Vegan “Trashcan” Chili

This is a “trashcan” or “dump” recipe that can be made completely from not-very-perishible[1] ingredients. These are great for cold or rainy days when you just don’t want to leave the house. Even if you haven’t been to the store, you might have these on hand. The beauty is that if you have a little common sense, there isn’t any measuring to do.


  • frozen zuccini, I used most of a medium sized bag
  • canned vegetarian chili (Wolf brand, of course)
  • canned ranch/Texas style beans (caveat: they have a tiny bit of beef broth in them, but it’s near the end of the ingredients list, so I let it slide)
  • canned tender field peas with snaps
  • [canned diced tomatoes] [2]
  • canned mushrooms
  • canned garbanzo beans
  • garlic (I used the big jar of refrigerated minced garlic) (I used a big Tablespoon)
  • chili powder (I used the “pour” spout, probably 3-4 Tablespooons)
  • ground mustard (I just sprinkled some in, probably a teaspoon or so)
  • cumin/comino (more spirinkles)
  • [add TVP if you want a “ground beef” texture. Serve with cheese on top if you aren’t vegan. Add browned ground beef if you aren’t vegetarian.]


  1. Microwave the frozen zuccini until it’s cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  2. In a stock pot over medium heat, add the vegetarian chili.
  3. Reserve the liquid from the ranch/Texas beans and add the beans to the chili.
  4. Reserve the liquid from the field peas and add them.
  5. Drain the [tomatoes,] mushrooms, and garbanzo beans, and add them.
  6. Stir in the seasonings.
  7. Add some of the reserved liquid, if necessary, to keep everything moist and to keep anything from sticking.
  8. Bring to a boil and then simmer until thoroughly heated.
  9. Serve with crackers.
    Or, pour over Fritos and top with nutritional yeast. [Top with shredded cheese, if you aren’t vegan].


[1] items come from the pantry or freezer or have a very long shelf life in the refrigerator
[2] I would normally add these, but we didn’t have any.

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