Recipe Review

AllRecipes’ “Best Vegetarian Chili in the World” Is 100% Worth the Hype

published Oct 22, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Logo: Allrecipes

When I began my search for the most popular vegetarian chili recipes on the internet, I kept coming across a recipe posted to AllRecipes by user calead910. The recipe, titled “The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World,” has a five-star rating, more than 2,000 reviews, and upwards of 250 user photos, which pretty much all say the same thing: This really is the best chili recipe.

Naturally, I was intrigued. The recipe and ingredient list looked incredibly straightforward, with the exception of vegetarian burger crumbles, which I’d never cooked with before. I figured they’d add a faux-meat texture, but I wasn’t sure what flavor they would add. After finally tracking them down in the grocery store, I headed home to whip up this chili. Here’s my honest review.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Logo: Allrecipes

How to Make Allrecipes’ Vegetarian Chili

Start by adding olive oil, onion, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt to a large pot and cook until the onion is softened. Next add in the celery, green bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic, and green chillies and stir until heated through. Add the vegetarian burger crumbles, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to the pot and stir to combine. Add the chili powder, black pepper, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Lastly, add the corn and cook for 5 minutes before serving. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Allrecipes’ Vegetarian Chili

As I was making this recipe, I was certain it was going to be a bust. Two tablespoons of dried oregano? Three cans of tomatoes? Corn? The whole thing just felt a bit chaotic. But once I tasted it, I was pleasantly surprised. Somehow the whole combination worked to create a well-balanced, hearty chili.

I loved that there were three types of beans — including garbanzos, which felt like a unique twist — and the corn worked surprisingly well. The oregano mellowed and melded with the other flavors, adding a background flavor rather than an overpowering one. I also wasn’t sure what to expect with the vegetarian burger crumbles, but I found they added a really nice texture while simultaneously thickening the chili. 

This chili does pack the heat with two jalapeños, chopped green chilies, and 1/4 cup of chili powder, so if you’re looking to feed kids, this might not be the recipe for you (although I personally loved the spice level).

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Allrecipes Vegetarian Chili, a Few Tips

  1. Take down the heat: If you’re making this chili for kids or people who don’t like spicy food, make sure to adjust the spice level. The recipe calls for 2 jalapeños, 2 cans of green chilies, 1/4 cup chili powder, and 1 tablespoon of black pepper. I have a feeling all of these amounts could be halved and still deliver flavor without overpowering more sensitive palates. 
  2. Watch your chili closely. This recipe isn’t super detailed, so it puts a fair amount of trust in the cook to know what to do. While it’s not hard to make, I’d recommend keeping a careful eye on it to make sure you’re in line with the few visual cues provided. 


Have you tried AllRecipes’ Best Vegetarian Chili in the World? Let us know in the comments!