Dining & Wine

Chili Two Ways: Con + Sin Carne

March 3, 2024

Creating a combined meat and vegetarian chili for the same meal is a great way to accommodate different dietary preferences. Here’s a simple recipe for a versatile chili that can be enjoyed by both meat lovers and vegetarians:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, or chicken) – for meat option
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Toppings:

  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Prepare the Base:
    • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and garlic, sauté until softened.
  2. Meat Option:
    • If preparing a meat option, add the ground meat to the pot. Cook until browned, breaking it apart with a spoon. Drain excess fat if necessary.
  3. Vegetarian Base:
    • If preparing a vegetarian option, skip the meat and proceed to add the diced bell pepper, zucchini, carrot, black beans, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and vegetable broth to the pot.
  4. Seasoning:
    • Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Adjust the seasoning according to taste.
  5. Simmer:
    • Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for at least 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. If it gets too thick, you can add more vegetable broth.
  6. Serve:
    • Ladle the chili into bowls. For a mixed meat and vegetarian option, you can serve the meat chili in one half of the bowl and the vegetarian chili in the other half.
  7. Toppings:
    • Allow everyone to customize their chili with toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, chopped green onions, and fresh cilantro.

By preparing a versatile base and adding meat separately, you can easily create a dinner that suits both meat and vegetarian preferences in one delicious bowl of chili. —Vita Daily


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