Spicy Cauliflower Chili – Connoisseurus Veg

This cauliflower chili is made with juicy tomatoes, black beans, and zesty Tex-Mex spices! It’s healthy, easy to make, and packed with flavor!

White wooden surface set with pot, bunch of cilantro, and bowl of Cauliflower Chili on a blue napkin.

Is there anything cauliflower can’t do? It can be rice, it can be a roast, and it can even be a great substitute for meat in pasta sauce.

Well here’s another thing it can do: it makes great chili! I love experimenting with different main ingredients in my vegan chili, and for this particular batch I went with cauliflower, thinking cauliflower chili might be perfect when you’re looking to sneak some extra veggies into your diet or just looking for a lightened up bowl of chili. It worked great!

In addition to cauliflower, I added some black beans to make the chili a bit more substantial, along with a few chili essentials like tomatoes and spices. It was so good! This chili is going right into my weeknight dinner rotation.

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Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. Feel free to substitute any high-heat oil, such as canola, avocado, or corn oil. You can also use water for an oil-free version of this recipe.
  • Onion.
  • Red bell pepper. Or use your favorite color bell pepper!
  • Garlic.
  • Spices. We’re using chili powder, ground cumin, ancho chile powder, and oregano. Feel free to add a little cayenne pepper as well if you like your chili hot.
  • Fresh cauliflower.
  • Canned black beans.
  • Fire roasted tomatoes. Regular diced tomatoes will work if you can’t find these.
  • Tomato paste.
  • Vegetable broth.
  • Salt & pepper.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Heat your oil in a large pot, then add diced onion and pepper. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes, giving them a stir occasionally, until they start to soften up.
  • Stir in minced garlic and all of the spices. Cook everything briefly, watching it closely and stirring the whole time to prevent burning.
Onions, peppers and spices cooking in a large pot.
  • Add cauliflower florets, black beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and broth. Stir everything well to distribute the ingredients.
Broth being poured into a pot of Cauliflower Chili.
  • Bring the chili to a simmer and let it cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and the sauce is thick.

Tip: Keep the heat low so that your chili is barely at a simmer. This will ensure that the sauce doesn’t get too thick. If it does thicken too much, simply add a bit of hot water.

Cauliflower Chili simmering in a pot.
  • Take your chili off of the burner and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
Pot of Cauliflower Chili with a wooden spoon.
  • Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings. I’m using diced avocado, fresh cilantro and dairy-free sour cream.
  • Dig in!
Bowl of Cauliflower Chili with wooden spoon and blue pot in the background.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover cauliflower chili will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cauliflower chili gluten-free?

It is!

Can I make this chili with frozen cauliflower?

Yes! Thaw it first and add it after the chili has already been simmering for about 20 minutes.

More Vegan Chili Recipes

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Bowl of Cauliflower Chili topped with avocado, vegan sour cream and cilatro.

Spicy Cauliflower Chili

This cauliflower chili is made with juicy tomatoes, black beans, and zesty Tex-Mex spices! It’s healthy, easy to make, and packed with flavor!


  • 1
    olive oil
  • 1
    medium onion,
  • 1
    medium red bell pepper,
  • 4
    garlic cloves,
  • 1
    chili powder
  • 1
    ground cumin
  • 1
    ancho chile powder
  • 1
    dried oregano
  • Pinch
    cayenne pepper,
    or to taste
  • 5
    cauliflower florets
    (about 1 medium head of cauliflower)
  • 1
    (15 ounce or 400 gram) can
    black beans,
    drained and rinsed
  • 2
    (15 ounce or 400 gram) cans
    fire roasted tomatoes
  • ¼
    tomato paste
  • 1 ½
    vegetable broth
  • Salt & pepper,
    to taste


  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with the oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and pepper. Sweat the veggies for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pepper is soft and the onion begins to turn translucent.

  3. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, ancho chile powder, and oregano. Sauté the mixture briefly until it becomes very fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

  4. Stir in the cauliflower, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and broth.

  5. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the chili to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the sauce is very thick and the cauliflower is tender.

  6. Remove the pot from heat and season the chili with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Spicy Cauliflower Chili

Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)

Calories 251
Calories from Fat 56

% Daily Value*

Fat 6.2g10%

Saturated Fat 0.8g4%

Sodium 385mg16%

Potassium 1415mg40%

Carbohydrates 39.7g13%

Fiber 12.9g52%

Sugar 12.3g14%

Protein 13.9g28%

Calcium 145mg15%

Iron 5mg28%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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