Emeril's Vegetarian Chili

Emeril's Vegetarian Chili

It’s chilly these days and nothing is better than a big pot of chili waiting for you when you need to warm up. I have never “made” vegetarian chili before, but this has to be the best vegetarian chili I have ever had. I was supposed to be thoughtful and share this batch…….but I am plowing through this at an alarming rate! Whew, do make this chili. I didn’t use his essence recipe but you can go for it and let me know. As I mentioned, I was too busy devouring it……oh and keeping warm.

Here’s all you do:


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
  • 1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears-or use canned)
  • 1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean and cubed (I used regular mushrooms and they were fabulous)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespooon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained (I used kidney)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce (I made my own….so good)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock, or water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cooked brown rice, accompaniment
  • Sour cream or strained plain yogurt, garnish
  • Diced avocado, garnish
  • Essence, recipe follows, garnish
  • Chopped green onions, garnish


In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, andvegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado. Sprinkle with Essence and green onions and serve.

I didn’t serve with the brown rice, and for the first two bowls I didn’t even plate up with avocado and sour cream. But if you are serving guests, it’s a beautiful presentation.

I was going to make some matching corn bread, but decided to go with the Savory Blue Cheese muffins from Lisa Dupar’s cookbook  “Champagne and Fried Chicken”. Will share soon. For now it’s back to work!

Bon Appétit.