Low-Fat Vegetarian Chili

low fat vegetarian chiliWednesday is Recipe Day at Cooking Manager.

Reader Viviana sent me this recipe for vegetarian chili, from the Weight Watchers cookbook. Chili contains vegetables and legumes, and cooks in one pot. If you have leftover cooked vegetables, meat, broth, or grains, add them in too. If you use canned beans or tomatoes, remember that they usually contain added salt.

Is the preparation time less than twenty minutes? There are a lot of ingredients. If you have cooked beans on hand, and can chop quickly, it’s possible.  But you can also wash a nd prepare the vegetables the evening before, or at any point during the day.


  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup diced red, green, or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 lb (500 grams) cooked pinto or red beans
  • 6 oz (200 grams) raw green lentils
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 packet instant vegetable broth seasoning (optional)
  • Cilantro, sour cream, grated cheese, onions to garnish


  1. In large saucepan, heat oil and add onion, peppers, celery, carrots, garlic, and jalapeno pepper. Saute until vegetables are wilted, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and cloves. Saute, stirring, another minute.
  2. Add beans and lentils and stir to combine. Add tomatoes and broth mix. Add water.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. When lentils are tender, uncover pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beans and lentils are falling apart and chili has achieved desired consistency, about 15 minutes.

Makes 4 servings! Each serving: 435 calories, 25g protein, 7g fat, 73g carbohydrate, 498mg sodium, 14g dietary fiber.

Viviana adds: As you can see it is a good Weight Watchers recipe because you can eat quiet a lot of it and still keep to the diet. My family of 4 can’t finish the whole pot of chili this recipe makes. I usually omit the soup powder and add salt, and/or substitute vegetable broth. I’ve added meatless crumbles for a meaty feeling. I’ve also made it with ground beef for a meaty version.

Photo credit: Steven DePolo


  1. Aryeh, Johannesburg,South Africa says

    The sheer colourfulness of this dish grabbed my eye. Reading the list of ingredients made me salivate a bit. My brother has a cast iron mouth and can eat hot green peppers from the jar.

    I am experimenting with charief and will make it mild to start off with.

    Thanks for a super website.

    Congratulations on USA’s win in the FIFA World Cup. What a great spirit America has brought.

    Be well.


    • Thank you Aryeh. Next time I go to the US I’ll congratulate the team on your behalf! Ilana-Davita, remember that it’s winter for some readers. 🙂

  2. I’ll have to keep it in mind for when the weather gets cooler.

  3. bulghur is another great way to “beef up” this dish, just add a bit of extra liquid so it doesn’t et to dry

  4. Adding cashews to vegetarian chili gives it a nice “meaty” feel and adds protein.