If Winter weather has got you down, this Vegetarian Chili Recipe is sure to heat you up. It’s made with tomatoes, beans, chili spices and a secret ingredient.
Chili is something that has to be made at least a couple times every winter. And this meatless recipe is so satisfying, you won’t really care that it’s meatless. If you follow a vegetarian diet, also try Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup Recipe, (make it with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth as the recipe states).
How to make veggie chili
A good chili recipe should be in everyone’s recipe tin. You probably have one that has been handed down from your mom or grandmother. The ingredients are usually ground meat, onions, kidney beans, tomatoes, a little garlic, and chili powder. Kind of like this crock pot chili recipe from Food and Wine Magazine.
This vegetarian chili recipe is somewhat different than the norm. First of all there is no meat but it tastes so good that you will never miss it.
- Chipotle chili in adobe sauce
- Pinto beans
- Fire roasted tomatoes
- Chili powder
- Fritos or tortilla chips
Ever have Fritos mixed into your chili? Ah, the secret ingredient.
You can probably tell by the ingredients that this is probably not your mom’s chili recipe.
The cilantro, fire roasted tomatoes, and chipotle chili in adobo sauce gives this chili a slightly smokey flavor. Adding Fritos or tortilla chips helps to thicken the chili and gives you a bit of pleasurable crunch in each spoonful.
Use a large yellow or white onion and give it a good chop. You should end up with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of onion.
Next, from a bunch of fresh cilantro, take a dozen or so stems and strip the leaves off. Then chop the stems into pieces. The cilantro stems get cooked with the onions and garlic. Give the leaves a slight chop and save them for a garnish.
Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are usually found in the International section of your grocery. The can is small and we’re only using one pepper out of it. The remaining chiles and sauce can be placed in a freezer bag and kept frozen for future use. Take a fork and get one chili and give it a fine chop. Put this in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce.
The pinto beans need to be drained and rinsed before they are put in the pot.
Once the chili has simmered for 30 minutes, take a potato masher or a fork and break up about 1/4th of the beans. This is to also thicken the chili.
How to serve it
Stir in a cup of Fritos or tortilla chips right before serving. If you won’t be eating all of the chili at this time, ladle out what you don’t need before adding the chips. They will start to get soggy after 15 or 20 minutes and loose the crunch factor. You can refrigerate the leftovers up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
Garnish your bowl of chili with:
- dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt
- diced onion
- diced avocados
- grated cheddar cheese
Leftover vegetarian chili can also be put in a saucepan and simmered until it has thickened. Then use it as a topping for nachos, or a baked potato, or in a quesadilla, or a burrito. Why Not?
Hearty Vegetarian Chili Recipe
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, white or yellow, diced about 2 cups
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 to 15 stalks fresh cilantro, leaves stripped then chopped small save the leaves for garnish
- 1 each chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 1 tsp adobo sauce
- 4 tbsp tomato paste, (1/2 6 oz. can)
- 2 15 oz. cans, pinto beans, drained and rinsed substitute another variety of bean if desired
- 5 cups water
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 28 oz. canned, fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup Fritos corn chips or tortilla chips
- juice from 1/2 fresh lime
- In a large dutch oven or stock pot, add the olive oil and bring to a shimmer, then add the onion, garlic and cilantro stalks. Cook stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste and chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. Cook stirring 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the fire roasted tomatoes, beans, 5 cups of water, chili powder, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered 30 minutes. Then use a potato masher or a fork to crush about 1/4 of the beans for thickening.
- When you are ready to serve, squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime over the chili and stir in 1 cup of Fritos or tortilla chips. Serve right away with your choice of garnishes.
- Extra tomato paste and chipotle peppers and adobo sauce can be frozen in plastic bags for future use.
- You can substitute other types of canned beans for the pinto beans.
- Recipe from Bon Appetit.