Food/ Main Dishes/ Vegetarian

Easy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

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

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


  1. From the bell pepper through to the black olives, add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker.
  2. Add the homemade chili seasoning and stir throughly to ensure seasoning is evenly distributed.
  3. Cook on low for at least 4 hours, and up to 8 hours.
  4. 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,
  5. Serve with taco chips, or spoon into flour tortillas!


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

Recipe Notes

NOTE: Results in 6-8 servings

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  • Reply
    Amanda (Peppers & Pennies)
    September 8, 2016 at 2:29 pm Yummy! I love a thick, hearty chili! Even as a fierce meat eater, I often have bean-based meals. And you know what? A good recipe (like this) ensures you don't miss it!
  • Reply
    Single Chef: The Art of Buying and Cooking for One - Killing Thyme Eat-Zine
    January 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm […] Vegetarian Chili (Please note, I entered this veggie chili in a contest and WON, so there’s that.) […]
  • Reply
    October 3, 2014 at 5:40 am when do you add your lentils? along with the beans and tomatos, or after everything has come to a boil?
    • Reply
      October 3, 2014 at 7:16 am Add them at the same time as the beans ans tomatoes :)
  • Reply
    Hearty Foods for the Heart | Killing Thyme
    June 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm […] Try my veggie chili! It’s an easy serving of legume heaven, and it makes tons! […]
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