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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Recipe -- easy to make in the crock pot or on the stovetop, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and SO delicious! |

Happy Meatless Monday, friends!

Since soup season seems to be in full swing lately, I thought it would be apropos to kick the week off with one of my favorite recipes that just so happens to be meatless, vegan, gluten-free, super-easy to make, and wonderfully warm and comforting for chilly fall nights — my Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili!

This recipe is admittedly a riff on my Slow Cooker Chili recipe that’s usually made with ground beef. But I’ve been making it meatless for my vegetarian and vegan friends for years, adding in some farro (not gluten-free) or quinoa (gluten-free) for extra protein. And let’s just say, it is always a hit with vegetarians, vegans and meat-lovers alike. My friends love this chili!!!

If you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to whip up in about 30-ish minutes on the stove (see instructions below). But for anyone who loves coming home to a delicious meal simmering in the Crock Pot, I think it’s hard to beat the ease of letting your slow cooker do all of the work with this one. Whatever method you choose, I think you’re going to love this one too. :)

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Recipe -- easy to make in the crock pot or on the stovetop, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and SO delicious! |

As I said before, I love adding in some extra grains to this vegetarian chili recipe to thicken it up and add some extra protein. About half the time I go with quinoa, which is a great gluten-free option that people seem to enjoy. But my favorite option is to actually use farro, which isn’t gluten-free but does add a deliciously chewy texture and nutty flavor to the chili. That said, you could also sub in barley or rice or other grains that you’d like, or just nix adding extra grains entirely. The choice is yours.

To make the chili in the slow cooker, simply toss all of your ingredients in the Crock Pot and stir to combine. Then cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours until everything is cooked through. So easy!

Or, if you’d like to make this chili on the stovetop, saute your onions in a tablespoon of oil until soft. Then add all of your remaining ingredients (minus the vegetable stock and quinoa or farro) and cook on high until the chili reaches a simmer. Meanwhile in a separate pot, simmer the quinoa or farro in the vegetable stock until it is cooked through. Then add that entire pot (including the extra broth) to the chili mixture, and stir to combine.
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Recipe -- easy to make in the crock pot or on the stovetop, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and SO delicious! |

Then it’s time to ladle up that chili!

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Recipe -- easy to make in the crock pot or on the stovetop, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and SO delicious! |

You can either serve it plain…Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Recipe -- easy to make in the crock pot or on the stovetop, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and SO delicious! |

…or load it up with any of your desired toppings. I went with (vegan) avocado, cilantro, green and red onions. But you could also add in some shredded cheese and/or sour cream if you’re making this vegetarian. Whatever sounds good to you sounds good to me. :)

Hope that you enjoy, and have a happy chili season!

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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 27 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 240 minutes
  • Total Time: 250 minutes
  • Yield: 6 -8 servings 1x


This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili recipe is hearty, delicious, easy to make, and naturally vegan and gluten-free (if using quinoa).


  • 1 cup uncooked farro* or quinoa**
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce***, chopped
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (**see below for substitution ideas)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup beer (or you can just add extra vegetable broth)
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • (Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, crushed tortilla chips or strips, thinly-sliced green onions, sour cream, salsa, etc.)


Slow Cooker Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and stir thoroughly to combine.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours until the chili is cooked through.  Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper or seasonings if need be.
  2. Serve immediately, garnished with extra toppings if desired.  Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Stovetop Method:

  1. In a small pot, cook the farro or quinoa in the vegetable stock according to package directions until it is cooked through.  (There will be extra vegetable stock — don’t worry, you’ll add everything to the chili once the farro/quinoa is cooked.)
  2. Meanwhile as the farro/quinoa are cooking,heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a separate large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add your diced onions and saute for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add all of your remaining ingredients minus the vegetable stock and farro (or quinoa), and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the chili reaches a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Once the quinoa/farro is cooked, add it (along with any extra vegetable stock) to the chili and stir to combine.  Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper or seasonings if need be.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with extra toppings if desired.  Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


*Farro = not gluten-free

**Quinoa = gluten-free (feel free to use any color of quinoa)

***I used about 3 chipotle peppers, but did not add any extra adobo sauce.

Feel free to also substitute your favorite kind of beans (such as black or Great Northern beans) if you do not like kidney beans.

If you love chili, be sure to also check out these other favorite chili recipes on the blog!

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100 comments on “Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili”

  1. This has become my go to chili recipe. So much flavor and takes 5 minutes to throw together in the crockpot before leaving for work.

  2. Delicious flavor! We put in 1 1/2 chipotle peppers. my daughters thought 1 would’ve been enough. WE also added a little more sugar We will definitely make this again!

