Weeknight Vegetarian Chili

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

Weeknight comfort foods like this one-pan quick chili are a great entryway into eating a more plant-based diet. Switching from a pot to a skillet slashed the cooking time in half for this recipe, and the wider pan surface lets spices and aromatics meld quickly for deep complexity.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 red onion, finely diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons chopped chipotle in adobo

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes

  • 3 cups cooked pinto, kidney, or black beans; or 2 cans (each 15 ounces) beans, drained and rinsed, plus 1 cup bean-cooking liquid or water

  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (1 ½ cups)

  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves or small sprigs

  • Sour cream and blistered corn tortillas, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium. Reserve 1/4 cup diced onion; add remaining onion to skillet along with garlic. Season with salt and cook, stirring, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

  2. Add chipotle, chili powder, cumin, and tomatoes with their juices; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add beans and cooking liquid; bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, 15 to 18 minutes. Season to taste. Sprinkle with cheese, cover, and cook until just melted, about 2 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat; top with reserved onion, avocado, and cilantro, and serve with sour cream and tortillas.

    weeknight vegetarian chili served with tortillas
    Con Poulos

Cook's Notes

You can substitute 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper for the chipotle.

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