The weather in NYC is finally starting to feel like it should for this time of year. I’ve had to wear long sleeves AND a jacket, when I only needed one or the other up til now. And I’m loving it!

The leaves are changing, the air is crisp and it smells so good out! Nate and I went up to New Paltz this past weekend to go rock scrambling and the leaves were totally gorgeous. It was quite a hike up to the top, but when we got there, the view was absolutely worth it…

…don’t you think?

Despite working up a sweat during the climb, as soon as we got back to normal walking I was chilled to the bone. Weather like this makes me crave a thick, steaming bowl of something comforting. I’ve been wanting to make chili but Nate doesn’t like beef and we both love vegetables so much that I decided to go vegetarian all the way :)

I have to say that this came out a bit less “meaty” than I typically think of chili, but it was good none-the-less. I think perhaps adding more beans would have bulked it up and improved on the lack of meat, but I’m not a huge fan of beans.

You can totally customize this by adding whatever veggies you want. I bet anything would be delicious! I served mine over pasta because Nate needs something besides veggies to fill up his belly…and I happened to have some pasta in the fridge. Over rice would be great too.

*Disclaimer: if you live in a teeny apartment like mine, your whole place will smell like chili for the next week.

Smoky Vegetarian Chili

Recipe by Me

Print this recipe!

Serves 8


1 Tbsp olive oil
2 large sweet onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped (or red if unavailable)
2 yellow summer squash, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems and leaves separated but both chopped
10 oz. frozen corn kernels, thawed
1.5-2 cups vegetable stock (i actually used chicken but that obviously would make it non-vegetarian)
Three 15-oz cans diced tomatoes with chiles
One 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 bottle dark Mexican bear
2 tsp liquid smoke (can be found in all supermarkets)
Sour Cream, shredded cheese, limes, avocado as desired for garnish


Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and saute until they’re beginning to caramelize, about 8 min.

Add squash and garlic, and saute til tender, about 5 min.

Add cilantro stems and tomatoes to pot and bring to a simmer. Add beans, salt, chili powder, cumin, beer and the stock (start with 1.5 cups and add more if you like your chili thinner). Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently until the chili thickens and the vegetables soften, about 30 min.

Garnish as desired, and dig in!


  1. The food photos are beautiful!

    • Thank you! Honestly, I have no idea how they came out so well because it was dark out and I had all the lamps in my apartment on. I guess I finally figured out the whole white balance thing :)

  2. Beautiful photos Amy! Love the ‘mounted’ chili and the colours in the dish are so vibrant. What a great adventure on the rocks and gorgeous scenery too (I would say it was definitely worth the effort) – I particularly like the last photo of the two of you walking hand-in-hand – awww… I’m with you on the cravings for warming foods this time of year… this vegetarian chili would really hit the spot. Love the addition of beer! Such a great idea – have never tried that in chili before. With heavenly scents like these, I would think your neighbours will be thanking you for the lingering aroma… :)

    • Hi Kelly! Why thank you :) Hehe, Nate and I set the camera on a ledge with a 10-continuous auto shot setting. I was pretty happy with the way it came out. We’ve been trying to get some good ones for a little wedding video he’s putting together. It’s going to be a surprise even to me.

  3. Your towering chili looks so fresh and yummy. I also love your beautiful fall pictures. I so miss the change of colors now that I live in Hong Kong. I am following you on wordpress and looking forward to reading your new entries.

    • :) I love the fall season…i don’t know what I’d do without the changing leaf colors. What’s the weather like in Hong Kong this time of year?

  4. Everything about this post is gorgeous. Sooo if I make this in my pint size suite…all my clothes will smell super duper spicy? …I could start a new perfume trend…??
    p.s. not only does this make me super hungry ..but on an unrelated note…you and your fiance are super cute. Just sayin :D

    • Thanks Jenny! Hehe, you definitely shouldn’t attempt this in your suiteu…unless you want to be wearing Eau de Chili around campus ;) You’d probably attract more dogs than men.

  5. Great combination of colors and flavors. Especially like the use of liquid smoke…that stuff can be deadly, but is oh so good.

  6. i totally agree with you on the chili part :). love a warm bowl of something! and i love the chilly weather too! i haven’t tried using liquid smoke yet…

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