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Vegetarian Chili
5 from 1 vote

Jimmy Stewart Vegetarian Chili

Inspired by Jimmy Stewart’s favorite chili at Chasen’s restaurant, my vegan and vegetarian chili also makes delicious chili cheese toast.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings: 6
Print Recipe


For the chili:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped to ½ inch pieces (use different colored bell peppers to make this chili gorgeous)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion salt
  • 1 15 oz can corn, drained
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, (don’t drain; we will use the juice)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, (don’t drain; we will use the juice)
  • 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, (don’t drain; we will use the juice)
  • ½ tsp serrano pepper, minced (use more or omit depending on spice preference)

For the meat substitute:

  • 16 oz Morning Star Veggie Grillers Crumbles, or your favorite vegan or vegetarian meat substitute
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

To finish the chili:

  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup parsley, fresh
  • ½ cup cilantro, fresh

To make Chili Cheese Toast:

  • 1 loaf good bread, thinly sliced (I prefer French or ciabatta)
  • Freshly grated cheddar cheese, to preference (I usually use about 2 cups)
  • Parsley, minced (to garnish)


Cook the meat substitute

  • Add the olive oil and the Morning Star Veggie Grillers Crumbles to a skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the veggie crumbles have browned and are cooked through.
  • Note: you can use your favorite vegan or vegetarian meat substitute instead of Morning Star. Cook to preference.
  • Once the meat substitute is cooked, set it aside.

Cook the veggies

  • To a large soup pot, add the olive oil, onion, and ½ tsp sea salt. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
  • Add 1 Tbsp of water to deglaze the pot. Turn the heat down to medium, then add the bell pepper, garlic, and 2 Tbsp of parsley. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, beans, and corn

  • Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the diced tomatoes, pinto beans, black beans, and dark red kidney beans. Be sure to add all the juices from the beans and tomatoes to the soup pot.
  • Now add the corn (be sure you DO strain the corn). Stir everything together.

Add the seasonings

  • Add the remaining salt, paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion salt, chili powder, and tomato paste. Stir so that the spices are completely incorporated.
  • Turn the heat back up to medium, and bring the chili to a boil. Keep the chili at a boil for 2 minutes, then bring the heat down to low. Cover the pot, and let the chili simmer for 10-15 minutes, until when you taste a bite, the bell pepper is cooked through but still has a bit of a bite to it.

Add the meat substitute, lime juice and parsley/cilantro

  • Now add the meat substitute to the chili. Stir it in, then let the chili sit for five minutes, uncovered.
  • Last, add the remaining ¼ cup parsley and ¼ cup cilantro, and 1 Tbsp lime juice to the chili. Stir, then taste. Add an additional Tbsp of lime juice, if desired.
  • Chili is done. Serve as is, or make chili cheese toast.

To Make Chili Cheese Toast

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Lay out as many pieces of bread as you can on a baking sheet. I usually get 8 slices of bread on the baking sheet.
  • Now spoon a generous amount of chili on top of each slice of bread.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of cheddar over the chili.

Bake the bread

  • Bake at 375 degrees for 4 minutes.
  • Now turn the heat up to broil, and broil the chili cheese toast for 2 minutes. Check on the toasts, and broil for an additional 2 minutes, if desired. Take care not to burn the bread.
  • Remove the toasts from the oven, and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve and enjoy!

  • Serve the chili and chili cheese toast separately or together for a hearty meal.


This chili is vegan and vegetarian.
This chili is gluten-free if you use a gluten-free meat substitute, like Beyond Meat.