Greetings from a winter wonderland. Little icicles line the rooftops and the trees are encased in thick layers of dazzling ice. I’m warm and cozy inside with my family here in central Oklahoma.
we can’t be the only ones who are avoiding the grocery stores today, so I thought I’d share my new favorite vegetarian chili recipe. It’s perfect for watching football games with a crowd since it’s a hearty meatless option that carnivores will enjoy. Plus, it can be vegan and gluten free if you choose your toppings carefully.
While the ingredients in this chili are super basic, the flavor is anything but. Simple ingredients can taste exceptional when they start off with aromatics like onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. I added traditional chili spices and some smoked paprika for an extra-savory, smoky note.
Blending a small portion of the chili makes it look and taste like a chili that has been cooking all morning long, but it only needs about 30 minutes of simmering. That’s a little trick that I learned from my lentil soup, which is another cozy option for cold days. Stay warm out there
1 pound (raw) bacon – cut into small pieces
1 large onion – diced
1 red bell pepper – seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper – seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic – minced
4.5 tablespoons chili powder
1.5 tablespoons ground cumin
1.5 tablespoons paprika
.5 to 1.5 tablespoons chipotle powder (Use 1.5 tablespoons if you like it spicy)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
.5 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
3 pounds ground beef
1 can or bottle of beer (I use Coors Light)
1 – 14 ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 – 14 ounce can red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 – 24 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 – 24 ounce can diced tomatoes
1-Cook diced bacon over medium heat in a large non-stick dutch oven or pot. When bacon is almost done, add in diced onion and bell peppers and cook until softened.
2-Add minced garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, chipotle powder, dried oregano, salt, and cayenne powder. Cook a minute or two until aromatic.
3-Add in ground beef to bacon-onion mixture. Cook until ground beef is no longer pink.
4-Stir in a can of beer rinsed and drained beans, crushed tomatoes with juice, and diced tomatoes with juice.
5-Cover and simmer on low (for me it’s #3) for 1.5 hours. Add a little water, if necessary. The first hour stirs the pot every 10-15 minutes, and the last 30 minutes stir the pot every 5-10 minutes. You may need to stir more often depending on your pot and how hot your burner gets.
6-Taste of salt.