There is nothing better than a warm satisfying bowl of chili for breakfast or lunch on a cold day. I love this gut-friendly vegetarian chili recipe because it is full of my favorite spicy flavors, loads of colorful vegetables, and crunch bright toppings. This recipe is naturally gluten and dairy-free and is great for any phase of a lowfod map or anti-inflammatory diet.
Why Gut-Friendly Vegetarian Chili?
Once it gets remotely cool in the fall months I immediately pull out my soup pot and start chopping vegetables. It is incredibly simple to make and only gets better the day after you make it. It goes perfectly with homemade bread and butter or warm kale salad.
Like any good chili, it is chock-full warm, comforting spices like cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, and cinnamon. Why no chili powder? I do not use chili powder because two of its main ingredients are garlic and onions. Garlic and onions are two leading offenders when it comes to gut inflammation and gastric distress. There are other ways to spice up your chili without being in pain later.
Gut-friendly vegetarian chili serving suggestions:
A bowl of chili can be enjoyed on its own, however, there are a million ways to spice it up and customize each both for what you are craving.
A great way to spice up your chili without the fear of gut pain or extra bulk is to add fresh herbs. My go-to herb is cilantro but cut parsley, basil, chives or fresh oregano would be a great addition as well. The recipe calls for Italian seasoning already but fresh herbs on top pack an extra punch of flavor.
If you are not dairy-free cheese and a dollop of sour cream are greek yogurt is heaven. It tames the spices and gives the chili a goodie, comforting, healthy junk food feel. If you are dairy-free an alternative to sour cream would be dairy-free yogurt. Try Siggi’s lactose-free yogurt for a thick, sour cream like consistency and a tangy flavor.
Green onions are a satisfying way to add an onion flavor normally found in chili without the onion gut consequences. Use only the green part to ensure they are anti-fodmap and low inflammatory. I love the tangy, crisp taste of green onions covered in a blend of spices. I also like to add a fresh squeeze of lime to my chili. The lime brightens all of the flavors and melds them together.
Chili is tasty but it can sometimes be mushy. Add in your favorite variety of corn or tortilla chips for an added bit of crunch. Add them to the bottom of your bowl for a blend of flavors or the top of your bowl for a crisp crunch.
Gut-friendly vegetarian chili variations:
I love this chili just the way it is, but we all have our own tastes and preferences. Here are some recommendations for easy variations:
I cannot handle a lot of spice in my diet however, my husband loves spicy food. Add or subtract the amounts of spices based on what your spice preference is. Right now the spice level is at a low spice flavor. Go crazy, add your favorite spice, take out what you don’t like. Start small and add as you taste and smell the chili as it cooks. If you overdo it with the spices add some greek yogurt or sour cream when you grab a serving to tone done the spices.
This chili recipe packs squash, carrots, peppers, corn, and tomatoes already, but there is no such thing as too many vegetables! If you do not like squash or do not have it on hand, leave it out and add something else. I like to use frozen corn and squash to save time and things I have to cut. Add in greens like kale or arugula right before serving to add in extra fiber. Throw in broccoli, zucchini, or green beans, whatever your heart desires.
Traditional chili is made with pinto beans and kidney beans but they are by far not the only beans out there. Use what you have on hand and what you like to eat. Black beans make a fun addition to this recipe. So do chickpeas. You could also use leftover beans that you cooked from scratch. Cut down the number of beans if they do not agree with your or add more if you want a more robust meal.
I like to use fresh or frozen vegetables when making chili and fresh cherry tomatoes. Cans of tomatoes are known to have extra sugar, garlic, and onions in them which I try to avoid. Similarly, the amount of time the chili simmers breaks down the cherry tomatoes to resemble the texture of canned tomatoes. However, to save time and money there is nothing wrong with using canned corn or canned tomatoes. One pint of cherry tomatoes is equal to 1 14 ounce can of fire-roasted or diced tomatoes in juice.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Absolutely! Like more chili recipes it only gets better the longer it has time to sit and mix flavors. If you do make it ahead of time remember to let it cool down completely before putting it into an air-tight container to prevent condensation. Condensation will water down the texture of your broth base and make the chili runny. Do not store it with dairy mixed in or on top, the dairy will spoil before the chili does.
In an air-tight container, the chili will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. However, in a sealed, air-tight container with all the extra air squeezed out the chili will last in the freezer for several months. When you want to eat it again, allow it to thaw on the counter or in the fridge most of the way before heating it up in a microwave or on the stovetop.
If you make this healthy vegetarian chili, be sure to leave a comment and give a star rating below letting me know how it turns out. Your feedback is so helpful for future HMB recipes and for other readers.Print
A warm satisfying bowl of chili is the perfect lunch or dinner on a cold winter’s day. Dive into a big bowl of this gluten-free, dairy-free, lowfod map chili, full of colorful vegetables and spicy flavors.
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 red or orange bell pepper
- 1-pint cherry tomatoes
- 2–3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup squash, pumpkin or zucchini
- 1 cup corn fresh or frozen or 1 14 ounce can
- 1 (14 ounce) can of kidney beans
- 1 (14 ounce) can of pinto beans
- 1 cup water or broth
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- ground pepper to taste
- green onions, chopped, yogurt, cheese, cilantro, lime optional for topping
- Peel carrots and chopped veggies into small bite-sized pieces.
- Open, drain, and rinse beans and corn.
- In a large soup pot over medium heat add oil.
- Add carrots, squash and peppers, cook until tender. Stirring frequently. Add a splash of water if the veggies start to burn.
- Add beans, cherry tomatoes corn, spices, and broth. Stir to combine.
- Cover and reduce heat to medium low-low. Allow to simmer until chili has thickened to desired consistency.
- Top with chopped green onions, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and lime.
- Spice measurements are a suggestion. Feel free to add or subtract spices to accomplish the perfect spice level.
- Add corn or tortilla chips for an added crunch.
- Add another cup of water or broth if chili is too thick.
Keywords: Soup, Lunch, Dinner, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter, Fall