Monday, November 15, 2010

Vegetarian Crockpot Chili Recipe

The ingredients for the chili including frozen onion and red pepper (I buy these in bulk, chop them and freeze them for future use). The frozen veggies do not require any extra cooking time. I also have found swapping one can of beans for refried black beans is pretty tasty and can make chili dogs less sloppy. This was yet another accidental find. I opened up two cans of refried beans while attempting to open the regular black beans for the chili. It had been a long day with the wee ones and gosh those cans are so similar.

I got the original recipe off of a post for good freezer recipes (the Once-A-Month Cooking type) on the Atlanta Area Mommies forum. This recipe is for a massive amount of chili and I have made quite a few alterations to the original. I have made this recipe a ridiculous amount of times. I usually make a half recipe and, for two adults and one solid food-eating child, it is still enough to make about a week's worth of meals. After we have chili and cornbread the first day after making the chili (it's best made the day before so the spices have time to soak in), we usually have chili dogs, chili casserole, maybe chili stuffed potatoes and I plan to try Mexican-style stuffed pasta shells soon. And, as I said, that's with just a half-portion of the recipe. But, if you have more freezer space, make it all and pull it out for future meals. Find out what to do with the leftovers.

Here is my altered vegetarian or healthy choice recipe.

Vegetarian Crockpot Chili
Say Mmm... grocery list
2 bags Quorn or Morningstar Farms "beef" crumbles
4 19.75-oz. cans black beans
4 14 1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
2 C chopped green peppers
2 tsp. garlic powder
6 Tbsp. chili powder
4 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 cube (1 tsp.) chipotle pepper seasoning (optional)

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low 8-10 hours.

I changed all the beans to black beans simply because those are about the only beans my husband likes (and I prefer them also). I also doubled the amount of spices and removed the brown sugar. I did that because I goofed up when I made it and cut the beans, meat and tomatoes in half and forgot to cut all the spices. But, as it turned out, we loved it that way, so I have kept making it the same way. As for the sugar, once again, I inadvertently left it out that first time. I tried it once with the sugar included and just didn't like the sweet undertone as much as the spicy version. I always add either a chipotle pepper cube or cayenne pepper because we all prefer our chili more spicy than average (including our 20-month old). I also sometimes use red bell peppers or a stoplight blend of bell peppers for a change of pace.

Here's the original recipe.

Crockpot Chili

2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
3 16-oz. cans kidney beans, drained
2 16-oz. cans Northern beans
4 14 1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
1 C. chopped green peppers
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients, and separate into two 1-gallon freezer bags. Seal and lay flat to freeze. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in refrigerator. Pour chili into crockpot, and cook on low 8-10 hours.

 I rarely put the whole thing in the fridge, thaw it and then cook it. I usually just cook it and freeze any leftovers. But, if you're into Once-A-Month cooking, that's a good way to go.

The Results
Delicious as always and super versatile. Several regular meat-eaters have been tricked by the fake meat in this chili and were surprised to find out they ate and loved tofu "meat." Even my uncle who whines, literally, every time meat is not served in a meal loves this chili. It's a good one to try whether you are a vegetarian by choice or want to incorporate more healthy options for dinner. Anything with "beef" in a strong spicy or creamy sauce or base is a great option for beginners in vegetarian conversion recipes.


  1. This chili is always good, and the leftover potentials are nearly endless.

    -The husband

  2. Mmm... sounds really tasty! I love a good chili- perfect for this time of year.

  3. Even in the South it's a "Deep Freeze" right now according to the news. Which really just means it's going below 32! But that is super cold for here.

  4. I love a good chili and this crockpot version sounds awesome. Thanks for linking it up to the countdown! Would you be willing to add a link back to the countdown?

  5. SnoWhite is doing a great New Year's countdown over at with a different course meal highlighted each day. Go check it out!

  6. Just to let you know your shopping list feature doesn't open to the right window. Please try again, thanks! Let me know if I can help. Laura

  7. Ah yes, my technological shortcomings showcased again! Thanks Laura, it's fixed now.