Italian Clean-The-Fridge Vegetarian Chili

Want more great recipes? See all of our Recipes of the Month.

This is a great way to use up all those bits and pieces of veggies in your refrigerator. Serve over bulgur, whole grain pasta, or all on its own, and try topping with a little good quality, grated Cheddar

Active time: 30 min. Total time: 1 hour 15 min. Servings: 8 (1½ c. per person)

Gluten Free


  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5-6 cups chopped vegetables, whatever is in your fridge
  • ¼ to ½ cup vermouth, cooking sherry or white wine
  • 1 (15-ounce) can juice pack tomatoes, roughly chopped, including juice
  • ¾ cup low-sodium vegetable broth (more as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil or 1 teaspoon
  • dried (or Italian spices)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Empty both cans of beans into a colander and rinse well. Then dump them into a large bowl of water and let them soak while you sauté the veggies (soaking canned beans removes 30-40% of the sodium).
  2. Roughly chop up 5-6 cups of your favorite vegetables and saute in a little olive oil. A typical mix might be: 1 small red onion, 1 large carrot, 2 stalks celery, 1 large zucchini, 1 large yellow crookneck squash, 1 large red, yellow or green pepper, 6 mushrooms.
  3. Add ¼-½ cup vermouth or cooking sherry or wine and boil off for 1-2 minutes. This step is optional, but it deepens the flavor. Then add everything else to the pot, including the rinsed and drained beans. Add more broth if you like your chili soupier.
  4. Simmer everything for about 40-45 minutes and enjoy. The chili gets better and better the longer it sits!

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 120 calories (35 from fat), 4 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 7 g protein. Exchanges:  1 starch, 1½ vegetable, 1 protein, 1 fat, 1 free

GLUTEN-FREE recipes are prepared without any wheat, barley, rye or triticale. Check the label on each ingredient to make sure the brand you are using does not contain these grains in any form (flour, bread stuffing, bran germ, malt, starch, etc.).

VEGAN recipes are prepared without any animal products including fats, milk or eggs. Check the label on each ingredient to make sure the brand you are using does not contain these items in any form.

All exchange values are approximate. When an optional or additional ingredient is offered, exchange values may change.


Previous Recipes of the Month

Members can access all of our great recipes, including our previous Recipes of the Month, by logging onto our members' area recipe page. Want all of our great recipes? Become a member!

Start my TOPS weight-loss journey