Today we are making one of Lauren's favorite slow cooker meals: Vegetarian chili! This recipe is perfect for those long days where you don't feel like cooking, or don't have time to make a healthy meal.
Depending upon what toppings you add- this recipe can be vegan! Substitute vegan cheese and sour cream for a vegan chili experience. What if you aren't vegetarian or vegan? Add 2 pounds of pre-browned ground turkey to the ingredients below. This recipe is for a full size crock pot. If you have a smaller crock pot, please half the ingredients
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- 1 Large Red Onion
- 2 Heaping Tablespoons of Chopped Garlic
- 1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
- 1 Green Bell Pepper Chopped
- 1 Yellow Squash Chopped
- 1 Zucchini Chopped
- 1 Jalapeno, Seeded Roughly Chopped
- 2-3 Bay Leaves
- 2 tbs Chili Powder
- 2 tbs Cumin
- 2 tbs Smoked paprika
- 1 tbs Oregano (fresh, is preferred, but dried works just fine)
- 1 tbs Black Pepper (fresh is preferred, but dried works just fine)
- 2 Cans of Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 Can Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 Cans of Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 Can White Beans, drained and rinsed
- Cheese (optional: use a dairy free or vegan option)
- Sour Cream (optional: use a dairy free or vegan option)
- Chop the bell peppers and the onion.
- Drain and rinse beans.
- Combine all ingredients into your crock pot. Give a good stir, and let sit for 5-8 hours. (The longer the better).
- If you are not a vegetarian / vegan, pan fry some ground turkey (I've found this recipe is best with ground turkey, and add at this point).
- Cook on high for 4-8 hours.
Cooking longer always increases the flavor. At home I prep the ingredients the night before, add it all into the crock, and put in the fridge. In the morning, I take it out while I get ready, and right before I leave for work, I turn to high, and let it cook all day (about 8-10 hours). I come home to the best home-cooked meal that I didn't spend all day / night cooking!
Once your chili is cooked, plate and top with garnishes of your choice.
We love topping with avocado, fresh lime juice, vegan cheese and vegan sour cream. But feel free to top with non vegan dairy options.
I created this recipe with the ingredients I had on hand at the time, and have found most households also have these ingredients and spices on hand. We love to keep things simple.
This also makes excellent leftovers. It's one of my favorite lunches! Nothing like a home cooked meal that tastes great, is healthy, and doesn't take a lot of work! We used a full sized Crock Pot brand of crock pot, but there are many other options as well and different brands to choose from.
This recipe works best in a full size crock pot, but if you have a smaller one, just 1/2 the ingredients and spices.
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