Vegetarian Chili Recipe That Checks All the Nutrition Boxes

January 17, 2024


In honor of National Nutrition Month in March, we asked Adventist Health registered dietitians to share their favorite nutrient dense and balanced meal that they are loving right now. Below is a recipe for delicious vegetarian chili that is sure to win the hearts and stomachs of the whole family, while also checking all our nutrition boxes. Below are key benefits of this tasty meal.

It’s an excellent source of plant-based protein

  • Every cell in the human body contains protein. You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones.
  • It is important to try and include a protein source with every meal to help keep you full and satiated.
  • A benefit of plant-based protein is getting more fiber and less saturated fat than a meat-based protein.

It’s high in fiber

  • The daily recommended fiber goal for men and women is 25-35 gm/day.
  • Fiber reduces constipation.
  • Fiber slows down digestion which helps you feel full longer and in turn decreases the likelihood of overeating. This also aids in regulating blood sugar.

It’s full of good sources of healthy fat and low amounts of unhealthy fat

  • Unhealthy fats are saturated or trans fats. These increase your bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease your good cholesterol (HDL). This could result in blockages forming in the arteries or elsewhere in the body.
  • Healthy fats are broken out into polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These build cell membranes and the covering of nerves. They help with blood clotting, muscle movement, reducing harmful LDL cholesterol and lowering triglycerides.

Vegetarian Chili


1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce

1 can (16 oz) dark red kidney beans, drained

1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes, drained(save the juice)

1 cup diced green bell pepper

¾ cup diced yellow onion

¾ cup raisins

2 Tbsp oil (olive or canola)

½ tsp minced garlic

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp basil

½ tsp oregano

1 tsp hot sauce (or to taste)


  1. In a large saucepan over low heat, combine sauce, diced tomatoes, kidney beans and raisins.
  2. Sauté peppers, onions and garlic in oil until tender. Add to sauce along with dry seasonings and hot sauce.
  3. Cook on medium heat until it begins to bubble. Turn down to low heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Liquid will reduce the longer it simmers. Use the retained juice from diced tomatoes to thin consistency as desired.
  4. Serve over rice. Top with shredded cheese & diced avocado.