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Vegetarian Chili

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"From Chanelle Salinas"

Serves | Prep Time | Cook Time

Why I Love This Recipe

Chili chili chili, can’t you see? Sometimes your ways just hypnotize me and even when you’re made without meat?!

Yes, that’s right. I’d like to introduce to you a really good, really “meaty” and satisfying vegetarian chili that, in fact, does not have meat in it at all.

This chili features a hearty mixture of walnuts, mushrooms, and carrots that can beautifully stand in place of your ground beef and absorbs the big flavors of sautéed onion and garlic, diced green chiles, and all those spices. When scooped and topped with some avocado or cheese, sour cream or tortilla chips, it’s just warming and so satisfying in that chili-specific way.

Ingredients You'll Need

The “Meat:”
1 cup walnuts
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, washed, stems removed
4 medium carrots, cut into chunks

The Chili:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 6-ounce can diced green chiles (or fresh minced jalapeños)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2–3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1–2 teaspoons salt (more or less to taste)
2 14-ounce cans diced or crushed tomatoes (with juices)
1 14-ounce can beans of choice (optional)
1 cup water


Make the “meat” – pulse all ingredients in a food processor until broken down into a chunky paste-like texture. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté for 5-10 minutes until very soft.

Add green chiles, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and soy sauce. HELLO FLAVOR.

Add your “meat” to the pan – once it mixes in and starts cooking, it should start to resemble chili meat. Let the “meat” cook for 10 minutes or so to soften the vegetables. Season with salt.

Add tomatoes, beans if you want, and water to get the consistency right. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes to soften the vegetables, thicken it up, and let the flavors come together.

Serve with your favorite chili toppings, and there it is! VEGETARIAN CHILI! You did it.

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