Recipe Share: Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 3.13.38 PMI know that some of you are thinking, “Chili? In the summer?” But trust me, when it’s this good, you don’t really care if it’s better served in cool, fall weather or not, because a dish this delicious deserves to be enjoyed year-round. I consider Whole Food’s Spicy Vegetarian Chili a staple. It was (and still is) one of my go-to meals when I started eating more plant-based food.


I’ve been making this recipe for over a year now and have tweaked the recipe to my liking. You can find the original recipe or my edited version below. After a half dozen or so times of making it, I realized I had the original generally memorized and was comfortably making my own tweaks and substitutions as I wished. For example, I prefer a thicker chili, with a less watery consistency, and thus throw in additions of mushrooms and ground flax seed to suit my preferences and add a little nutritious boost.

The mushrooms are actually my favorite thing to eat in the chili, and they mix right in with the rest of the vegetables from the start. That’s the beauty of this recipe; you chop everything and throw it all in at once to cook. I’ve eliminated the olive oil because the vegetables cook in their own juices more than fine. I often throw in an extra stalk of celery or pepper (or even a mashed sweet potato) and sometimes eliminate the carrots — all often dependent on what I have on hand in the kitchen. It’s a very forgiving recipe. You can’t really mess it up!

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 container of sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste — I usually add a little more)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 2 cans cooked red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can cooked black beans, drained
  • ~4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed (stirred in with the beans)
It might not look pretty…but it is delicious.

Do you consider some dishes more “seasonal” than others? Do you make them anyway?