    • Making this right now and added the farro in at the beginning because I didn’t fully read the recipe. Hope it doesn’t turn out bad

  3. I love this recipe! I’ve made it twice and it is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes. I am currently tracking my macros , so can you tell me how many grams is in one serving?

  4. We LOVE this chili! It was so nice to find a vegetarian chili that wasn’t all beans. The quinoa is a really nice, protein-packed filler. We also make it and then dehydrate it to take on hiking trips. I can tell you, after a long day of hiking, there is nothing better in the evening than a hot bowl of this chili. Add a little cheese and some crushed tortilla chips and you are in heaven.

  5. I had invited a group of people over then found out 2 of them are vegetarian, soooooo I found this recipe and it turned out that everyone loved it. I also had a chicken and potato dish that I’d found on Pinterest. I’m making the vegetarian chili again for different vegetarian friends this weekend. I had tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado, and cilantro for toppings. That’s how good it was! I will even make for just me, a dyed in the wool meat-eater.

  6. My guest loved this veggie chili and were begging for the recipe!

  7. OK, I just shared this recipe with some friends and told them this might be the best chili I’ve ever made! I think it’s the smoky taste of the chili in adobo sauce you use, and I love that this uses quinoa (I used red.) I like to add plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for added protein, and some shredded cheddar. Salivating just thinking about it, and I’m still full from the two bowls I had!

  8. This recipe is awesome, I’ve made it many times… my only guidance is: it’s way better with farro than quinoa. The quinoa makes it too liquid-y. The farro has a perfect chewy ground beef-like consistency

  9. I made this recipe with quinoa because I needed it gluten-free, and I agree with the other post of itbeing liquidy. It was so delicious though! I’m thinking that adding less liquid will make it thicker.

  10. So flavorful!

  11. Stock or broth? Your ingredients has:
    *4 cups vegetable stock
    *1 cup beer (or you can just add extra vegetable broth)
    What gives the best flavor broth or stock?

  12. Making this today and I do think it’s way too much liquid for sure could have done with only one tomato sauce and I couldn’t find any chili Adobe sauce unfortunately so we will not be having that but i added smoked paprika as an extra. I also only have pinto, kidney and black beans and uses farro as I am allergic to quinoa! So let’s hope it works out!

  13. Game on! De-lish and healthy!

  14. This was delicious and so simple to make! I love those throw-it-all-in-the-slow-cooker meals that actually turn out great (and healthy). A perfect go-to weekday fall/winter meal. Thank you for sharing!

    • I forgot to mention just a few minor changes I made: our crockpot was too small to fit the 1 cup of beer (and my “better half” would be ripped off if I opened a can of his pricey craft IPAs for a recipe!) so I left it out and didn’t replace it with more broth. I think it may have been too choup-ish (chili + soup = choup) for my liking if I had been able to add another cup of liquid anyway. I didn’t have the same beans called for so I used what I had – white kidney beans, navy beans and black beans. I used a few shallots in place of the onion (ran out of onions) and half a finely diced green bell pepper (no canned green chilies). I used only a part of one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, but next time I’ll try using one whole pepper and more adobo sauce. I just wasn’t sure if it would be too hot for us or not. And I do love the smoke flavour of the adobo sauce! We topped it with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and shredded cheese.

  15. Delicious and healthy! Recipe is too liquidy as others have commented, so I leave out the beer. I add about 4 chipotle peppers instead of just one: this gives a really smoky flavor and I find it wasteful to open a can of chipotle peppers and use just one! I substitute a can of rinse drained white hominy instead of the quinoa/farro. This chili can be frozen and comes out well after thawing.

  16. Love this recipe! I’ve shared with friends and they’ve followed it to a T and really enjoyed it. I modified it to my liking and now it’s my go to. I don’t like the idea of cooking grains with it so I omitted that ingredient (cook on the side when needed). I only used 2 cups of broth since I omitted the grain and only used one can of tomato sauce. I use 2 chipotle peppers and it’s had a nice kick (would use 4 if I were making it for myself ;) I added an extra Tbl of cumin and Chili powder and no sugar as I don’t find it too acidic. I added an extra can of beans, used 2 kidney, 1 black and 1 pinto to bulk it up and did not use any beer (tried to use pacific once and didn’t enjoy the flavor it imparted).
    All and all it’s a perfect recipe as is but if you don’t like to add grains feel free to use these modifiers so it’s not so soupy.

  17. This is my GO TO chili recipe. I’ll sometimes add soyrizo or beyond/impossible meat but it is so good on its own. I’ve made this for meat lovers and they have asked me to make it over and over again.

  18. I made it exactly as called for in the recipe. I’ve been trying to find a vegetarian chili recipe that my family likes too and this one is great! We’ve been testing recipes lately and this was the winner!