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Easy Vegetarian Skillet Chili

Prep Time:

15-20 minutes

Cook Time:

15-20 minutes


3 cups of chili (enough for 2 adults and a few small children)

This simple chili is lower in sodium than pre-made chili. You can customize it by adding more spice or toppings. Make the recipe stretch by adding more tomatoes or low sodium broth. Recipe adapted from the New York Times top rated recipe at this web address:



  • 1 onion

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 3 cloves garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder)

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 can pinto beans

  • 1 can black beans

Add these for spices for more flavor  (not provided for the November 2023 cooking class)

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ½ chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (brown it and add it in with the tomatoes)

Optional Toppings (not provided for the November 2023 cooking class)

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • ¼ head cabbage, chopped

  • 1 avocado

  • Cilantro

  • Sour cream

  • Shredded cheddar cheese

  • Fresh lime juice (from 1-2 limes) squeezed over fresh cabbage


Chop the onion into tiny pieces and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes until the onion is see through and starting to brown.  Stir the onion every 2 minutes so it cooks evenly.

While the onion is cooking, chop the garlic as finely as you can.  Open and drain the cans of beans.  Open the can of tomatoes.  Measure the spices. 

Once onion is see through and starting to brown, add in the 3 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano and cook for 30 seconds.  Quickly stir in the can of crushed tomatoes and both cans of beans.  (if desired, you can also add any additional spices and brown sugar at this time).

Stir chili together until heated through.  It’s ready once it’s heated through.  For better flavor, allow to simmer on the stove for 5-10 minutes before eating.  Add salt to taste.  Top with chopped cabbage, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and cheese.  Delicious on top of a baked potato.

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