Chili is such a versatile meal. There are so many different ways to make it; you can change the type of meat, you can make it sweet or spicy, you can do basically anything to it. One thing that I’m happy about is that I can make it without meat.
I have tried quite a few different types of vegetarian chili. Some add a meat substitute, others have quinoa in it, and some just add a bunch of beans. Out of all of the recipes I have tried, my favorite are always the ones with a meat substitute. I know this probably sounds strange, but when you’re eating a nice thick bowl of chili, you want that meat texture.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 minced chipotle chili in adobo sauce*
- 2 cans kidney beans
- 28oz can diced tomato
- 1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 pkg veggie crumble
- 1 c vegetable broth
- Optional: sour cream and cheddar cheese for topping
*Note: You can omit the chipotle chili in adobo sauce if you want. In my opinion, when I omit it, the taste does not change much.
- Finely chop the yellow onion and red bell pepper. Mince the garlic cloves. Set aside.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan.
- Add onion and pepper to the sauce pan. Cook for 6-8 minute until soft.
- Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, chipotle chili, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, veggie crumble and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes until it thickens.
- I know that personally, I have to turn the heat down to about 2-3 on the stove because otherwise it will continue to boil rapidly and take even longer to thicken. That may just be my stove, but be cautious and make sure it is only simmering gently.
- Optional: Top with sour cream and cheese.
I love how easy this recipe is in terms of preparation. I can come home from class and all I have to do is chop a few things up and then I can work on homework and just let the pot sit on the stove. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the veggie crumbles give this chili a nice meat like texture without having real meat, which I love!
This chili isn’t too spicy which is perfect if you are making it for a crowd. I personally love spicy foods, so when making this, I typically increase the amount of spices and increase the number of chipotle chilis I put in. If you’re a spice-a-holic like me, then I definitely recommend adding an extra dash of spice and just tasting it throughout too see if its spicy enough for you.
Test Kitchen: Opinions and Changes
This recipe is modified from a recipe I found in America’s Test Kitchen Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. The original recipe was fine, I just made changes based on my personal preferences on chili.
I decreased the amount of onion to only half rather than a whole onion because for the amount of chili you get out of it, an entire onion was way too much. As mentioned above, when I make it, I increase the amount of spices, but the quantities listed above are what the original recipe indicates. Depending on if I have chipotle chilis already or not, I use them or omit it. I also choose to use canned diced tomatoes rather than canned whole tomatoes. The original recipe recommends using whole and then dicing them yourself. I find it easier to use diced and the taste/consistency doesn’t seem to change when using them either.
Chili has always been one of my favorite meals and with the winter seasons coming, this recipe is one I will be using often! A warm bowl of chili or soup is perfect for cold winter days.
What is your favorite kind of chili? Let us know if the comments below!