Last weekend we had our first snow of the winter! I put the pups in their winter sweaters (which you can see on Instagram) and we trotted outside to play in the snow a little bit. They weren’t really fans but at least I can say I tried. 😉
When we got back inside I knew I was going to cook up a pot of my spicy vegetarian chili. There’s just nothing quiet like chili on a cold winter night. This chili is one of my go-to favorites around here because it makes enough for at least 6 and since it’s only the two of us here it’ll make dinner for 3 nights. I usually make it on a Sunday because that means I don’t have to fret about dinner on Monday night after what is always a hectic day.
There are two main ways to make this a vegetarian chili and I regularly do them both. The first (the way I did it for this post) is to use meatless crumbles in place of the ground beef. I prefer to use Gardein Meatless Ground but you can use any sort of beef-substitute crumble. Gardein is just the best-tasting one I’ve found so far; I regularly use it in tacos/nachos, chili, burgers, etc. The other way to make this vegetarian is to use 1 cup of red quinoa. You can actually use any color quinoa but I prefer the red so it blends in with the color of the tomatoes and the kidney beans in the spicy vegetarian chili.
As a bonus, even the meat-eaters in my family love this recipe and I’ve made it for them plenty of times when they’ve visited in the winter. My Dad is a big steak-and-potatoes guy but when he visited during Christmas, 2015 I had this on the stove when the arrived and he loved it (although I did leave out the sriracha and jalapenos because he doesn’t really like spicy food).
I’ll usually serve the spicy vegetarian chili with sweet cornbread so it balances the spice of the jalapeno and sriracha. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! I make this at least 3 – 4 times during the winter and it’s a hit every single time with both the vegetarian’s and the meat-lovers. It’s just one of our favorite meals.
- 1/2 lb Gardein Meatless Ground or 1/2 cup cooked red quinoa
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
- 1 large jalapeno, diced
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (15-oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
- Cheddar cheese, shredded, optional
- Sour cream for garnish, optional
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become slightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. If using, add Gardein meatless ground and cook until browned. If using quinoa, add quinoa and immediately proceed to the next step.
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, sriracha, and 1.5 - 2 cups of water. The water should fully cover the top of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 - 45 minutes, until thickened. Add beans and cilantro. Simmer until heated through, about 5-10 minutes.
- Serve immediately garnished with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, if desired.
Doesn’t it sound delicious? Are you looking forward to trying it?