Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

4 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2013

Packed with vegetables, beans and spices, this zesty, healthy vegetarian chili recipe is loaded with protein from textured vegetable protein, also known as TVP. Feel free to use your favorite vegetables, 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.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • ¾ cup TVP (see Tip)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces okra, sliced (3 cups)
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup bulgur
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt added kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt added black beans, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable or “no-chicken” broth
  • 2 cups water


  • Active

  • Ready In

  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.
  • 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 information

  • Serving size: about 1½ cups
  • Per serving: 336 calories; 9 g fat(1 g sat); 17 g fiber; 49 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 48 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2,126 IU vitamin A; 21 mg vitamin C; 188 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 748 mg sodium; 1,155 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (43% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv), Iron (28% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, 1½ vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1½ fat

Reviews 4

August 19, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Both delicious and filled with nutrition I like the idea of using TVP to boost the protein content of vegetarian dishes (without adding much carbs). Please add more vegetarian recipes using TVP. Pros: vegetarian dish, high in proteins
July 08, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
okra was edible This was my first time cooking with okra - it was not slimy. Left out TVP and bulgar and swapped in equal amounts of black rice, used reduced liquids as it suggested. It was excellent, even chewy and chili-colored.
March 24, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Good flavor, but odd texture The texture is unsettling and a bit off putting if you expect the chewiness of meat. Also, your stomach will react like you just ate beans and a protein bar. That said, the taste is good and vegan and vegetarians aren't generally picky. Pros: Chili is easy to make and satiating Cons: Meat eaters will be wierded out by TVP texture
October 29, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Chili this good on a weeknight? YES! I've never cooked with TVP before this and am so glad I tried it. This chili had so much great flavor and cooked up quickly enough for a warming weeknight meal. I don't normally try to trick the kids, but didn't tell them it wasn't ground beef and they didn't notice a difference. We will make this again and again -- I'll tell the kids next time! Pros: great chili flavor, quick, easy
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