Vegetarian Green Chili
Published Oct 21, 2022, Updated Jul 11, 2023
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This vegetarian green chili is made with fresh tomatillos, poblano peppers, green chiles, black beans and corn. It’s hearty, comforting, has a ton of flavor and cooks up in just 30 minutes.
There are a million reasons to love chili. It’s hearty, filling, comforting and so easy to make. I have many chili recipes on the blog (including this vegetarian chili, which is a fave of mine!), but I realized that I haven’t shared a green chili recipe. That is, until today!
Green chili (aka chili verde) is typically made with pork and doesn’t have beans, but I wanted to make a vegetarian version since we don’t eat a ton of pork. It’s also traditionally made with fresh green chiles, but sometimes they can be hard to come by so I opted for the convenience of canned Hatch green chiles. While this EBF version might not be the traditional green chili you’ve had in the past, it’s still equally as delicious and I can’t wait for you to try it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Cooks up in just 30 minutes!
- It’s comforting, flavorful and has a hint of spice.
- It’s vegetarian and can easily be made vegan!
Traditional Green Chili
Green chili is a staple dish commonly found in Southwestern U.S. It’s a spicy, stew-like dish that usually consists of slow-cooked pork, green chiles, onions and a blend of seasonings.
It’s often associated with New Mexico because hatch green chiles are grown in the Hatch Valley region of New Mexico. The climate in the Hatch Valley is perfect for growing chiles and the soil is rich in minerals, which gives the chiles their unique flavor.
Hatch green chiles are definitely what gives the traditional dish its unique flavor, but they can be hard to come by especially if you don’t live in the Southwest as they’re typically only in season for a short period of time. So for this version we’re using canned chiles.
- tomatillos – these are small green tomatoes that you’ll find in the fresh produce section of the grocery store. Compared to tomatoes, tomatillos taste more like a vegetable, are more acidic, less sweet, denser and less watery. They have dry leafy husks wrapped around that you simply remove and then rinse before cooking.
- poblano peppers – look for dark green peppers with smooth skin. Avoid poblanos peppers with wrinkles or bruises. Poblano peppers tend to be slightly sweet with a bit of spice, but not too much.
- olive oil – infuses all the spices together and keeps the veggies from sticking to the pan. Avocado oil will work as well.
- vegetable broth – this is the base of the chili along with the tomatillo and poblano pepper sauce! I like to use low-sodium broth so I can add salt as needed.
- yellow onion & garlic – these two soup stables boost the flavor of the chili.
- jalapeño – one jalapeño seeded and chopped will add a nice spice that isn’t too overwhelming. Feel free to skip this if you want to lower the spice level.
- hatch green chiles – most recipes call for fresh hatch green chiles, but sometimes they aren’t always accessible so I used canned green chiles instead and it worked out great!
- black beans – since we’re not using pork in this recipe, I added a can of black beans for some protein. Feel free to use whatever bean you have on hand. White beans would also be a nice addition.
- corn – I used frozen corn. No need to thaw, just throw it right in to warm up. Canned corn will also work, just make sure to drain it beforehand!
- spices – salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika.
- lime – to balance all the flavors and extra for garnish.
- cilantro – you’ll use some in the chili itself and leave some extra to garnish.
- toppings – I used avocado and some cheddar cheese!
- tortilla or chips – a warm tortilla on the side is commonly used to dip in the chili, but you could also use tortilla chips for a nice crunch. My two favorite tortilla chip brands are Late July (I like their organic chia & quinoa chips) and Zack’s Mighty, which are organic.
How to Make Green Chili
Broil: Add chopped tomatillos, poblano peppers and garlic cloves to a baking pan. Sprinkle oil, salt and pepper and stir to coat. Broil for about 10 minutes while turning halfway through. Keep an eye on the garlic to make sure it doesn’t burn! You may have to pull it out a few minutes early if your garlic is starting to burn. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Blend: Once tomatillos, peppers and garlic have cooled slightly, transfer to a blender with one cup of broth and blend until smooth.
