by Sherri Koehler on January 11, 2011

Christie asked me this weekend what recipe I used for chili and I had to fess up that it was a dish I just made up each time. No recipe used, just threw stuff in a pot until it was done.

So in honor of getting back to some posts after a break while I adjusted to my new job, here’s a recipe for chili. Serve this with some cornbread or brown rice for a very hearty, warming meal on a cold winter’s night!

The Stuff

  • 6 cups of cooked beans (if using canned beans, aprox. 4 cans, make sure to rinse well first)
  • 3 15oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 15oz cans of diced tomatoes (I like using the fire-roasted kind with green chilies)
  • 1 large onion, medium dice
  • 2 green bell peppers, medium dice (or 1 bell and 2 Anaheim chilies)
  • 5 large cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (sweet or hot, depending on your preference)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt – to taste (if your canned tomatoes are salted you will probably not need any)

The Making

Bring a good sized stock pot (e.g., 8qt) up to medium-high heat and lightly coat with oil (e.g., high heat, spray canola). Add diced onions and saute for 5-8 minutes, letting them get dark in places is fine. Add garlic and continue to saute well for another 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and reduce heat to medium, saute for another 3-5 minutes

Add the rest of the ingredients, starting with all the tomato items. Fill each empty can half full of water, swish around to get all the tomato-y goodness, dump into the chili, and give a good stir.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 30 minutes to let flavors blend. If the chili comes up to a bubble, reduce heat fully to low. A longer simmer is best before serving, the flavors really come together nicely.


  • Mix it up on those 6 cups of beans! Try a mix of pintos, black beans, Anasazi beans, kidney beans, navy beans, chickpeas, etc.
  • Throw in a cup of broken up bits of Soy Curls. They will rehydrate nicely in the chili and add a great chewy texture.
  • Serve over roasted potato wedges
  • Use as filling for enchiladas (this recipe makes a very stew-like chili)
  • Pair with a big ol’ wedge of cornbread, crusty whole wheat bread or some brown rice
  • Top with a generous dollop of guacamole

Just what a cold day needs...

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Caylee Clarissa January 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Our home variant, to create a vegan version of a chili we used to have in WI:

replace bell peppers with
1 red pepper, broiled, peeled, and seeded cut into small chunks
3 habanero peppers minced

1 less can of beans

3 additional halved cloves of garlic thrown in with the beans and tomato

serve over pasta – in particular we used the Harvest Grains blend from Trader Joe’s, which is mostly Israeli couscous

sprinkle vegan cheddar, I prefer daiya, and crushed corn chips on top


sherri January 25, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I’m impressed with the habaneros. I have some fear of them! I’ve done this in the summer with freshly picked, grilled Anaheim and Poblano peppers and it is awesome that way.

We do use a lot of beans. Generally we prefer things to be on the “stew” side (stand a spoon up in it kind of thick).

I love the Harvest Grains blend! I love to serve minestrone with it.


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