We are not vegans, nor vegetarians. Not even close. But this vegan chili is one of our favorite meals. I have been making it for about 10 years now, and it’s a keeper. And yes, we’ve tried it with turkey and beef. But the meatless version is better.
No, really. I made it many years ago for my parents, who ate meat for dinner every night without fail. They looked at me like I was crazy when I proposed making it, and consented only after a lot of prodding on my part. Afterwards? They were so in love with veggie crumbles, they started using it as a meat substitute regularly.
So I encourage you to try this chili, and judge for yourself. I pulled it together from at least three different recipes long ago, and I no longer remember what they were (although one was a cookbook based on the Patricia Cornwell mystery series–I do remember that). I do not usually measure any of the ingredients, so each time is a little different. For the purposes of posting, I measured everything this time around, but don’t feel indebted to the numbers. They are merely guidelines.
Side note: I am aware that there is a debate in the vegan community that honey may or may not be vegan. Since the vegans I know are okay with honey, I am too. But feel free to substitute with another sweetener.
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/8 tsp salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 packages of Morning Star veggie crumbles
2 15.5 oz cans of black beans
1 15.5 oz can of red kidney beans
1 15.5 oz can of black eye peas
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 cup frozen or whole corn
2 tbsp beer
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp + 1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried garlic
juice of 1/2 lime
salt, to taste
- In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until slightly browned. Add onion, pepper, carrots, and salt to taste. Cook until soft and beginning to brown.
- In a large pot, combine veggie crumbles, tomato sauce, beans, and corn over medium heat and cook until warm.
- Add beer, honey, remaining spices, and vegetables, stir intermittently while cooking. Once everything is hot, taste and adjust spices, honey, lime, or beer as needed.
-If the chili becomes liquid-y, you can use flour (or “masa”) to thicken. If you need more liquid, add beer (I usually end up using more than 2 tbsp, but you should start with a small amount and work up if needed).
-If you decide to try meat instead, you may need less tomato sauce. Turkey and beef will let off more liquid than veggie crumbles.
-I have used my own spices at times, but I am also quite fond of the Two Alarm Chili spice packet, which is what I usually use. If you use this, substitute 1.5 tsp of the “cumin/oregano” mixture for the two spices, and use 1 tsp of the onion/garlic packet.