Colder temperatures call for hot cocoa, blankets, and of course, chili. This vegetarian chili, inspired by a recipe from Real Simple has a good amount of spice and is super simple to make. Just throw it in the crockpot in the morning, and when you get home you’ve got a hot dinner waiting! I modified the recipe to be a bit spicier and have more of a tomato base, rather than being all beans. Unfortunately, colder temperatures come with earlier nights here in good ol’ Indiana, so by the time I could take pictures, the sun was setting… but hey, chili was made for cold, dim nights.

Vegetarian chili in a bowl with spoon.

What you need (serves 6):

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 28-oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked (1 cup dry) or 2 15.5-oz. can rinsed black beans
  • 3 cups cooked (1 cup dry) or 2 15.5-oz. can rinsed kidney beans
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 16-oz.) peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup water

vegetarian chili in white bowl.

What to do:

  1. Combine everything in a 4 to 6-quart crockpot and cover.
  2. Cook on low until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened—roughly 7-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.
  3. Serve however you like! Try it with tortilla chips, sour cream, scallions, or radishes!

Nutrition info:  242 calories, 1.3 g fat, 543 mg sodium, 61.5 g carbs, 26.7 g fiber, 11.1 g sugar, 16.3 g protein, Bonus: 217.4% DRV Vitamin A!