chili beans and 1can black beans 3. Replaced bulgar with ground beef alternative-a green pea product found in the freezer section. Came out really nice. Served with fat free sour cream, chives from the garden and tortilla chips. Everyone loved it. Pros: Very tasty and quick. Family pleaser Cons: I fixed them as I cooked ;)
January 02, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Here's how to speed it up even more Used a 12 ounce bag of frozen chopped onions (Kroger recipe starters) and two frozen chopped garlic cloves (Trader Joe's) to save time. Added half a red bell pepper chopped. And used two 14 and a half ounce cans diced tomatoes with chipotles and one 14 and a half ounce can crushed tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes. Cut back on the chile powder because tomatoes were already spicy. Added farro (again, Trader Joe's), because I had no bulgar. Pros: Easy, tasty, great cold weather food
September 24, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious but less onions, more veg, more spice added Here are the changes I made and it was delicious! one less onion one or two extra carrots add red pepper add cilantro add bay leaf while cooking.
March 12, 2013
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By: mss4038
I didn't care for the texture of this chili...so many onions...first of all, chopping onions takes some time, so I wouldn't consider this 30 minute chili. Second, 3 onions?!?! I cooked all the veggies the recommended 7 minutes and even after the 15 min simmer, the carrots and onions were not as soft as I'd like them in chili. And I really diced them small. The flavor was okay, but the texture was too vegetable-y. And it was quite thick, I even added broth to help, but it was still too thick for me. My husband wouldn't eat it. Pros: Pantry items, meatless Cons: Lots of chopping, not kid-friendly
February 09, 2013
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By: meLoveToBake
Yumm- but I did change it slightly 3 onions is a lot. Once I had these chopped I couldn't put in just one carrot and some garlic. I added another carrot, 2 stalks of celery and about4 oz sliced shrooms. I had purchased 2 28 oz cans toms (couldn't find a 14 oz can), so I used all of them. The directions weren't clear on whether the bulger should be soaked first; when I make taboulli I soak the bulgur for 30-45 mins. And there wasn't a lot of excess moisture after addings toms. So, I added about 1.5 cups water and almost a half cup of bulger. I cooked it longer to make sure the bulger was cooked, maybe 25 mins. Just finished a bowl- it was awesome. One reviewer mentioned wheat berries instead of bulger. That's what I'll use next time; the bulger was almost tasteless (with more veggies in there). But it needed something chewier- wheat berries (or TVP) would provide that. Pros: fast, easy, yumm Cons: couldn't find 14 oz can of whole toms
November 12, 2012
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By: Bev
Really Enjoyed this Vegetarian Chili I made this recipe as directed with the only exception being I did not have any bulgur on hand. I replaced the bulgur with an equal amount of wheat berries, which worked out very well. I served with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese and saltine crackers. Cornbread would be a great addition next time I make this wonderful chili! Pros: Easy to put together in a matter of minutes Cons: None
November 05, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Minor Change I usually use seitan in my chili, but will definitely try the bulgar wheat instead. I will use green peppers, and I always use a small amount of cocoa powder to balance the sweet bitter of chili. For me, cocoa is essential for chili!!
March 27, 2012
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By: Eileen
Hearty and Delicious This recipe is easy to make and vry tastey. I had to add more spice and jalapenos to it as we thought it could use a bit more but we like things on the spicy side. The only thing I would like to see different is maybe a bit more carrots and maybe some bell peppers. Pros: Easy to make
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