Vegetarian Chili is jam packed with flavor, easy to make (have I told you how much I love Crock Pot recipes??) and perfect for the whole family!
When Kenya decided to be vegetarian, I went on a quest for meals that I could create that were delicious (and didn’t lack nutrients) that the whole family could eat (plus leftovers for a few days). And let me tell you, this Vegetarian Chili is one of our favorites – even for the meat eaters in our family.
Vegetarian Chili is full of lentils, which are a great source of protein, and lots of vegetables, so you can feel good about feeding it to your family and knowing their getting some healthy, real food in their bodies. I’ve added several different spices to this recipe too, so it’s super flavorful. Who says being vegetarian means your food has to be boring?!
When my kids were younger, I wanted to expand their horizons with new and interesting flavors. I’d focus in on one flavor and obsess about how I could introduce them to it in order for them to love it, but not be overwhelmed by it. One week, chili powder was my focus, and that’s how this recipe came to be!
Chili powder is hot, smokey, a little spicy and delicious. Most people wouldn’t dream of a 10 month old liking something so intense, but I feel like babies palates are ready for anything as long as it’s not over powering.
So, for those of you who have small children, when the chili is finished, put 2 cups in a Cuisinart and whiz it up for you baby to have over the next next few days. Vegetarian Chili is packed with all the things they needs in their diet.
Lastly, I love this recipe because it’s super easy to freeze. I love to stock up my freezer with soups for those nights I don’t feel like putting a ton of energy into dinner. Did I mention this recipe makes 16 servings and that I love having leftovers??
Crock Pot Vegetarian Chili
- 6.5 quart slow cooker
- 1 16-ounce can organic chopped tomatoes
- 2 32-ounce boxes vegetable broth
- 6 cups raw mixed beans (lentils, yellow split peas, white beans) (If using large beans, soak the night before)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Place the first 3 ingredients in the Crock Pot.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute onions for 5 minutes. Lower heat if they start to brown. Add garlic and continue to saute another 2 minutes. Pour the onion mixture into the crock pot, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
- * for an added boost of nutrition add 2 cups of sliced kale or chard in the last hour of cooking.
- ** serve with hot sauce if you want your chili spicy.
- To Freeze: Allow to cool, place in appropriate container or ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, defrost in fridge for 24 hours or place in pot and heat through under low-medium heat.