Vegan chili is my favorite pantry dinner. I know that no matter how harried my day, I always have spices, cans of beans, tomato sauce, and an onion laying around the house, which I can transform into an easy weeknight chili.
Great Chili Without the Meat!
For this recipe, I take basic vegan chili up a notch by adding quick-cooking bulgur wheat, which can be found in health food sections at the grocery store, and minced mushrooms. The combination of bulgur and mushrooms mimics the texture of ground beef.
- Don’t like mushrooms? No biggie. Skip the mushrooms and double the amount of bulgur.
- Have a wheat allergy? Just leave out the bulgur and double the amount of mushrooms.
- Don’t like or can’t eat either? How about brown rice? (You’d probably want to skip quinoa, however—it just won’t stand up to the liquids in this recipe and instead will get too mushy.)
- Want to make your beans from scratch? Here’s how to make them on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker!
Don’t Skip the Toppings!
The best part about chili is that it tastes great when comprised of the most basic elements, but it’s even better dressed up with toppings such as minced red onion, fresh cilantro, and avocado.
A Word About Cleaning Mushrooms
You can clean mushrooms by rubbing them with a paper towel, or feel free to rinse whole mushrooms under running water just before you’re going to use them. Cook’s Illustrated broke down the dos and don’ts of mushroom cleaning. It turns out a quick rinse before you chop them is indeed just fine.
What Is Liquid Smoke?
I’ve called for Liquid Smoke in this recipe. You can usually find it in the spice or vinegar aisle of your local supermarket. It adds that hint of smoky flavor you would usually get if you smoked meat for hours on end.
It’s just a little something extra and is commonly made from hickory smoke flavor, vinegar, and sugar. If you don’t have it or can’t find it, don’t worry about it. The chili will still be delicious.
How to Store or Freeze Vegan Chili
Vegan chili is great for a weeknight pantry meal, is highly adaptable, and can satisfy even the most dedicated meat eaters among us.
Leftovers keep for five days in the fridge, and I’ve been known to freeze them for up to 3 months.