Bowl full of buffalo vegetarian chili with crushed tortilla chips and blue cheese crumbles.

Easy Buffalo Cauliflower Vegetarian Chili Recipe

In Mains by sarawalkenbach6 Comments

To all my vegan friends, Catholic friends at Lent, vegetarians, and meatless Monday misfits, this post is for you. Actually, this easy Buffalo Cauliflower Vegetarian Chili Recipe came about by accident but is one of the best chilies that I have ever made…AND it’s meatless…AND so easy!

Bowl full of Buffalo Vegetarian Chili with blue cheese crumbles on top.
You won’t miss the meat in this Vegetarian Chili. It’s loaded with spice and other veggies too!

Vegetarian meals are not something I typically do. The only vegetable I can get my children to eat these days are raw carrots. My husband gets the shakes if he doesn’t consume some sort of meat within a 6-hour time frame.

But, if you can slide a veggie recipe into the mix, this is the one for you. You won’t miss the meat in this chili. The hot sauce and beer take it to the next level. The navy beans add a creamy element that you will love. Furthermore, they are the smallest white bean. Sometimes big beans in a chili are intimidating…or is that just me?

An Easy Healthy Chili

With chili usually containing ground beef, steak bites, pork sausage, ground pork, smoked brisket, etc. it is not typically a “healthy” meal. It’s hearty, but not all that healthy. Adding in a vegetarian meal here and there is a great idea to keep you heart healthy, and your waistline trimmer. A serving of this Buffalo Vegetarian Chili is only 274 calories. I promise it will fill you up, and you will have a happy belly.

Just a handful of ingredients are needed to warm up with this bowl of chili.
Just a few ingredients are needed to make this recipe shine.

The secret to this veggie chili is cutting up the cauliflower small. When it’s small, with most of the stalk cut off, it resembles the crumbles of meat typically found in chili. That way you still get the same (or close to the same) texture.

Cut your cauliflower up small for this recipe.
Cut your cauliflower very small for this recipe.

Chili gets better the longer it simmers, and days after it sits in the fridge. The veggies in this recipe can hold up to some simmering, but not all day. You don’t want mush! A good hour of simmer works beautifully for these veggies.

Make it Your Own Chili

Easily make this chili your own by using your favorite hot sauce. Not a fan of Frank’s Red Hot, choose Cholula, Tabasco or your favorite. Don’t like celery? Nix it. Don’t drink beer, sub veggie stock, or a gluten free beer if you have a gluten allergy.

Can’t handle a chili without meat? Add in ground chicken or turkey and cook before you add the veggies. Don’t like Navy Beans? Add Garbanzo beans or black beans or great northern. Make it your own. Experiment and enjoy your creation.

Easy Buffalo Chili Toppings

What’s a chili without some yummy toppings. Chili toppings are where it’s at. They add the crunch and creaminess. Here are few healthier options for topping chili:

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Blue Cheese
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips
  • A few Fritos
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Slivered Almonds

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Thanks for reading along. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you would like more healthy recipes like this one sent right to your inbox, sign up for my Recipe Drops. They’re always FREE.

Bowl full of Buffalo Vegetarian Chili with blue cheese crumbles on top.

Buffalo Vegetarian Chili

Sara Walkenbach
Warm up with a bowl of spicy vegetarian chili. You won't miss the meat. Keep the calories low by using cauliflower instead of beef or pork. Top with your favorite chili toppings or blue cheese crumbles.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 107 kcal


  • 6 cups Cauliflower chopped into small pieces
  • 5 Carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 Celery Stalks trimmed and chopped
  • 2 Jalapenos seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 large Onion chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 15 oz cans of Navy Beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15oz can of Tomato Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Frank's Hot Sauce more if you like it spicy
  • 6 oz Lager, Pilsner or Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
  • Toppings: blue cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro, optional


  • In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Once warmed, add all veggies, except the garlic. Let cook a few minutes. Add cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Cook for another 6 minutes or so. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Pour the beer (or stock) into the pot. Let simmer for a few minutes. Add beans, Frank’s, and tomato sauce.
  • Simmer for up to an hour. Taste. If need be, add a little more salt. Enjoy


Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 3 days in airtight container.


Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 107kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 674mgPotassium: 521mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 8561IUVitamin C: 58mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Buffalo Vegetarian Chili, Franks Hot Sauce, Vegetarian Chili, Warm Up
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I absolutely love all of Freckle Face Foodie’s recipes!

    1. Author

      Thank you Kristen! We love having you on our site. Let us know what you think of the recipe when you get a chance to try it.

  2. This sounds and looks amazing! I LOVE chili and will definitely give this recipe a try. Thank you!

    1. Author

      Thanks for the message, Kelly! I’m so excited this recipe appeals to you. Please let us know how you like it.

  3. This chili is SO yummy! We made it for fun with a group of friends and everyone loved it!

    1. Author

      Thanks so much for sharing Kristen! I’m glad you liked it.

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