Hungry for chili? For the last few months, I’ve been trying to incorporate more whole food, plant-based ingredients into my cooking. Now people, I already cook plant-based, vegan meals–for practically every meal. But let’s face it. I love vegan junk food–processed vegan meats, cheeses, and pastries are my absolute fav. BUT sometimes, all those delicious vegan processed products– vegan meats, vegan cheeses, vegan sour creams–while compassionate–can be just as unhealthy as other non-vegan food items.
So for this recipe, I chose to use a slightly healthier alternative to the usual texturized soy or gluten protein crumbles that make up the base of most other vegetarian chili recipes.
The cremini mushroom (also known as Baby Bella mushroom) is the star of this flavorful chili.
Cremini mushrooms are low in fat, cholesterol-free, and rich in B vitamins and other nutrients. And thankfully, they’re also fairly inexpensive and easy to prepare. For this recipe, we are mincing cremini mushrooms by pulsing them in small batches in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can also finely chop the mushrooms with a knife on a cutting board.
Once they’re minced, sauté the mushrooms with your chopped onions and peppers.
Once your mushrooms are cooked down to a ground beef-like texture, add your remaining ingredients–beans, tomato sauce, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and cilantro.
Simmer it all together for a few minutes. Then, top with a vegan avocado sour cream and freshly chopped cilantro to garnish.
Build a Meal!
Want to build a meal around this tasty chili? You’ll need some delicious vegan cornbread by Vegan Blueberry, a tasty southwest kale salad by Cookie and Kate (leave off the feta to keep it vegan), and of course, strawberry ice-cream for dessert.
Vegan Mushroom Chili
- 16 ounces whole cremini mushrooms also known as baby bella mushrooms, minced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers minced (with seeds removed)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 cans (15.5 ounces each) dark kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 bunch cilantro finely chopped (optional)
- Mince Baby Bella mushrooms with knife and cutting board, or by briefly pulsing in food processor in small batches.
- Heat oil in large pot on medium-high heat x 15-20 seconds, then add minced mushrooms, chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, minced jalapeño, and minced garlic.
- Saute for 15-20 minutes on medium-high heat until mushrooms are well-cooked with no visible water collections on the bottom of the pot.
- Add remaining ingredients–beans, tomato sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, sugar, and salt.
- Simmer for another 15 minutes on medium heat.
- Add chopped cilantro just prior to serving, saving a small amount of cilantro for garnishing individual bowls.