Vegan chili - You do not have to miss a good chili during the chili season. Perfect cozy meal in the cold autumn and winter season. This filling, vegetarian chili with beans, vegetables and bulgur (couscous) is full of flavor. Packed with healthy ingredients, this smoky stew recipe can be prepared in a crockpot or quickly as a one-pot dish. This wfpb chili stew is perfect for party food or just when you feel like a warming soup / stew for dinner.
vegan | vegetarian | oil-free | gluten-free (opt) | sugar free | dairy-free | oil-free | nut-free
Personally, I can eat such dishes all year round. I love all sorts of stews and love to eat them during the week for dinner, especially to go fast.
I've already tried many varieties of chili, but this combination of spices, cocoa and molasses surpasses just about every chili I've tried so far. And you can adjust the spiciness as you wish.
Double beans, corn, Bulgur or couscous, as a ground meat substitute, and tomatoes will not let you miss the traditional Mexican chili.
Homemade chili is not as complicated as you might think. So get to the stove and make yourself comfortable with a large bowl full of chili on the couch.
What ingredients do you need for this vegan chili?
You do not need a lot of unusual ingredients for the chili, most of them you might have, as we have in stock at home:
Bulgur or couscous
Cocoa powder, unsweetened
Red and green bell peppers
Diced tomatoes canned
Sea salt and pepper
Tabasco or other spicy sauce (opt)
Why do you need cocoa powder and molasses in your vegan chili?
Cocoa powder and molasses are not just baking ingredients for cookies, biscuits and other pastries. Thanks to these ingredients, you get a vegan chili full of flavor. These ingredients do not dominate in the stew. But they highlight the other flavors.
What is Bulgur?
Bulgur is a whole groat wheat that is cooked like rice in about 15 minutes. Just follow the instructions of the package. Bulgur is an important ingredient to mimic the texture of minced meat in stews.
You are welcome to boil the bulgur and freeze it. You can use bulgur for other dishes where you would normally use minced meat like taco, stews, sauces.
Bulgur is very good at absorbing the taste of dishes and is therefore very suitable as a ground meat substitute.
Unfortunately, you do not see any bulgur in the pictures, but couscous, because unfortunately I did not find any bulgur in my area and my supply went out.
What can you use instead of Bulgur?
To prepare a gluten-free version of chili, simply use buckwheat groats.
Couscous is also suitable as a Bulgur alternative. Couscous is made from durum wheat semolina like pasta. It is a flour granule cooked in some water. Couscous is usually steamed and not cooked and cooked in 5 minutes.
Freekeh is perfect as a minced meat substitute or bulgur substitute, just to replace the bulgur 1:1.
How to cook the best vegan chili?
First brown the diced onions and chopped garlic cloves vigorously. For this I always give a splash of water to the onions.
Now you can add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes until the bulgur or the alternative is cooked.
How to thicken chili
Chili gets thicker through the bulgur, couscous, or you just let it cook a bit longer until it's thickened.
You can also thicken with cornstarch, but it won’t be necessary. Let it cook a little longer accordingly.
Tips for the best vegan chili recipe:
- You can adjust the amount of beans as you like. You can still add white beans or just kidney beans.
- Take the beans you just like, e.g. white beans, pinto beans and others
- If you like chili thicker then just use less broth. Depending on whether you use Bulgur or couscous you need more or less liquid. Bulgur is more absorbent than couscous.
- The chili tastes best when it has stood overnight. If it is too thick the next day, just add a little more broth.
- Just use quinoa, millet or other grains instead of bulgur for a gluten-free version
What can you use as a chili topping?
- Sliced or diced avocado
- Tortilla chips
- Vegan cheese, grated
- Vegan sour cream
- Coconut milk
- Lime slices
- Tortilla crispy baked in the oven
What can you do with chili leftovers?
In the fridge, the vegan chili lasts about 4 days.
Uses of leftovers:
- Topping for nachos, fried potatoes, fries
- Filling for quesadillas, burritos, taquitos, tacos.
Can you freeze chili?
Chili is even great for freezing and thus as a meal prep. The recipe below is designed for about 6-8 people. So if you have leftovers, let the chili cool to room temperature and then freeze it in portions in airtight containers. That's how the chili lasts for 3-4 months.
To defrost, simply remove the chili from the freezer the night before and let it thaw on the countertop.
Is chili healthy?
We do not use oil or added sugar. The chili mainly consists of bulgur, beans, corn, tomatoes. In my opinion, it is a healthy dish full of nutrients such as vitamins A, C, folic acid, iron and calcium. However, I am not a nutritionist and these are just my assessments.
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