Celebrity Dish with Pam Anderson: Vegetarian Chili

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This chili tastes amazing with no meat!

Meatless Monday’s: Vegetarian Chili

It was on a leisurely beach vacation with my family back in 2009 that we all made the decision to eat less meat. We had been skirting the issue for awhile, but as we sat around sipping wine and picking at the last of the paella, the subject of factory-farmed animals came up.

After reviewing the facts, we realized we could no longer do nothing. That night we all started down slightly different paths, but our goal was the same: buy less meat so that we could afford better meat.

My younger daughter and her now husband eventually became serious locavores. Since they buy from local farmers (and pay dearly for it), they naturally eat less meat. My older daughter and her husband frequently cook vegetarian–vegan too–and my husband and I made the decision to eat meatless a couple of days a week.

It’s easy to make a big decision on vacation, but eventually you have to make good on it. Back home I served up vegetarian pizza the first night, meatless stir-fry the next. “Now what?” I thought. Taking meat off the plate left a pretty big hole!

Fortunately I knew what to do. Back in 2000 I had written a book called How To Cook Without a Book, my solution to the weeknight dinner dilemma. Most recipes derive from a technique or formula. If you can internalize them you can, in fact, cook without a recipe.

The same rules apply to meatless cooking, so I did my homework and came up with a new set of techniques and formulas for the days we don’t eat meat–pizza, pasta, stir-fries, soups, stratas, galettes, pot pies, quesadillas, tacos, bean and grain salads, and more. And whenever I serve these dishes to my meat-loving Midwestern husband, he nearly always responds, “Didn’t miss the meat in that dish.”

Now I’m cooking as confidently on the meatless days as the days I enjoy meat. It’s not hard. You just need to internalize a few formulas, so that you can create your own “recipes.” After that I promise you can head to the farmer’s market, open your fridge, or peer into your CSA box and know exactly what you’ll be making for dinner.

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Celebrity Dish with Pam Anderson: Vegetarian Chili

Meatless Monday's never looked better with this plant-based and scrumptious vegetarian chili!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 16 people
Serving Size 1 cup
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author SkinnyMs.


  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 14.5 ounces canned petite-diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion large, diced medium
  • 1 bell pepper color choice is yours, diced medium
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon oregano dried
  • 31 ounces canned black beans drained
  • 31 ounces canned hominy drained
  • 3 garlic cloves large minced
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cilantro fresh chopped


  • Microwave broth and tomatoes in a microwave-safe container on high power until steamy hot, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a Dutch oven or small soup kettle over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers; sauté until soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano: sauté until fragrant, a minute or so. Add beans and hominy along with hot broth mixture. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender and flavors have blended, about 20 minutes. Stir in garlic, chocolate and cilantro; simmer a couple of minutes to blend flavors. Turn off heat and let stand a few minutes if there's time. Adjust seasonings and serve.


Pam Anderson, honorary Skinny Ms., is a New York Times best selling author with seven published books. Pam is AARP’s official food expert, a food columnist for USA Weekend and Runner’s World magazines, and the former Executive Editor of Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Whether you're looking for the perfect brownie or going meatless, she has great advice for both novice and veteran cooks. Pam's articles have appeared in many culinary magazines; she also teaches cooking classes across the country and has been featured on TV and radio several times.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 45.2g | Protein: 14.2g | Fat: 3.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.9g | Sodium: 323mg | Fiber: 10.6g | Sugar: 4.5g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 1
Keywords Diabetic-Friendly, Plant-Based, Vegetarian

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You can find Pam’s site here: ThreeManyCooks.com.

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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