all-american vegetarian chili

by Cait on October 31, 2012

So this whole southern thing is taking some definite getting used to for me.  Born and raised in the northeast, I’ve come to love and expect snow in October…but 70 degree weather?  Unheard of.

I’ve been dying to make a big pot of chili but it just hadn’t been cold enough out to justify.

However, with hurricane Sandy blowing through, we’ve been given a dose of crisp weather.  And while most of my southern-raised classmates are bemoaning the cooler change, I’m happily embracing it!

My first move was to head to kitchen and finally throw together that big pot of chili I’d been hankering for…


Bursting with veggie meat crumbles, kidney beans and chopped veggies, this dish is not only vegetarian, but it’s filling and delicious too!

And for all you people out there with meat-loving spouses, I’ll have you know that my boyfriend happily gobbled it up without even a question as to whether or not it was real ground beef.

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Made 1000x better when served with Fritos scoops…obviously.

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All-American Vegetarian Chili (based off this recipe)


  • 2 Trader Joe’s Italian Sausageless Sausages, crumbled
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped green bell peppers
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 oz. vegetarian meat crumbles (I used Boca Ground Crumbles)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups Merlot or other fruity red wine
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans no-salt added whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans low sodium kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt


  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Add sausage, onion, and the next 4 ingredients (onion through jalapeño) to pan; cook 5 minutes or until sausage and veggie crumbles are warmed through.
  3. Add chili powder and the next 7 ingredients (chili powder through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves. Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
  5. Serve with cornbread or Fritos!

Cooking Light’s Note: Like most chilis, this version tastes even better the next day.

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