Sauté: While the peppers are roasting you can heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large pot, or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add chopped onion and jalapeño and sauté until soft and fragrant, for about 5-6 minutes.
Combine: Add the paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper to the onions and jalapeño mixture, stir to combine and cook for another minute. Add the green chiles, remaining broth, tomatillo sauce, beans and corn into the pot and bring to a boil.
Simmer: Lower to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the chopped cilantro and lime juice and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve: Serve warm topped with a lime wedge, cilantro, cheddar cheese, avocado and a warm tortilla or tortilla chips!
- Warm tortilla: Traditional green chili is typically served with warm flour tortillas on the side to dip in the chili. Use whole wheat flour tortillas for extra nutrients!
- Tortilla chips: Adds some crunch and can be used to scoop up chili!
- Greek yogurt: I like using plain full fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream for a cool, tangy topping, but sour cream is a great option as well.
- Shredded cheese: Can’t go wrong with shredded cheese! Use freshly grated cheddar for the best flavor. Of course you can skip the cheese or use a dairy-free option to keep this chili dairy-free.
- Avocado: I love adding sliced avocado to my chili for some healthy fats and creaminess.
- Fresh herbs: Parsley and cilantro would be my top choices for fresh herbs.
- Peppers: If you’re looking to add some more heat you could top your chili with sliced jalapeños.
- Lime juice: Serve your bowl of chili with a squeeze of fresh lime juice to brighten up the dish.
How to Serve
If you want to serve this chili with some sides here are some serving ideas:
- Over grains – if you want more volume, you can serve this chili over quinoa or brown rice. You could also add cauliflower rice for more veggies.
- With bread – I love eating chili with my pumpkin cornbread muffins or vegan cornbread.
- Alongside a salad – add some fresh veggies with a side salad. I have a ton of salad recipes to choose from, but something light and fresh like this garlicky kale salad or spinach salad would be perfect.
- Add protein – want to amp up the protein of this chili? Add shredded chicken or more beans. I bet a three bean combo of pinto, black and kidney beans would be delicious!
Storing & Reheating Green Chili
Let the chili cool slightly before storing it in an airtight container. The chili will last about 5 days when stored in the refrigerator. For longer storage, you can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. If freezing, make sure to thaw in the fridge overnight before serving. To reheat simply add to a large pot over medium heat on the stovetop, or place in a microwave-safe bowl to reheat quickly in the microwave.
More Chili Recipes to Try
- Turkey Chili
- White Bean Chicken Chili
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
- Vegetarian Chili
- Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
- No-Bean Chili (Beef Chili)
More Soup Recipes to Try
- Chicken Fajita Soup
- Vegetable Soup
- Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Black Bean Soup
- Quinoa Vegetable Soup
- Taco Soup
Vegetarian Green Chili
- 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and halved
- 2 poblano peppers, deseeded and quartered
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 oz can mild Hatch green chiles
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn, no need to thaw
- Juice from ½ lime
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- Cheddar cheese, for topping
- Avocado, for topping
- Heated flour tortilla or tortilla chips, for dipping
- Add tomatillos, poblano peppers and garlic to a baking pan. Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for about 10 minutes, turning halfway. Keep an eye on the garlic! You might have to pull it a few minutes early to prevent it from burning. Pull from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
- Once tomatillos and peppers are cool, transfer to a blender with 1 cup broth and blend until smooth.
- While peppers are roasting heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped onion and jalapeno and saute until soft and fragrant, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper and cook about 1 minute more.
- Add canned green chiles, renaming broth, tomatillo sauce, beans and corn and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook about 15 more minutes.
- Add chopped cilantro and lime juice and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve and top with lime wedge, cilantro, cheddar cheese, avocado and a warm tortilla or tortilla chips.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.