Vegetarian Slowcooker Chili

Yes, chili can still be chili without meat. I typically get the stink eye when I utter the words “vegetarian chili” – the kind of glare you’d receive at a sewing circle after taking the Lord’s name in vain.

What do you mean there’s no meat in that chili?!

You mad, bro?

I can assure you – it’s still hearty, it’s still comforting, and hot dayum is it ever delicious! This chili actually won in a chili competition in the vegetarian category. So, there’s that.

Vegetarian Slowcooker Chili 3I originally created this recipe years before adopting my pescetarian lifestyle; I was still an omnivore and denying meat on my plate wasn’t even something I’d considered yet. I’d been craving chili and realized that I had every ingredient in my pantry…except ground meat. At first I was sad, but then I became un-sad! Because I recalled a chum of mine ordering veg chili for lunch at a restaurant one afternoon and I thought hey, maybe I can give that a whirl?

My big concern was the chili being soup-y since the heartiness of the beef would be missing, but it was a non-issue. Lentils make the perfect substitute for ground meat, so the result is still a nice and thick “spoon-standing” chili. Not to mention, it’s a fibre and protein party!

Until you try it, don’t knock it. ‘Cause you don’t even know.


Vegetarian Slowcooker Chili 2

Get the Recipe:

Easy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili


  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 18 oz black beans, drained and rinsed if from can,
  • 18 oz kidney beans, drained and rinsed if from can,
  • 18 oz chick peas, drained and rinsed if from can,
  • 4 cups of cooked lentils
  • 1 27 oz can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 10 oz can of Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilis, or something similar
  • 6.5 oz of sliced black olives, optional
  • 2 cups of frozen peas


  • 1 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Grated cheddar cheese

Homemade Chili Seasoning:

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon cracked black pepper


  • From the bell pepper through to the black olives, add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker.
  • Add the homemade chili seasoning and stir throughly to ensure seasoning is evenly distributed.
  • Cook on low for at least 4 hours, and up to 8 hours.
  • Add the frozen peas to the slow cooker approx. 10 minutes before serving - that way they keep their nice bright green color and their texture,
  • Serve with taco chips, or spoon into flour tortillas!


  • Garnish with plain Greek yogurt, sliced scallions, and/or shredded cheddar


NOTE: Results in 6-8 servings