Easy Vegetarian Chili

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There are few things that don’t contain the word “salad” and can be made into a hearty, wholesome dinner in five minutes, but this vegetarian chili recipe is the perfect way to satisfy your need for a filling meal that’s ready when you are. What inspired this lovely creation, you might ask? Well we have a tendency to come home from work or the gym and need to eat RIGHT. NOW. You have not met terrifying until you’ve seen a hungry athlete, and this is how we keep from killing each other in fits of hunger-induced rage. Sounds totally reasonable, right?

Easy Vegetarian Chili: Dinner just got fast! This vegetarian chili recipe makes the perfect hearty meal that's ready when you are.

But seriously, this is a weekly staple in Our Fresh Kitchen. We always have bags of frozen vegetables in our freezer (okay, and we still have frozen cabbage and butternut squash, but that’s a different story), so we throw together some frozen corn with vegetarian ground “beef”, tomato sauce and cumin to make the fastest dinner we have in our repertoire – short of just heating up leftovers.

Related: Easy One-Pot Dinner

Easy Vegetarian Chili: Dinner just got fast! This vegetarian chili recipe makes the perfect hearty meal that's ready when you are.

One reason I love vegetarian and vegan cooking so much is that you don’t usually need to worry about actually cooking things all the way through like you do with meat products. Most meat replacements simply need to be warmed or browned before serving, so it doesn’t take nearly as long to whip together a quick meat-free meal for meatless Monday – and who couldn’t use a little more time on a Monday?

Related: 3 Easy Ways to Feed both Vegetarians & Carnivores

Vegetarian meat replacements are usually found near the produce or natural food sections of our local grocery stores, and come in all sorts of flavours and textures to suit different cooking methods. You can even get pre-seasoned ground “beef”!

Easy Vegetarian Chili: Dinner just got fast! This vegetarian chili recipe makes the perfect hearty meal that's ready when you are.

5-minute Vegetarian Chili
Cook time
Total time
One of our favourite ways to serve vegetarian chili is on a bed of lettuce with tortilla chips for scooping, but it's also great over rice and topped with melted cheese. Add some chili flakes or hot sauce if you'd like a little more heat.
  • 1 package vegetarian ground "beef"
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Rice or tortilla chips for serving (optional)
  1. Combine vegetarian ground "beef", tomato sauce, corn and cumin in a medium pot and mix well.
  2. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring every minute or two, until the chili is warmed through.
  3. Serve with rice or tortilla chips, or eat all on its own.

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5-minute Vegetarian Chili
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Kim is a triathlete training to qualify for the Ironman World Championships, and spends most of her free time baking, eating Hector’s food or training in the most challenging conditions she can find – usually up hills or on the hottest days of the year. But she insists that Hector’s the crazy one!


  1. kavita

    Like it but instead of beef i can use tofu. Love your presentation and pictures!

    • Kim

      Absolutely Kavita! We used vegetarian beef substitute which has some seasoning, so you might have to add some extra salt or flavour if you use tofu.

  2. Melissa

    I’m always curious about vegetarian substitutes. What do they usually consist of? I’m guessing it’s got some form of protein among other things? The chill does look delicious though and anything that can be cooked in one pot in a few minutes is a winner in my books!

    • Kim

      A lot of them are made from wheat gluten, which is actually a protein (people tend to focus more on it’s other characteristics). Soy is also sometimes used, but the texture isn’t as close to real meat. The one we used is wheat gluten with a bunch of seasonings.

  3. Shareba @ In Search Of Yummy-ness

    This looks like such an easy, comforting dish! I like to serve chilli with breadsticks, or on a baked potato. Not the most low-carb choices… but tasty!

    • Kim

      TOTALLY Shareba! And smothered in cheese…not the healthiest dish but very delicious!!

  4. Jennifer Andrews

    I cook with veggie ground “meat” regularly and am always looking for new ideas! This recipe is great because it’s super simple and made with few ingredients. I agree with your comment about Mondays as well – even when you’re into food and cooking, whipping up a meal after a workday can be daunting. Simplicity is key!

  5. Emily

    I love that it is such a quick easy recipe, I hardly ever make chili because of the time it takes, I can’t wait to try this!

  6. Annabel@simplycalledfood

    It may sound strange but I never thought of serving chili with tortilla chips, it’s a good idea. I’ll do that next time!

  7. Rod

    I want to make this but me and my wife are going meatless, and we don’t eat tofu, any suggestions? Love the recipe by the way!!

    • Kim

      Not a problem Rod – the recipe uses vegetarian substitute for ground beef, and it’s made from wheat gluten. So no meat and no tofu :)

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