Cook's Hideout: Vegetarian Chili

January 12, 2007

Vegetarian Chili

With the untimely warm weather behind, it looks like winter is finally upon us. Great time to have a big bowl of soup to warm you up inside and out. Traditionally chili is a spicy stew like dish, the essential ingredients of which are beef, pork or other mature meat and chili peppers. You can totally omit the meat and make a vegetarian version.
This version has Veggie Ground round (soy protein). This recipe is from my ex-colleague Angela who was always in the look out for good vegetarian dishes because of her vegetarian daughter. One day she brought me a lunch box full of chili made with soy meat, I was a little skeptical to even taste it because of the texture. But she assured me that it is 100% vegetarian and healthy too. I loved it and got hooked on to soy meat. I changed the recipe to my taste and it is just hearty and perfect for a cold winter evening.

Veggie Ground Round – 1 package
Onion – 1 large
Green pepper – 1
Red pepper – 1
Garlic – 2-3, chopped
Tomato paste – 1/2 cup
Chopped tomatoes – 1 15 oz. can
Red Kidney beans – 2 15 oz. cans
Canned chipotle chilies – 2-3 (depending on taste)
Dried Basil - 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Bay leaves – 3
Vegetable broth – 2 cups
Salt, Pepper & Cayenne pepper – to taste

  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, sauté onions and peppers till soft but not overcooked. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add veggie ground round and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add the spices, tomatoes, broth and simmer for about 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the beans (you can use any variety of beans), salt, cayenne pepper and cook for another 10 minutes. Check the seasoning, remove bay leaves, garnish with green onions and serve warm.
I served our chili with brown rice with sautéed onions and mushroom and a dollop of sour cream.
Serve with white rice, Spanish rice, baked potatoes or nachos. It stays good refrigerated and also frozen (don’t add the beans if you want to freeze, just thaw and add in the beans when serving). Very versatile recipe, you can play around with the veggies, add mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash etc.


  1. YAY!! My fav chilli but not with soy though! Looks fabulous and I want some now!!:))
    Happy Pongal!

  2. Beautiful presentation Pavni. I am a little skeptical with soy tho' but I should give it a try as it is very healthy

  3. Even i am little shyish towards soy.May try with lamb.

    Happy Pongal!

  4. SLURP!!!! MY mouth is watering!!!! Sounds perfect!!!

  5. Looks so yummy. Cannot wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Sounds great and great alternative. I do admit I am another one who is not comfortable with using soy. I guess it's worth a try though!

  7. That's a very healthy recipe using soy. I'm sure it goes great with any kind of pulao.

  8. Wow Pavani....that looks great! a hearty meal too...thanks for the recipe.



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