This vegetarian chili recipe with grains and beans is a delicious, filling whole food, plant-based chili that you and your family are sure to enjoy. Whole grains give this chili a hearty texture that you won’t find with other chili recipes. Plus, it’s low in calories and WW points so you can enjoy it while losing weight.
Chili for The Holy Mess 3 Day Diet
Our incredibly popular free 3 day diet plan has a Turkey Chili recipe that is a reader favorite. (Husbands and kids have loved the recipe, too.) This Vegetarian Chili recipe is the vegan and vegetarian companion recipe to that version.
This chili is made with the same spices and vegetables in the turkey chili, but with whole grains in place of ground chicken or turkey breast.
We’ve included instructions to make this recipe on the stove top, Instant Pot, or crock pot so choose the method that you enjoy the most.
Whole Grains in Farro Chili
If you haven’t tried whole grains in chili, you are in for a treat. Whole grains are wonderful for weight loss because they are full of fiber and nutrients yet low in calories. (Click here for more whole grain recipes for weight loss.)
Contrary to what many of us have been taught, you don’t have to cut out carbs to lose weight.
We recommend farro in this recipe if you can find it. Farro is a bit more of an unusual whole grain, but it’s especially chewy and hearty and so delicious in soups, stews, and chilis.
If you can’t find farro, another whole grain can be used such as brown rice or bulgur. Note that farro is not gluten-free, so be sure to choose a gluten-free grain if you need it. (Click here for more gluten-free WW recipes.)
If you prefer, this chili is also delicious made without the grains mixed in, and you can serve the chili spooned over the grains in a bowl.
What to Serve with WW Chili with Beans
This chili is amazing as-is, but you can also add toppings. Here are some topping to put on your chili bowls:
- Light sour cream or plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
- Chopped white or green onion
- Reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
Consider serving your chili with one of these side dishes:
- Saltine crackers
- Good Thins Corn Ones crackers
- side salads
- baked potatoes
- baked sweet potatoes
- whole grain, cooked spaghetti
- spaghetti squash
- Palmini noodles
WW Vegan Chili
This recipe is:
- Whole-Food, Plant-Based (WFPB)
- Oil and Sugar free
- Gluten-free if you substitute a gluten-free grain
- Dairy-free (Click here for more WW dairy-free recipes.)
WW Meat-Free Chili for Meal Prep
This chili keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days so it’s ideal for meal prep. Plus, each recipe makes 8 servings so you’ll have plenty to enjoy now and more to save for later.
To meal prep, cook chili according to directions below, then cool. Keep in a the refrigerator or spoon into individual containers. (Click here for more WW meal prep recipes.)
This chili freezes well. Make chili and then cool completely. Store in freezer containers or zipper-top plastic bags. Lay flat to freeze to make more room in your freezer.
Weight Watchers Personal Points for Vegetarian Chili
This recipe makes 8 servings of approximately 2 cups per serving.
WW points per serving – Click here for WW Personal Points in the WW app.
This chili may be ZERO WW points depending on your personal plan.
This meatless chili is 0-4 points for most members depending on personal points quiz.
WW points for chili vary from zero point chili recipes to many points for a chili that is high in fat.
By comparison, here are the WW points for chili:
- Chili with meat and beans, restaurant type – 6 points
- Canned turkey chili with beans – 4 points
- Vegetarian canned chili – 4 points
- The Holy Mess Turkey Chili – 0-4 points
- Canned chili without beans – 9 points
- Wendy’s small chili – 6 points
- Wendy’s large chili – 8 points
- Wendy’s chili and cheese baked potato – 15 points
Easy Step by Step Chili Instructions (with Photos) for Whole Food, Plant-Based (WFBP) Chili
Here is how to make this delicious chili. Don’t let the ingredients list scare you – it comes together quickly, and the prep work is well worth it when you taste the end result.
Photos are for the stove top version. Directions for the Instant Pot and Slow Cooker are included in the recipe card, below.
Step 1 – Chop Vegetables and Sauté Until Soft
In a large stock pot, sauté vegetables in broth until soft. Add spices and cook 2-3 minutes more, until fragrant. Cooking the spices brings out their flavors.
Step 2 – Add Remaining Ingredients
Once vegetables are soft, add beans, tomatoes, and grains.
Farro gives this chili a wonderful “chew” and texture. If you can’t find or don’t like farro, you can use brown rice, bulgur, wheat berries, or quinoa. You can also choose to leave out the whole grain and pour the chili over it as serving time.
Step 3 – Simmer Until Done
Simmering the chili allows flavors to blend. Check the chili every 10 minutes or so and see if needs a bit more water. Even though the whole grain is cooked, it will continue to absorb liquid as the chili cooks.
You can also cook the chili in the Instant Pot or crock pot. See instructions below.
The Holy Mess Vegetarian Chili
- 2 cups farro or barley, cooked. May use any whole grain such as barley, burglar, or brown rice. Cook approx. 1 cup dry grain for 2 cups cooked.
- 1 cup carrots diced
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 cup zucchini or green pepper, diced
- 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed, 15 ounces
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed, 15 ounces
- 1 can Rotel with green chilis regular or mild
- 2 cans diced tomatoes undrained, 15 ounces each
- 1 can tomato sauce 15 ounces
- 2 T chili powder
- 1 T cumin
- 2 tsp salt (optional – do not use for reduced sodium diets)
- 1/4 cup water
- Sautee carrots, onions, celery, and zucchini in 1/4 cup water until soft. Add a bit more water if needed to prevent sticking.
- Once vegetables are softened, sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes until spices are fragrant.
- In a large cooking pot on stove top, add cooked farro, vegetables, and all remaining ingredients.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. You may need to add additional water, 1/2 cup at a time, if the chili becomes too thick. (This is because the grains continue to absorb liquid even though they are cooked.)
- Serve and enjoy, or allow to cool then place into containers for meal prep or to freeze.
- Set Instant Pot to "sauté" mode. Place vegetables and water into Instant Pot and cook until vegetables are soft. Scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot with a spatula to be sure no vegetables are stuck to the bottom (which can prevent the Instant Pot from starting).
- Add remaining ingredients to pot.
- Close lid and set valve to "closed".
- Select "meat/stew" button and cook for 20 minutes.
- Carefully quick release and serve.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Place all ingredients into crock pot.
- Cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.
- Stir and serve.
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