the best chili recipe EVER.

April 24, 2012

i have to admit that, since posting this, i have a new favorite chili recipe. but if you prefer mild over chipotle powered, this one’s for you.

this is cincinnati-style. if you’ve never tried making chili like this before, you’re missing out. it’s vegan. it’s hearty. it’s filling. it’s healthy. and it’s jam-packed with flavor. this one’s a crowd-pleaser, and really easy, too. basically, you just boil things. did i mention that it’s really, really cheap to make?

this recipe is a combination of my trial and error and suggestions from kathy, who went to school in ohio.


i like a combination. mostly dark and light red kidney and pinto, but honestly, i just use whatever is in my pantry. try anything. white beans and black lentils are also favorites. black-eyed peas, too. but anything works.

quick-soak them.
(that just means: boil lidded for about a minute in tons of water, leave the lid on, and soak for an hour.)

drain. in same pot, fry onions in a heavy fat (coconut oil or leftover meat grease are both great).

add fresh water and beans, and begin boiling again.

add whatever veggies you have, roasted together (garlic and fresh hot peppers, for instance!)
add a can of whole tomatoes, or a mess of fresh tomatoes, and a few scoops of tomato paste.
add a bay leaf.
really don’t leave out the roasted garlic.

season with tons of:
garlic or garlic powder
powdered unsweetened cocoa
red wine, red wine vinegar, or a red cooking wine (apple cider vinegar’s good, too)

a bunch of, to taste:

and just a few pinches of:


serve on spaghetti with cheese on top if you like it cincinnati-style. or top it with plain yogurt and have it with a salad.

other variations?
sometimes i throw in a few scoops of leftover cooked veggies, or any number of other partially-roasted veggies. roasted peppers, of course, are great, but be creative! zucchini, eggplant, green beans, cauliflower: anything works in chili!
if you have anything roasty or smoky, like smoked sea salt or smoked pepper, roasted coriander, or bits of smoked meats or fish, throw those in! the smoky flavor works perfectly with beans.
meat-eaters can cut up bits of pork belly or smoky bacon to fry with the onion in the beginning. ground meat, of course, is traditional, but i rarely put meat in chili. why? it’s delicious just like it is!


chili is not scary! if you’ve never made it, do it now, before it gets too hot outside!

One comment

  1. Some dark beer (porter or stout) would work excellent in a chili recipe like this as well….!

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