Just in time for the Super Bowl 🏈, this bright, flavorful Veggie Chili has come to the rescue 🎉! It’s smoky 🔥 and balanced with as much kick 🌶 as you choose, and it’s sure to please everyone from the meat lover to the vegan in your life! The Super Bowl is coming… so make a batch now!
This veggie chili is super customizable. You can eat it with all sorts of different toppings 🧀🥑🌶, make huevos rancheros 🍳, serve it for Mexican night with my Mexican Spiced Pulled Chicken, make nachos, or you can just eat it plain! It’s super hearty and healthy and you won’t have that blah 🤢 feeling that some people get after they eat chili with meat (am I the only one who gets that 🤔).
This makes about 5 quarts, so plan accordingly. Depending on how many people you live with, you might want to make less or plan to freeze some of it.
- 2 cups (14 oz/400 grams) dried black beans
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (8 oz/227 grams) dried pinto beans
- ¾ cup (5 oz/142 oz) dried green lentils
- 1 ½ tablespoons (27 grams) sea salt (to soak the beans) + 2 teaspoons (13 grams) sea salt for the chili
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions (11 oz/310 grams), diced
- 4 medium carrots (13 oz/370 grams), peeled and cut into half rounds
- 2 or 3 medium red bell peppers (13 oz/370 grams), cored, seeded, and cut in small chunks
- 2 medium jalapeños (42 grams), seeded and minced
- 6 cloves garlic (24 grams), peeled and minced or pressed in a garlic press
- 1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons (11 grams) ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons (11 grams) ground chipotle chili powder*
- 2 teaspoons (6 grams) smoked paprika*
- 32 oz (907 grams) canned, diced tomatoes
- 2 cups (10 oz/284 grams) frozen corn
- 3 cups veggie broth or reserved bean water
*The above combination of spices will give you a medium-hot chili. If you do not love spice, substitute all smoked paprika for the chipotle chili powder. Also, chipotle chili powder is sold at some supermarkets and online. If you don’t feel like going through the hassle of getting it, a combination of sweet and hot smoked paprika will work too. Add a total of 4 teaspoons according to your taste for spice (i.e. -if you love spice add 3 of hot, 1 of sweet. If you don’t like spice at all, add 4 teaspoons of sweet, etc.)
- At least 4 hours or the day before: soak the beans.
- Drain and cook the beans.
- Chop up the veggies, garlic, and jalapeño.
- Drain the cooked beans.
- Sauté the veggies, then add the garlic, jalapeño, spices, tomato, corn, cooked beans and veggie broth or bean water.
- Simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Place 8 cups of water in a large bowl. Stir in 1 ½ tablespoons of salt (ideally the salt should be completely dissolved in the water, but don’t worry if there is still a bit that is not dissolved). Add the beans and lentils to the bowl and loosely cover for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain the beans/lentils into a strainer and give them a good rinse in warm water. Place in a large pot and cover with about 2 inches of water**. Turn the heat to high until the water is boiling, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the beans are soft and creamy. This could take anywhere from 40 minutes to about an hour and a half. Give the beans/lentils a stir every so often to make sure they do not stick to the bottom. If the water level gets low, just add more in.
**The method of cooking the beans first is somewhat unusual, but when I had my soup company and was making HUGE batches of this chili, I realized that it was much faster to cook the beans separately. This method worked so well for so many years, I’ve kept it even now that I’m back to cooking in normal-size batches. You’ll see that it comes together very quickly.
- While the beans are cooking, chop all the veggies, prep/measure the garlic, jalapeño, salt, spices, tomatoes, and corn.
- Drain the beans into a strainer. If you’re planning to add in the bean water instead of veggie broth, don’t forget to reserve some now.
- Place the pot that you just had the beans in on the stove over medium heat. Add the tablespoon of olive oil and then add the carrots, red pepper, and onion. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft but not mushy. Add in the jalapeño and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. If at any point the veggies are starting to stick on the bottom of the pot, you can add in a few tablespoons of water. Add in the spices, salt, tomatoes, corn, beans, and bean water or veggie broth.
- Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer for another 20 minutes. Give it an occasional stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- diced avocado
- hot sauce
Other serving suggestions:
- sliced black olives
- pickled jalapenos
- sour cream
- diced red onions or scallions/salad onions
- chopped cilantro/fresh coriander
- tortilla chips
- hard or soft taco shells
- white or brown rice
- a salad lightly dressed with honey, lime, cilantro vinaigrette