The weeks leading up to Christmas are fraught with opportunities for overindulgence. This vegetable-packed chili is a healthful antidote to a surfeit of sweets. Our family loves it, even the die-hard meat eaters and small children. It’s warmly spiced, without being overwhelmingly hot, and the cinnamon adds a hint of cozy sweetness.  It cooks up in a jiffy, too. 

Serve it alongside traditional nacho accompaniments of sour cream and shredded cheese, and if you really want to be popular, corn chips. 


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Winter Vegetable Chili

This hearty vegetable chli is packed full of flavour; the cinnamon adds a hint of warm sweetness. Even die-hard meat-eaters love this healthy one-pot meal. Perfect for frosty winter nights, it cooks up in a flash and is even better the next day when the flavours have had a chance to meld. 


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into ½” pieces
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 large red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, seeded and cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp ground ancho or chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 12 oz beer
  • 12 oz chicken stock or tomato juice
  • 1 28 oz can Italian tomatoes with juices
  • 2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained


  1. In a large lidded cast iron braising pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the parsnips, squash and bell peppers and sauté, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften (about 8 minutes).
  2. Add the salt and spices and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are coated and the spices are fragrant (about 3 minutes).
  3. Add the beer and chicken stock. Stir to deglaze the pan. Add the canned tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands. Bring to a brisk simmer, then reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer until the vegetables are almost tender (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. 
  4. Add the beans and allow to simmer until heated through. (about 5 minutes).
  5. Adjust the seasonings and serve.
  • Author: Helen Kain


I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.