Crock Pot Vegetarian Buffalo Cauliflower Chili

I really want to have a cute little anecdote to share or some sort of spin to take on this story, but so far I have found myself typing about 1) Our trip to the zoo yesterday and how my daughter was most excited to see the spiders and how I am borderline arachnophobe and 2) The fact that we cancelled DISH Network last year, and what with the Seahawks and the Golden Globes this past weekend, well, no live TV kind of sucked. But otherwise we are a happy Roku family.

Neither subject, clearly, is particularly scintillating, so … backspace, backspace, backspace, chili. I’ll just talk about this Crock Pot Buffalo Cauliflower Chili, because I’m just plain out of any other good ideas. Writer’s block: it’s a real thing.

Crock Pot Vegetarian Buffalo Chili - Veggie chili, red-hot buffalo style! This easy meatless slow-cooker chili recipe hits the spot whether it's game day or any day.

Note: this is not buffalo chili. It’s buffalo chili. See the difference? I have definitely not changed my ways; it is definitely not buffalo of the American Bison variety.

It is buffalo of the wing variety. But it’s not buffalo wings, either, because that’s still meat. And that would be weird. It’s just the sauce. And cauliflower. And a bunch of other stuff to make it into chili.

(See how I am not kidding about my writer’s block?!)

Crock Pot Vegetarian Buffalo Chili - Veggie chili, red-hot buffalo style! This easy meatless slow-cooker chili recipe hits the spot whether it's game day or any day.

I actually bought the Frank’s Red Hot sauce for another recipe idea I have up my sleeve, but on a whim, I threw this together too. And WE LOVED IT. Because the cauliflower cooks for a good long time, it just sort of melds with the beans, tomatoes, onions, and sauce and creates this wonderful thick chili texture. The Frank’s Red Hot, chili powder, and cayenne lend a nice wallop of heat, but it’s a nice sort of heat. No pain. And it’s mellowed a bit by the brown sugar and the cheese you throw on top. Blue cheese is a must. Unless you hate it, then cheddar is a must. Unless you’re a vegan, in that case, I think you’ll still like it without the cheese.

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Crock Pot Vegetarian Buffalo Cauliflower Chili

Vegetarian chili, red-hot buffalo style! This easy chili hits the spot whether it’s game day or any day. This is a super easy one-pot slow cooker meal – no prep other than cutting the veggies and opening some cans! Pour it all into the slow cooker and come back in a few hours. Dinner’s ready.


  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower (about 4 cups florets)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups cooked cannellini beans (or 2 15-oz. cans, drained)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (4-ounce) can fire-roasted diced green chilies
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (plus more to taste if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste if desired)
  • Assorted toppings such as blue cheese, diced celery, diced red onion, sliced scallions, sour cream, or shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Add all ingredients to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir.
  2. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Taste and add additional salt, if desired.
  3. Serve with assorted toppings.
  4. Chili keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or freeze in zipper bags for up to 3 months.

Dairy-Free/Vegan Option:

Omit the cheese & sour cream toppings.


October 3, 2015 – I’ve just added a star rating system to this recipe so if you have tried it, please be sure to rate it to let others know how you like it – 5 if you love it, 1 if you don’t (but hopefully you love it!) Just click on the stars below the “Print Recipe” button above. Thank you!

All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

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Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.