A filling and hearty meal that is simply perfect served on its own out of a cozy bowl with a dollop of vegan sour and some crusty homemade bread. It’s also nice spooned on top of this tofu scramble for breakfast, or piled up high on top of tortilla chips, vegan hot dogs and chili cheese fries with all the works, roasted sweet potatoes, or stuffed into burritos + street tacos with your favorite salsa and guac. The possibilities truly are endless, lasagna anyone?.
- Vegan Meat – A combination of chopped up meaty soy curls + ground up walnuts yields the ultimate meaty texture perfect for a chili that will seduce any meat eater out there. The walnuts naturally thicken the chili while adding good for you omegas, protein and an earthy umami flavor.
- Beans – One 14 oz can of your favorite beans drained and rinsed well is all that you need here. Kidney beans, black beans, pinto, white and even black eyed peas if that’s what you fancy. However it’s perfectly ok to skip the beans altogether and make this a “ No Bean Chili” also known as “ Texas Chili or Chili Con Carne”. The meaty texture is out of this world, it is sure to fool even a carnivore!
- The Tomatoes – As always you can count on me to go the non traditional route and use San Marzano tomatoes in a pot of chili. What can I say? They truly are the best tomatoes, naturally sweet non acidic so you don’t need to add sugar to cut the acidity. I didn’t even need to add tomato paste but you can definitely add a couple of tablespoons if your heart so desires. If using regular canned tomatoes you might want to add a little splash of maple syrup to cut that acidity at the end.
- Spices – Classic smoky and earthy spices like cumin, coriander and smoked paprika is where chili gets its authentic flavor. The key is to not overdo it especially with the cumin that could really become overpowering, start with a little bit and work your way up from there. A splash of tamari adds a lovely umami layer of flavor in the very beginning and If you are feeling adventurous you can try adding a secret dash of cocoa powder for a little “je ne sais quoi”.
How to Make Vegan Chili
- Prep your walnut soy curl meat. Rehydrate the soy curls and chop them up together with the walnuts.
- Saute the aromatics, onion, carrot and garlic to create the first layer of flavor.
- Add “the meat” and infuse with the soy sauce.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes and spices and bring to a simmer. Cook down until the sauce has reduced then stir in the beans and cook until warmed through.
- Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy with you favorite toppings.
How to Thicken the Chili
Hearty Soups + Stews
- 2 cups soy curls
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 carrots grated
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno or red chili pepper chopped
- 28 oz can whole tomatoes (San Marzano ideally)
- 14 oz can kidney beans (or your favorite kind, drain + rinsed)
- 1.5 tsp chili powder + more to taste
- 3 tsp coriander
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp oregano
- 4 Tbsp tamari
- 1.5-2 cups water
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- Soak the soy curls in a bowl of hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and wring out any excess water. Transfer to a food processor (or a chopping block) and process using the pulse button (or a sharp knife) until the soy curls are all chopped up into small piece. Careful not to overdo do it and keep some nice texture. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the walnuts to the food processor and chop them up until they resemble large bread crumbs, do not turn them into powder.
- Preheat a medium heavy bottom pot and saute the onion and carrot in a light drizzle of olive oil until translucent. (Omit oil and use a splash of water for WFPB + Plantricious compliance).
- Stir in the garlic and chopped jalapeño pepper and cook just until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the chopped walnuts, soy curls and Tamari (soy sauce) and give everything a good toss.
- Transfer the canned tomatoes to a bowl and use your hands to crush them into rustic pieces. Add them together with all the juices to the pot with the soy curls.
- Stir in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, oregano and water. Bring to a constant simmer and partially cover with a lid. Cook for 35 minutes stirring often making sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
- Check the consistency at the 35 minute mark and if the chili has reduced and thickened to your liking it’s time to add the rinsed beans.
- Season with a good pinch of sea salt and continue cooking uncovered another 10 to 15 minutes until the beans are warmed through and the chili is thick to you liking.
- Taste and adjust seasonings with more sea salt and extra chili powder for extra heat.
- Serve hot with a dollop of vegan sour cream, dairy-free queso and a wedge of lemon or lime.
WFPB + Plantricious
- Omit oil and use water or veggie stock to saute the aromatics for the recipe to be fully compliant and oil-free.
- How to Thicken the Chili - This is the ultimate pot of chili that naturally thickens as the sauce cooks down. The ground walnuts are the perfect thickener here so theres’s no need to add anything else at all. Just cook your chili down until the ideal texture is achieved.
- Storage - Store any leftovers in lidded glass containers to refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 5 months. Remember to thaw out in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.