11 November 2010

Vegan chili

My husband recently combined a bunch of online recipes to make a really amazing chili. It's pretty easy to make and incorporated several of my preserving projects, which is an added bonus. We utilized a pressure cooker to cook the beans, but you can certainly cook them the old fashioned way. You can also use canned beans, but why bother? With a little more effort, you'll get tastier results.

This chili is a bit on the spicy side, so feel free to adjust the spices accordingly.

Vegan chili (I make mine vegetarian by adding cheese and sour cream to the finished chili)
4 servings
  • 1 cup dry kidney beans
  • 1 cup dry black beans (note: use any beans you like -- we've also used chickpeas)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 12 oz. vegetable broth
  • 2-3 dried jalapenos, reconstituted in veggie broth
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (use whole canned tomatoes, then chop)
  • 1 cup strained tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
1. If pressure cooking beans: Soak beans for 4 hours. Drain water (but don't waste it -- use it for your plants!), and add beans into pressure cooker, pouring in fresh water just to cover the beans. Cook the beans according to your pressure cooker's directions (including adding oil, if required). I pressure cook a combination of kidney beans and black beans for 2 minutes, so they're still just a bit firm (they'll soften when added to the other chili ingredients).

If cooking beans in boiling water: I tend to follow Mark Bittman's guidelines. I won't recount them here (they're listed in his excellent How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and The Food Matters Cookbook). You can also use whatever method works best for you.

2. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and red pepper.

3. Sweat onion and pepper until somewhat tender, then add a couple pinches of salt. Add garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.

4. Add the chili powder, crushed red pepper, and paprika. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.

5. Stir in jalapenos and veggie broth.

6. Stir in chopped and strained tomatoes and tomato paste.

7. Stir in cooked beans (drained).

8. Add hot sauce (if desired), and salt and pepper to taste.

9. Let the whole thing simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

(I keep dried beans in quart-size canning jars -- the colors are so beautiful!)

(Chili is a great way to utilize your preserving projects. On the left is veggie broth, which I freeze in 12 oz. canning jars. On the right: whole tomatoes in a pint jar, canned in July.)

This post is part of Meatless Mondays at Midnight Maniac.


  1. With 3 Tbsp chili powder and hot sauce, I would definitely need the sour cream to cool my palette.

    I love that you used ingredients from your own pantry to make this. I freeze broth too. It's wonderful to have on hand.

    Thanks for joining Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays!

    ♥ Rebecca Jean
    Midnight Maniac

  2. This is such a great idea! I've been experimenting with vegan recipes. I wonder if you've ever tried using faux meat products in this chili. I heard soy crumbles can be great.


  3. Soy crumbles would probably make a great addition, but I love the beans alone. The chili is really rich as is, and so I find it doesn't need much more.