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overhead view of bowl of vegan cauliflower chili topped with avocado and red onion.

Cauliflower Chili

  • Author: Lexi
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This hearty Cauliflower Chili with pinto beans, poblano peppers and sweet potato is packed with flavor and happens to be naturally vegan! It's easy to make, perfect for meal prep and a great way to get in a few extra servings of vegetables.


Units Scale
  • 3 tablespoons oil (avocado, olive or another neutral oil)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced (~1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (2-3 large cloves)
  • 1 poblano pepper, finely diced (~1/2 cup)
  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups diced sweet potato (diced into 1/4" pieces)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 28 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Add oil to a large dutch oven/soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Stir in garlic, poblano pepper and red bell pepper and continue cooking for 5 minutes, until they start to soften.
  3. Add in sweet potato, chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and tomato paste and continue cooking for 6-8 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Pour in broth, diced tomatoes and lime juice, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes, stir in cauliflower, pinto beans and cilantro. Return to a simmer (uncovered) and cook for an additional 30-35 minutes, until chili is thickened and vegetables are tender.
  6. Serve hot topped with avocado slices, red onion, sour cream, shredded cheese, etc.


Topping ideas: Cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, pickled onion, tortilla strips, etc. 

Substitutions/additions: You can swap out the pinto beans for black beans if you'd like, as they have a firmer texture that some may find preferable. You can also feel free to add more chili powder and a few dashes of hot sauce if you like a little more heat in your chili.

Storage: Transfer to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. Try to consume within 3-4 days.

Freezer storage: Let the chili cool to room temperature, then transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then heat in a pot over medium-low until warmed through. (Note: you may need to add extra broth.)

What to serve with cauliflower chili: Our homemade cornbread!

Since cauliflower can become mushy if it's overcooked, make sure to add it in at the specified step, and no sooner.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 427
  • Sugar: 14.9 g
  • Sodium: 1198.7 mg
  • Fat: 8.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 72.4 g
  • Fiber: 22.3 g
  • Protein: 16.1 g

Keywords: cauliflower chili