Meet your new best vegan chili recipe, my A-Game Chili!
This recipe is another from Dreena’s Kind Kitchen. Have any of you tried this one yet?
In this new year, it’s my intention to feature recipes from Dreena’s Kind Kitchen weekly on social. And, the recipe post that receives the most engagement will be posted to this blog the following month. What do you think?
( 👉 link to sign up )
And, kicking things off with this healthy, homemade A-GAME chili.
I was reviewing my site and realized I didn’t have a classic vegan chili recipe posted. I have this sweet potato lentil chili (which is scrumptious), but it’s not quite a traditional chili.
This A-Game Chili? Well, it’s not just your classic, go-to, hearty vegan chili.
I’m going out on a limb to say it’s your best vegan chili recipe yet. Why?
This vegetarian chili has all the hearty texture of traditional chili, without any vegan meat products, and uses a secret ingredient for a most special toothsome texture. What is it? Read on…
Plus, this chili offers just the right flavor notes, with smoky spice, and the addition of allspice for an unexpected background flavor note. But that’s not the ‘secret’ ingredient.
And, the secret ingredient is not mushrooms, even though they are one of the main ingredients in this delicious vegan chili. In fact, I give you substitutions for the mushrooms – because I know not everyone loves mushrooms.
Even though they are such fun-guys. #getit? #fungis 🍄😬
Ah, my humor is an acquired taste. Kind of like the secret ingredient…
The Secret Ingredient in this Vegan Chili is…
uh-huh. Buckwheat. I’ve been known to call it yuckwheat. 😂
Truly, I am not the biggest fan of buckwheat, and before this chili recipe, I don’t think I ever included it in one of my recipes.
But, here, it adds exemplary texture and chew, and the flavor is not detectable (if, like me, you normally really notice it).
Along with the minced veg and beans, the buckwheat brings a very substantial, satisfying quality to this very easy, healthy, and delicious chili.
Making the Best Veg Chili
No canned or premade chili can come close to the flavors and textures of homemade vegan chili – and especially this A-Game Chili! Now, I know there are thousands of vegan chili recipes out there. And, I tend to ‘wing it’ myself when making a veg chili. However you make it, nothing compares to homemade vegan chili.
In addition to the secret ingredient, a few things make this chili especially good:
- plenty of finely chopped veg: they reduce down offering a lot of texture for the chili – I offer options if you don’t care for mushrooms
- sun-dried tomatoes: not only do they add a deep umami flavor, they contribute to more texture (of course, if you don’t like them at all you can omit)
- smoked paprika: now, I have talked about smoked paprika before. It’s truly an essential to keep in your vegan pantry
- hit of allspice or cinnamon: yes, it sounds peculiar but I promise you it offers a little something extra to your chili flavor profile – feel free to bump up a little if you’re enjoying it
All that’s left to do is for you to get cooking, good-lookin’! 😬 Strap on that apron and let me know how you enjoy this A-Game Chili. x Dreena
p.s. Catch my “recipe renewal” tips in the recipe – I include similar ideas throughout many of the recipes in Dreena’s Kind Kitchen
Best Vegan Chili: A-Game Chili
- 3 tablespoons dry red wine see note
- 9 – 10 cups chopped portobello or cremini mushrooms just under 2 pounds; see note
- 11 /2 – 2 cups diced onion
- 4-5 teaspoons mild chili powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste
- 2 cups diced bell pepper
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 14-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14-ounce can kidney beans or additional black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1/2 – 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- Hot sauce for serving (optional)
- Lime wedges for serving
- Pour the wine into a large soup pot and set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion and spices. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the mushrooms to release their moisture and the onions to soften. (The mushrooms will release enough moisture to prevent sticking.)
- Add the bell pepper, zucchini, buckwheat, tomato paste, and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 3–4 minutes. Add the beans, water, sun-dried tomatoes, and molasses and stir. Increase the heat to high to bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20–25 minutes, until the buckwheat is fully cooked.
- Stir in the corn and allow to heat through for a couple of minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Serve with hot sauce, if desired, and lime wedges.
• 1–2 cups finely chopped cauliflower (or 2 cups store-bought cauliflower rice) and another 1–2 cups diced zucchini
• Another 1/2 cup buckwheat groats and another 1 cup diced zucchini (you may need to add more water)
• 1 (7- or 8-ounce) package tempeh, finely chopped, and another 1 cup diced bell pepper Recipe Renewal! To use any leftover chili:
• Spoon onto halved cooked white or sweet potatoes, and bake ’em! Top with vegan cheese before baking, or top with What-amole (Dreena’s Kind Kitchen) or chopped avocado for serving.
• Make quick tacos using the chili as the filling and adding some chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado as supporting stars! Want something extra? Drizzle the tacos with ’Kin Queso (DKK).
• Make chili dogs (vegan dogs, of course), burritos, quesadillas, or a Mexican lasagna!
photos credit: Angela MacNeil