Vegetarian Black Bean Chili from above

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Vegetarian black bean chili is a hearty and warming vegetarian meal. 

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with crockpot

Yes, you should always add molasses in chili! Our vegetarian black bean chili is hearty, filling, and proof that sweetness with heat is delicious. You’ll see that the tangy sweetness of molasses in chili pairs beautifully with tomatoes. It softens their tart acidity and adds flavour with just the right substance.

This recipe is vegetarian but works with ground beef or ground turkey as well. Just add a bit more broth or even another can of tomatoes if you find yours too thick. As well, feel free to mix up the beans. Kidney beans or a blend of beans makes for a great variation.

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with lime

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

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There is nothing better on a cold winter day than a warm chili. A big bowl of vegetarian black bean chili is hearty and warming and does more than just fill the belly.

  • Author: Crosby’s Molasses
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Savoury dishes


Units Scale
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tsp cumin seeds (or 2 tsp ground cumin)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • 1 28 oz can or 24 oz bottle of tomatoes (prepared tomato sauce will do)
  • 1 cup broth or water
  • 4 cups cooked black beans (about 2 cans)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 12 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 a lime


  1. In a big pot over medium heat saute the onions in oil until soft.
  2. Add the garlic, spices, oregano, and bay leaf and stir for a minute then add the carrots.
  3. Cover for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. (Add some of the broth if it seems too dry).
  4. Add corn, tomatoes, beans, broth, and chipotle (if using) and let simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the vinegar and molasses. Thin with more broth if it’s too thick for your liking.
  6. Season with salt and decide if it needs more heat (cayenne) or sweet (molasses)
  7. Add the lime zest and juice and cilantro.


Chili is adaptable so feel free to add any kind of beans or vegetables. Cubed sweet potato or squash are delicious too.


  • November 23, 2020

    Wanda Adams

    I’ve made this chili, simple to make and so good!

  • February 2, 2018


    Thanks for the email with a link to the chilli recipes. This one looks great; I love making a vegetarian version of chilli and the spices in this recipe look like a nice change. Will be making this for tonight’s supper. It will be a nice way to chase away the chills on this cold, rainy February night.

  • February 4, 2015

    Bev Bishop

    Hi Bridget,
    I just made this recipe as we are having meatless Februaury. Or at least trying to. There isn’t enough liquid after you sauté the onions and spices to cook the carrots in. No worries, I added the broth and it was fine. After all its chilli not rocket science. Just thought you might like to know….very tasty recipe. Will make again.

    PS friend of Lorne Goodman

    • February 4, 2015

      Hi Bev, Thanks for the tip. I’ll add it to the recipe for those who find the mixture too dry to sauté. There is a nice lentil soup recipe on the website if you’re in search of more meatless recipes for February.

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