I am so super excited to share this delicious recipe! I never thought I could make a meatless chili that would wow everyone in my family, but I did! I’m not cutting out all meat by any means, it’s just nice to have some meatless dishes in reserve for those days you forgot to thaw something out. Or Fridays during lent. Or you want to cut back on your grocery budget. Reducing the amount of red meat in your diet is nothing but good for you so if that’s something you’ve been wanting to do, you’ve definitely got to try this recipe! You won’t even miss the meat, I promise.
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This version is on the spicy side so not exactly kiddo friendly. However, it’s easy to reduce the spice factor. Simply exclude the cayenne powder and chopped jalapenos from the chili recipe and you’ll have a wonderfully flavorful chili, minus the spice.
To begin, chop one medium onion and slice three small to medium jalapeno peppers. I like my chili spicy so I left the seeds in. Peel and mince six cloves garlic. Measure out four teaspoons chili powder, four teaspoons cumin, one teaspoon cayenne powder, one teaspoon sea salt and one teaspoon black pepper.
Heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Add the onions and jalapenos and cook, stirring often, about five minutes or until soft.
Add the garlic and the seasonings and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. The aroma coming out of the pot at this moment is to die for!
Add about seven cups (56 ounces) beef broth, chicken broth, or vegetable broth to your stock pot. I used beef broth for the simple reason that I thought it would help the meat eaters in my family like it better! I use Better Than Bouillon instead of purchasing broth. If you want to do it this way just boil about four cups water and add that to four teaspoons beef Better Than Bouillon. Stir until dissolved. Add that and an additional three cups water to the chili. Next, add one 15.5 ounce can kidney beans (drained and rinsed), one 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies, one 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, and one 16 ounce bag lentils to the chili. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and allow to simmer about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to briefly blend the chili. I only did this for maybe three or four short bursts. It really comes down to watching the chili and getting it to the consistency you prefer. The original recipe instructed to remove three cups of the chili to a food processor and puree, then return to the pot. I avoid using my full-sized food processor at all costs for the simple fact that cleaning all the parts is a pain! However, if you don’t have an immersion blender (get one!), you could do it that way.
I kept toppings to a minimum as I really wanted to be able to taste the flavor of the chili itself. A little shredded sharp cheddar and whole-wheat saltines were perfect! I was so happy with this chili and over-the-top excited that my man was impressed with meatless chili! This is definitely a keeper and a recipe I will make many times this winter! Enjoy!
Above you will find some of the equipment I used while making this recipe. I love my extra-large cutting board and use it at least daily, if not more! My Victorinox knives are my favorite and I reach for them first every time! I keep the beef and chicken flavors of the Better Than Bouillon in my fridge at all times. I never have to worry about purchasing broth for recipes this way! Also, you can make it as condensed as you prefer. I don’t use my immersion blender daily but it is still a very nice tool to have in your kitchen. It doesn’t take up much room and can be used in so many ways!
Sweet Cornbread Cake is a wonderful side to serve with this, or any soup!
What are your favorite soups to make when the weather turns cooler? I’d love to hear about them below! Also, don’t forget to sign up for The First-Taste’s weekly newsletter. You’ll receive weekly updates of all the newest recipes in your inbox, free!