The first time I had a variation on this vegetarian chili recipe was on a snow day at my best friend’s house back in high school, but I’ve since realized that it is perfect for that burnt out, broke college student who is craving comfort food but just cannot be bothered to spend more than 5 dollars and 15 minutes on dinner. An added bonus is that even though it’s comfort food, it’s fairly healthy and doesn’t come with that nagging twang of comfort food guilt.

Purists would probably be offended that I’m calling this recipe chili, but hey, when you’re exhausted, freezing, and payday is still lightyears (okay, a week) away, you have to do the best you can with what you have. Vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike can all relate to this very real struggle, and I’m here to solve it.

5 Ingredient Vegetarian Chili

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:15 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 1 can black beans in chili sauce — 0.89 at Safeway
  • 1 can kidney beans — 0.89 at Safeway
  • 1 cup frozen corn — 1.25/16 oz bag at Safeway x 8 oz = 0.63
  • 1/2 cups vegetable broth — 2.79/32 oz box at Safeway x 4 oz = 0.35
  • Sriracha to taste — 3.89/17 oz bottle at Safeway x 1 oz = 0.23
  • Step 1

    Open canned beans (do NOT drain), measure out the corn and vegetable broth (or don’t — if I’m being honest I usually just eyeball these two ingredients) and pour in a large pot.

    popcorn, corn
    Hannah Bibbo
  • Step 2

    Cover and simmer on low to medium heat for about 5 minutes.

    Hannah Bibbo
  • Step 3

    Slowly start adding sriracha and taste it frequently, because there’s nothing worse than over-doing the spice and having to scramble around your kitchen looking for a way to balance it out.

  • Step 4

    Remove from heat, serve, refrigerate leftovers and enjoy for days to come, because there’s no way you will be able to eat this all in one night.

    Hannah Bibbo

This recipe is filling and tasty as is, but it’s also a perfect base recipe. Have some bell peppers or tomatoes in the fridge that are about to go wrinkly? Chop them up and throw them in. Want to make it carnivorous? Be my guest. Feeling fancy? Go to town with your spice rack.

Personally, my favorite way to eat this chili is topped with sour cream and Mexican cheese with a side of this vegan cornbread.

bread, cookie, candy, pastry, dairy product, cake, sweet
Hannah Bibbo

The sky is the limit with this one, really. Stay warm, stay sane, and let your inner college chef shine.