Ridiculously Easy Meatless Chili Recipe

This meatless chili recipe is perfect for those days when you don’t have time to slave over the stove while your meal simmers and doesn’t require much more than opening a few canned goods to create to a delicious and healthy meal.

Homemade Chili that is Quick & Simple



The other day I really had a craving for chili. It was kind of cold outside and a bowl of hearty chili just sounded so delicious. However, we were at the end of our groceries for the week so choices were limited and I didn’t want to have to wait for the chili to simmer for an hour.

I looked up some quick chili recipes online but then when I checked our pantry, there was always one or two ingredients we didn’t have on hand. So, I improvised and created this Ridiculously Easy Meatless Chili Recipe with what we had on hand.

Since then I’ve made it multiple times, just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating at how good it came out. The verdict – I wasn’t wrong. It is so flavorful but quick, easy and time saving at the same time.

Why is this Chili Recipe so Great?

hearty meatless chili recipe close up

Let’s face it, there is no shortage of chili recipes on the internet. People are very serious about their chili. This recipe is not what I would call an “authentic” chili recipe by any means. It takes a lot of shortcuts and is more like a “throw whatever you have in your pantry that might work” kind of recipe.

That being said, I love this vegetarian chili recipe because –

  • It’s plant based. Chock full of hearty and filling beans, rather than meat. Toss in a few veggies, some spices and you have yourself a healthy, vegetarian pot of goodness.
  • The recipe is quick. No need to simmer for hours or stand over the stove stirring.
  • The primary ingredients are items you may have stocked in your pantry already – canned beans, stock, spaghetti sauce
  • Fiber filled! Most people do not get the daily recommended amount of fiber from their diets. This recipe is fiber filled, thanks mostly to 3 cans of beans!
  • It uses lots of shortcuts to save time
  • The recipe makes a big batch, making it perfect for meal prep or leftovers

2 Easy Chili Shortcuts

hearty and easy vegetarian chili recipe

This recipe takes two shortcuts that help make it quicker to cook and was based purely on what I had in my pantry at the time.

The first shortcut is – adding a can of refried beans to thicken the chili. This saves time because ordinarily you would have to let the chili simmer for awhile to thicken. It also adds even more fiber…so yay for beans.

The second shortcut was purely because I didn’t have any diced tomatoes in my pantry. All I had was a jar of this Rao’s Arrabbiata Sauce (spicy marinara sauce). After checking out the ingredient list – (ITALIAN WHOLE PEELED TOMATOES (PEELED TOMATOES, TOMATO PUREE, SALT, BASIL LEAF), OLIVE OIL, ONIONS, SALT, GARLIC, BASIL, RED CRUSHED PEPPER, BLACK PEPPER, DRIED OREGANO), I had the idea of using it not only in place of canned tomatoes, but garlic and red pepper as well.

It worked perfectly and added a little kick to the chili.

Tips for Adding Marinara Sauce

If you are going to follow this recipe and use marinara sauce in place of canned tomatoes and fresh garlic we highly recommend checking the label of your sauce first.

We chose Rao’s because it doesn’t contain any added sugars and uses real ingredients. Check out other label reading tips on this post – How to Purchase Spaghetti Sauce.

Easy Vegetarian Chili Recipe

We hope you love this recipe and if you do, please feel free to let us know. We love feedback, especially on our recipes.

bowl of easy meatless chili recipe

Ridiculously Easy Meatless Chili Recipe

This meatless chili recipe is perfect for those days when you don’t have time to slave over the stove while your meal simmers and doesn’t require much more than opening a few canned goods to create to a delicious and healthy meal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Brynn McDowell at The Domestic Dietitian
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jar (24 oz) Rao’s Arrabbiata Sauce (or jarred marinara sauce of you preference)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 can (14 oz) refried beans
  • salt and pepper as needed
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat

  2. Once warm, add the diced onion and saute until translucent and soft, about 5-8 minutes

  3. Add the vegetable broth and stir to pick up any browned onoins that might have stuck to the bottom of the pan

  4. Add the drained black beans, kidney beans and jar of marinara sauce. Stir to combine

  5. Add the cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Stir to combine and allow to simmer for an additional 10-12 minutes, stiring frequently.

  6. Add the can of refried beans to thicken the chili and stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper as need. Garnish with your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, a dollop of greek yogurt, scallions, chives, sliced olives or a squeeze of lime.

More Plant Based Recipes We Think You’ll Enjoy

  1. 90 Plant Based Mediterranean diet Recipes
  2. Garlic & Herb Sautéed Mushrooms
  3. Fall Roasted Veggies

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