Garden Vegetable Beanless Chili – Take advantage of your garden or farmer’s market bounty with this healthy chili recipe that features all veggies, no beans.
This vegan chili recipe takes full advantage of the summer garden bounty. It can be easily customized to what you have on hand. It can be mildly spicy or not at all. And, if you’re not a fan of beans, then this recipe is especially for you! This Garden Beanless Chili is hearty and nutritious and you’re gonna love it!
Can you have chili without beans?
Yes, of course you can! In fact, some might argue that true chili does NOT have beans. Traditional Texas Red Chili doesn’t contain beans…it also doesn’t contain tomatoes.
Most other chili recipes are based on chili con carne which is defined as a “spicy stew containing chile peppers, meat, and often tomatoes and beans. Other seasonings may include garlic, onions, and cumin.”
In this day and age there are so many variations of chili that pretty much anything goes, including vegetarian and vegan versions with no meat at all.
Beanless Chili Ingredients
So what is in this chili if there are no meat or beans? Lots of fresh vegetables for a hearty, “meaty” texture, but that still tastes light and won’t weigh you down. Perfect for the summer months when heavy foods aren’t as pleasing.
My fave veggies for this dish are:
*Eggplant and zucchini for their “meaty” texture
*Bell peppers for their sweet mild flavor and beautiful color
*Carrots for their firm texture and subtle sweetness
*Jalapeño and banana peppers for their mild heat
*Onions and garlic for their aromatics
You’ll find traditional chili seasonings, like chili powder, cumin and oregano along with smoked paprika and optional liquid smoke for depth of flavor.
Following the original recipe ingredients and instructions will give you the best results, but here are some adaptations that will work if need be.
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s easily customized using the vegetables you have on hand. Other great choices to add or substitute would be: summer squash, green beans, and/or corn.
If you don’t like things spicy, you can leave out the jalapeño and banana peppers or just use one or the other.
On the other hand, if you like thing spicy hot, you can leave in the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño and banana pepper for extra heat.
And, of course, if you can’t imagine chili without beans, feel free to add a can or two of your favorite kind.
How to serve chili
This dish is great all by itself but if you’re looking for a bit more, here are some options.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy chili is served over macaroni noodles.
Also try it with a side of crackers or garnishes of fresh chopped cilantro, vegan sour cream, or pickled jalapeños.
More vegan chili recipes
- Meatless Taco Chili
- Black Bean Quinoa Chili
- Chickpea White Chili
- Pumpkin Lentil Chili
- Vegan Cincinnati Chili
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili
- Dairy Free Cheesy Chili Mac
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 small eggplant, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 hot banana pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 2 to 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth, (plus 2 to 4 tablespoons for sautéing)
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- salt/pepper to taste
- a few dashes of liquid smoke, (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, (for garnish)
- In a big soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons vegetable broth for about 4 to 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic, carrots, green and red bell peppers, banana pepper and jalapeño pepper and sauté 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add another 1 to 2 tablespoon(s) veggie broth if needed if the vegetables start to stick.
- Add the zucchini, eggplant, and spices and sauté 1 to 2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.
- Add the diced tomatoes and vegetable broth, bring to a simmer, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes until thick and bubbly.
- Taste and add salt/pepper as needed. Adjust any other seasonings to your preference. Add the liquid smoke, if using. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve hot garnished with fresh cilantro, chopped raw onion or bell pepper or any garnishes you desire.
~If you like things really spicy, you can leave in the ribs and seeds from the hot peppers.
~If you like things less spicy, you can leave out the jalapeño or banana pepper or both.
~ Start with 2 cups of vegetable broth. If you like it soupier, add an extra cup.
~And if you really can't imagine chili without beans, then by all means, add a can or two of your favorite kind!
Serving Size:1 g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 512mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g