You may be hearing more and more about plant-based diets. But what does this really mean? Plant-based diets are not necessarily vegetarian diets. The term plant-based simply means that plants make up the majority of food on your plate, not necessarily the whole plate.

Plant foods include vegetables and fruit, grains, pulses (dried beans and peas), nuts and seeds

This rustic chili  is an excellent recipe to try if you are trying to include more plants in your diet. It is so flavourful and contains a colourful assortment of vegetables, including red and yellow pepper, zucchini, butternut squash and corn. When combined with the mixed beans, the result is a dish that is high in fibre, vitamins and flavour.

Chili often has a combination of spices; this one contains chili powder, dried oregano, cumin and cayenne pepper. This level of heat is perfect for most families. The addition of milk makes it creamy, like a rose sauce, which also decreases the heat. Top it with plain Greek yogurt, grated cheese or avocado for a cool complement to the chili.

What is your go-to chili recipe?

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Written by a Registered Dietitian.

Rustic Veggie Chili
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes


1 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 butternut squash, chopped
1 each red and yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp (45 ml) chili powder
1 tbsp (15 ml) dried oregano leaves
1 tsp (5 ml) cumin
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cayanne pepper
2 bay leaves
2, 28 oz (796 ml) cans diced tomatoes
2, 19 oz (540 ml) cans mixed beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp (15 ml) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) frozen corn
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh coriander


  1. In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper and cook until onion begins to soften (about 3 minutes).
  3. Stir in seasonings, bay leaves, sqaush, zucchini, and peppers.
  4. Add tomatoes and beans; stir.
  5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Whisk flour into milk and gradually stir into chili.
  7. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until desired thickness is reached.
  8. Discard bay leaves. Stir in corn and coriander and heat through.
  9. Top with plain Greek yogurt, chopped avocado and shredded cheddar cheese as desired.