Chili is a warm, comforting, and hearty dish – and this meatless, bean-less version makes use of an entire garden's worth of vegetables! A generous amount of spices, hot peppers, and a dash of liquid smoke really turns the flavor of this chili into something special.

Spicy and Smoky Veggie Chili [Vegan]

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  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 small eggplant, diced
  • 1 hot banana pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, plus 2-4 tablespoons for sautéing
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few dashes of liquid smoke, optional


  1. In a big soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons vegetable broth for about 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften.
  2. Add the garlic, carrots, green and red bell peppers, banana pepper, and jalapeño pepper and sauté five minutes until they start to soften. Add another 1-2 tablespoons veggie broth if needed.
  3. Add the zucchini, eggplant, all spices and herbs, and 3 cups vegetable broth.
  4. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
  5. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed and adjust any other seasonings to your preference. Add the liquid smoke, if using. Simmer for another five minutes.
  6. Serve hot garnished with more fresh cilantro, chopped raw onion or bell pepper.
  7. Enjoy!


If you like things really spicy, you can leave in the ribs and seeds from the hot peppers. If you like things less spicy, you can leave out the jalapeño or banana pepper or both. And if you really can't imagine chili without beans, then by all means, add a can or two of your favorite kind!


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