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A healthy veggie chili made with six vegetables, three kinds of beans, in a spicy tomato sauce. This chili is so amazing you won’t even miss the meat!
This week we are talking all about sneaking in veggies into foods! Since I have four kids to worry about, I try to find creative ways for them to get their fruit and vegetable intake without them even realizing it.
This Veggie Chili is so darn good, you won’t even miss the meat! TRUE STORY. The first time I made this for the family, I am always anxious for their honest feedback. My son looked bewildered and said, “are you sure there is no meat in this?” I would call that success! They all love this chili and it is one we have on repeat since I can sneak in so many healthy veggies.
What is the key to getting kids to eat their veggies? First of all, cut them super small. If they see huge chunks of anything besides chicken nuggets, they are suspicious. I finely diced my veggies and saute them until they are nice and soft. Some kids are afraid of onions so I make sure they are finely minced and sauteed to bring out their sweetness and to help soften their overpowering taste.
What vegetables are in this Veggie Chili?
We start with onions, hatch green chilies or poblanos, red peppers, orange peppers, and yellow peppers, carrots, and tomatoes with green chilies. It is a powerhouse of flavors and nutrition in one pot of veggie chili!
This recipe calls for some peppers, which naturally bring in some flavor. I use a combination of peppers. If Hatch Green Chiles are in season, I always reach for them. You can also use a poblano (pasilla) pepper instead. It is mild in heat but packs the flavor. Remove the seeds and ribbing since that’s what holds the most heat. I also love to use the mini red, yellow, and orange peppers that come in bags.
An important step is to take the time to saute the veggies in a touch of extra-virgin olive oil before adding any of the other ingredients. It makes such a difference in the overall vegetable chili.
Another key component in this chili is what to use to thicken it. Many recipes call for flour or a cornstarch paste made with cornstarch and water to thicken it. This dilutes the flavor and gives it a funky flour aftertaste. That’s no bueno!
I found the perfect solution. I add in a small amount of Vital Proteins beef gelatin, which is flavorless and acts as a thickener. The best part is that it adds collagen protein to the chili. It is such high-quality collagen protein and is a pasture-raised, grass-fed bovine hide gelatin powder. It also helps with gut health and digestion which is so important. You can find out more information about it HERE. If you are a vegetarian, this is BEEF gelatin.
Since this is a veggie chili, you have to add some beans for their fiber content and healthy carbs. I love to use a mix of beans — pinto, kidney, and black beans. You can also use white northern or your favorite type of beans.
Season your chili! Man alive, seasoning is so important when making a killer chili. It needs to have a punch of flavor from chili powder and cumin. Make sure to salt your veggies as you are sauteeing them to give layers and layers of flavor.
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- 1-2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Red Onion (finely diced)
- 1 large Carrot (finely diced)
- 1 Poblano (Pasilla) or Hatch Green Chili (finely diced)
- 1 Red Pepper (finely diced)
- 1 Orange Pepper (finely diced)
- 1 Yellow Pepper (finely diced)
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- (1) 15-ounce can Pinto Beans (rinsed and drained)
- (1) 15-ounce can Kidney Beans (rinsed and drained)
- (1) 15-ounce can Black Beans (rinsed and drained)
- (1) 15-ounce can Tomato Sauce
- (1) 10 - 15 ounce can Diced Tomatoes (with green chilies optional) (add all liquid)
- 3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
- 2 teaspoons Cumin Powder
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Vital Protein Beef Gelatin Powder (OPTIONAL -- if you are a vegetarian, you may skip this powder)
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Green Onions
- In a large pot, add oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 6 minutes, stirring often. Chop remaining vegetables while onions are cooking.
- Add carrots, poblano or hatch peppers, red, orange, and yellow peppers to the pot. Continue to cook until veggies are tender -- about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.
- Stir in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. If you want it to be smooth, puree the tomatoes in a blender before adding the tomatoes to the chili. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add chili powder, cumin, pepper, and garlic powder.
- In a small bowl, mix beef gelatin with water for 20 seconds. Stir in gelatin to chili. Continue to cook for 5 minutes longer. Stir in pinto, kidney, and black beans. Cook until warmed.
- Season to taste. Serve with cheddar cheese and green onions.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
I hope you love this homemade veggie chili recipe! It’s nutritious and filling at the same time. Happy Cooking!
This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins. All of the opinions are my own.