When asked to share my favorite cool weather recipe, my Veggie Chili immediately came to mind! Every year when the air starts to become cool and crisp and the leaves begin to fall, I get a craving for this comforting and warming meal! It is delicious and really stands the test of time. I’ve been making this recipe for myself and my family for more than 20 years.
Why do I love it?
It is economical. It makes a huge pot of chili. You can easily get at least 10 large portions. More if the portions are more smaller. I had the spices on hand, but purchased all of the canned goods and veggies and they only cost about $7.50 in total.
It is super healthy. Beans are great for you – full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals! It is vegetarian and gluten free. It can easily be made vegan and dairy free by simply omitting the cheese in the end.
It is easy. Basically, all you need to do is chop up a couple of veggies and then dump everything in a big pot. Failure proof!
It freezes really well. Especially when I was single and couldn’t make it through a whole pot of chili quickly enough, I would freeze it in individual portions to then pull out and warm up whenever I needed a quick and healthy dinner but didn’t have time to cook.
Pro-tip! The recipe as written is pretty mild. This is a good thing when cooking for a crowd with different spice tolerances or children, if your kids are anything like mine. Despite my husband’s best efforts, our children are not into spicy food! But, if you are like me and love your chili with a little heat, you can spice it up by adding some hot sauce (Chipotle Tabasco pairs really well) or spicy habanero cheese!
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz.) pinto beans
1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans (also called chick peas)
1 can (14 oz.) hominy (corn will do if you can’t find hominy)
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chili peppers
2 med. onions
2 med. zucchini or yellow squash
2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 T. ground cumin
1 T. garlic powder
1 dash salt
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
In a large pot, combine tomatoes, undrained pinto beans, kidney beans, and green chilis.
Next add the drained garbanzo beans, corn, tomato paste, chopped onions, and chopped zucchini. Give it a good stir.
Finally add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt to taste. I typically consider the spice amounts to be suggestions – I tend to be a bit more heavy handed!
Heat chili over medium heat until it boils. Make sure to stir it occasionally or the bottom will scorch. Once it boils, reduce heat and let it simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
When you are ready to serve the chili, add shredded cheese to each bowl. Stir until melted. Enjoy!