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! 

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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. 

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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?! 

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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! 

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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.

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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?? 

If you’re looking for more delicious vegetarian soup recipes, try my Black Bean SoupButternut Squash and Apple Soup, or Broccoli Cheese Soup!

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Crock Pot Vegetarian Chili

A hearty and delicious chili is always welcome on our menu. This vegetarian chili basically makes itself in your crock pot!
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Servings: 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes


  • 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.


Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 750mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 6g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. I’m making this for my vegan friends’ family, including their 5-year-old (the mom just had a new baby). I’m wondering if I added dried chickpeas as some of the dried beans, would I need to soak them for a few hours or overnight? Thanks in advance!

  2. This recipe looks so good! Can I add sweet potatoes? Will I have to adjust the liquid if I do? If so, by how much?

  3. Well I finally cooked this chili up and i must say I will keep it in my recipe box. It was very tasty and easy to make. I had no kale though and tomatoes so I made some substitutions and it still was great. I precooked the beans and used those. I only had half of a 32 ounce can tomato puree left and thought it was just the right amount of tomatoes for me. I was worried the beans would be to soft but they were fine. good blend of flavors. thanks for the great recipes

  4. I would cook it on low for 10 hours, then check it and see if it needs some more cooking time. 🙂

  5. how do you cook this on high for 12 hours? I do not have such a setting unless I get up in the middle of the night and reset it. it is either 4 or 6 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low. any suggestions? thank you

  6. This is waaaay too many ingredients for your standard sized crockpot – I filled mine to the brim without the kale, came home after 6 hours and discovered that with the plumped up beans, it was now overflowing my crockpot (and also too dry – this many beans calls for more liquid). Salvaged it by dividing it into two portions (set the extra half simmering on the stove), and adding a cup more of stock to each one.

    That said, the result was delicious. Next time I’ll halve the recipe but add an extra cup of stock.

  7. Oh my, my crock pot is full and I don’t even have all the ingredients in. What size crock pot did you use?

  8. Crock Pot is just the name brand. Slow cooker is what the appliance is actually called. Your slow cooker could be hotter than mine. Did you add the correct amount of liquid, including the juice from the tomatoes?

  9. Is a crock pot different from a slow cooker? I cooked this for 10 hours today and let it bubble a little, and I think I overlooked it because it came out pretty dry. 🙁

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  11. We make this chili at least every other week. My kids love it, my husband and I LOVE it, and the house smells fantastic while it cooks. Thank you for the delicious recipe!

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  13. Could you make this work if you don’t have a slow cooker? (everyone keeps telling me I need one… maybe once the bank account has recovered from the holidays) Just low heat for a few hours? Or with pre-cooked beans? I’m not usually brave enough to stray too far from the recipe but this just looks so yum!

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