Vegan Chili

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My family and I are always on a mission to eat more vegetables on a regular basis. Let's be real, I think we all are on that same conquest. Not to say we don't enjoy a lovely animal protein-based meal, and we oftentimes find ourselves having my classic turkey meatballs with bone broth rice and veggies. We LOVE food, but we also know how important it is to balance out our diets and lifestyles with ample servings of veggies. I've become good friends with a few vegan bloggers, and I've dabbled in vegan meals and recipes a few years ago. After having conversations with friends who are predominately vegan, I've decided we are moving in the veggie direction. I don't think my family will ever fully adopt a vegan lifestyle, but having vegan or plant-based meals on a regular basis is our goal.

This vegan chili came to me on a night where I had no clue what I wanted to make for dinner. Browsing the aisles of Trader Joe's, I found a bag of this delicious frozen green garbanzo bean and lentil mix, and decided this would be a great addition to a chili. I also knew that I wanted to make this a hearty chili, so I threw in a can of beans, a half of a sweet potato, some vegetable broth, and let it simmer on a low flame for several hours. The end result was a thick, flavorful, vegetarian-based chili, almost like a veggie stew, but with the most insane flavor profiles. I've made this a couple times after that, and since then have perfect the balance of seasonings and added in a sautéed shallot because everything tastes better with sautéed shallot. My favorite thing about this hearty vegan chili is the added lentils and sweet potato: you literally do not miss the beef (or turkey - that version is here).

Vegan Chili Ingredients (to name a few...):

  • Tomato sauce: all good chili recipes require the best tomato sauce, or crushed tomatoes. I opted for a local store brand of whole peeled tomatoes, and used the immersion blender to blend it together with the sautéed shallot. It was actually on accident, but man did it taste fantastic.
  • Garbanzo Beans + Lentil Mix: This is pretty specific for Trader Joe's, but you can definitely throw in canned garbanzo beans and dried lentils into this mix and let it simmer. It'll work just as well.
  • Sweet potato + Kidney Beans: the second star of the dish. Adds extra fiber, more nutrients, and gives it the hearty flavor.
  • Shallot: sautéing a shallot prior to building the chili really amplifies the flavor of the sauce, and gives more flavor to the overall chili.

Vegan Chili Swaps and Subs:

  • Feel free to throw in a bunch of different veggies however you see fit. I kept this recipe pretty standard, because a lot of times I am a purist with chili.
  • If you're not married to the idea of keeping this totally vegan, a little sprinkle of cheese or a dollop of sour cream is perfect on top. Plus, make some vegetable stock white rice (or bone broth) and this chili is literally perfection.
  • This is such a good meal prep meal to make on a Sunday afternoon for a few days for lunch or an option for dinner. Any leftovers can be thrown in a bowl and placed in the freezer too. Double win in my book!

Now that we've discovered this vegan chili, and just how tasty it is, we will be making this part of our rotation. Healthy, hearty, and super satisfying, I know this vegan chili will be part of your recipe rolodex in no time. My son is not the biggest fan of stews or chilis yet, but I think that's likely because he is learning how to eat it. We are incredibly grateful that he loves watching me in the kitchen and tries new foods with minimal hesitation, and cannot wait for the day when he starts exploring his culinary roots with me. It'll be truly bittersweet.

Vegan Chili

Looking for a way to incorporate more veggies in your weekly menu? Make this vegan chili and you won't even miss the meat. Hearty, flavorful, and packed with veggies, I promise this one is a keeper all year round.

Author:
Morgan

Ingredients

  • Trader Joe’s green garbanzo with lentil mix
  • 1 28oz crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled, sliced, then diced
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • Cumin powder
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Start by adding the oil to the dutch oven and sauté the shallot until fragrant.
  2. Add in the tomato paste and whisk to combine. To the dutch oven, pour in the crushed tomatoes, celery, sweet potato, kidney beans, and the lentil/garbanzo mix. Stir to incorporate all the vegetables.
  3. Season with spices and salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours on low heat.

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Amy V.
March 8, 2022
This was so simple and delicious! That's what I love about Morgan's recipes, they aren't so complex that it's super time consuming yet they still pack so much flavor and deliciousness.
Lauren
March 7, 2022
I’ve been vegan for years and am obsessed with this chili!!! The lentil mix in here is genius! Definitely adding to the rotation