Vegetarian Chili

December 25, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes Print This Post Print This Post

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This vegetarian chili recipe has been crowd tested and crowd approved. I’ve served it to meat eaters at a pot luck without revealing that the chili had no meat in it.  They didn’t even realize anything was “amiss” and were raving about the taste. It’s now time to reveal my secret ingredient: beer. Try to choose a flavorful pale ale. Steer away from light beers (no flavor) and thicker stouts (too much flavor).

The ingredient list does look long; however, preparation couldn’t be easier.  It’s all about combining the ingredients into the pot and letting it simmer. The reason why this particular recipe works is that the various flavors and spices are given a chance to be layered through the cooking process.

Vegetarian Chili
by Megabeth

8 oz package sliced small portobello mushrooms (or white mushrooms)
1 12 oz package vegetarian “ground beef” crumbles
1/2 onion, chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
1 1/2 t chili powder
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 1/2 t onion power
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 packet (1.13 ounces) organic taco seasoning
2 15 oz cans organic dark kidney beans (drained)
2 15 oz cans organic light kidney beans (drained)
1 11 oz can organic canned corn (drained) (or 1 cup frozen corn)
2 10 oz cans diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 6 oz cans organic tomato paste
3/4 cup peanut halves
1/2 cup beer
shredded cheese and sour cream for garnish

– Pour a little olive oil into bottom of large pot and add garlic. Heat oil and garlic on medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are softened. (Note: If using onions, saute onions first, then add mushrooms after the onions have had a chance to soften up.)

– Add “ground beef” into pot. Stir occasionally until heated through.

– Add chili powder, onion powder, cayenne and about 1/2 of the chili seasoning while the “ground beef” is cooking.

– Add kidney beans, corn, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and peanuts.Stir to combine, then add rest of chili seasoning. (Note: I did not add peanuts to the chili in the picture below as I didn’t have any on hand…)

– Cover and turn heat to low. Allow chili to simmer on the stove for at least a 1/2 hour. The longer you let it simmer, with occasional stirring, the better. Towards end of cooking add about a 1/4 cup of beer.

– Scoop into bowls and serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

7 Comments to “Vegetarian Chili”

  1. So, we had this and, to quote my grandfather (and this may not translate well into English, but here goes), it was so good that we licked the bowl through and ended up with it around our neck.

    A couple of modifications to note: My husband skipped the peanuts (allergies) and also added cilantro because…well, because if he can add cilantro to something, he will. Nothing bad ever comes of adding cilantro, is his motto.

    (I didn’t help stir, but I did provide encouragement during the mixing process, and then again during the simmering process, sniffing appreciatively. I believe that counts, right?!)

  2. I love it! I may borrow that phrase if you don’t mind.

    I personally like cilantro but one of the eaters in our house who shall remain nameless has that “it tastes like soap” reaction to it. So, I leave it out.

    And, yes, appreciative sniffing counts as helping.

  3. I would just like to observe that chili is never really served in little bowls/squares(?) like that. Chili comes in big bowls. Round and big and easy for scooping.

  4. First let me say, as a chili lover myself, I love your chili photos. I’m writing to you in hopes that we can collaborate in the name of a good cause and in the name of delicious chili.

    I work for a non-profit public health campaign called Meatless Monday- a campaign which encourages Americans to cut meat intake one day a week (we suggest Monday) reducing saturated fat intake by roughly 15% in an effort to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Those are the four leading causes of death in the US- all preventable. Meatless Monday has a website with a theme, recipes and food/health related articles which change every week.

    Chili week has always been one of the most exciting themes of the year, because chili is such a versatile dish and is quite hearty even without meat. In previous years, we have made efforts to include pictures of our reader’s community chili cookoffs, as well as provide some additional submitted recipes and articles. You might be interested to see our current chili content:

    I’m writing to you today because the week of January 26th (superbowl week) is chili week. We would really like to update our chili pictures and content before the Chili Monday site goes live. Could we use any pictures of chili cookoffs? Do you have any chili facts or chili organizations we should include? I would need any photos or information by Wednesday, January 21st to get it on the site by January 26th. Please follow-up with me either way at and let me know what you think.


  5. Hi Joey – it’s been a pleasure speaking with you. Looking forward to helping you out with Meatless Mondays!

  6. Mary Chaffee says:

    How many serving does this recipe make? I need to make chili for 25 people! Can I triple the recipe?


  7. About 8 – 10 depending on how big a bowl you serve. Shouldn’t be a problem to triple it, just leave yourself plenty of cooking and simmer time. You might want to consider doing it in two separate pots. That amount of chili will be a little hard to stir from bottom to top or at least you’ll get a good arm workout.. You can keep adding a variety of beans in there to help bulk it up and make sure you spot check your spices to make sure you have enough going in there for best flavor. Have fun!


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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