Sunday, October 9, 2011

5 Pepper Vegetarian Chili with Roasted Veggies

If you love chili, and especially spicy chili, then you are going to LOVE this recipe! I’ve been stewing on this one for quite some time (get it?), and finally decided to give it a try. I felt so happy about the end result that I almost cried (if only this were an exaggeration): it was thick; it was just the right color; it lit our mouths on fire; and it was perfect. I, of course, called my mother immediately to brag…er…I mean express my joy (it’s quite possible she thinks I’m having a life crisis; that’s how good it was), then we enjoyed it with freshly baked cheddar corn bread, and a dollop of sour cream. The only thing missing, as my dad pointed out the next day during taste tests, was the fire extinguisher ;)
Getting Started

The first step in making the chili is preparing the beans. You can either soak them over night, or use the quick soak method on the package. Whichever you choose, make sure to check the beans beforehand; I found a very large rock in mine, which would not have been fun to crunch down on!

Once you have soaked your beans, drain them, put them back in the pot with 8 cups of water (or however much it says on your package), and bring them to a boil. You will simmer the beans for about 1 1/2 hours total. If the liquid begins to dry up, add a little more water, but not much (1 or 2 cups will do).

Roasting the Veggies

While your beans are cooking, peel the garlic, cut up the onion, stem the jalapeno, and slice the tomatoes in halves and quarters. Toss them in a roasting pan with a generous amount of olive oil and a little salt, making sure the veggies are coated, and roast them in the oven for 20-25 min at 425 degrees, or until the veggies have released their juices, are wilting, and starting to turn slightly brown. Remove from the oven and place in blender or food processor, along with the chipotle peppers.

Next, place the whole pablano and red bell peppers on a cookie sheet lined with foil (no oil is needed), and broil until black on all sides. This will take a little bit of time; just remember to turn them with tongs ever so often, and keep checking. Once the skin of the peppers has blackened, remove from the oven and let cool to the touch. While the peppers are cooking/cooling, measure out the rest of the ingredients and set aside.

Once the peppers have cooled, peel off the blackened skin and remove the stem and seeds. Add the pablanos and 1/4 of the red bell pepper to the blender/food processor, and pulse with the rest of the ingredients, leaving a little chunky. Set aside.

Putting it All Together

Once the beans are tender (about 1 hour of cooking), add in the roasted veggies, and the rest of the ingredients up until “1/4 cup masa” and let simmer for another 25-30 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced some and is starting to thicken. At the very end, mix the masa with a water until smooth (you don’t want it to be pasty), then add to the pot and let it thicken for another few minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly – this will also help to thicken the chili.

Wrapping it up

At this point your mouth should be simultaneously watering, and begging you to give this recipe a try. With FIVE different kinds of peppers, roasted veggies, a little masa to thicken it up, and tons of delicious spices, how could you refuse?

Now, I’m not kidding about this chili being spicy, so if that’s not your cup of tea (or chili), then adjust the recipe accordingly. You can always seed the jalapeno before blending, or only add in half, and you can put in less cayenne pepper as well. I wouldn’t recommend leaving out the pablano or the chipotle peppers, as they have a distinct flavor that really adds to the overall taste, but do what you must! Also, adding sour cream really helps cut through the heat and makes it extra yummy :)

Enjoy, my friends!


1/2 package pinto beans (approx. 1/2lb)
1/2 package kidney beans (approx. 1/2lb)
Olive oil for roasting veggies
6 roma tomatoes
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 jalapeno, stem removed
2 pablano peppers
1/4 red bell pepper
2 chipotle peppers, canned in adobo sauce (I use La Costeña brand)
8oz can tomato sauce
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs dried oregano, crushed
1 Tbs coarse salt + some for the roasted veggies
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup masa

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  1. This looks tasty! The only vegetarian chilli I've made was one using butternut squash and quinoa so I'll have to try your recipe out soon! btw, I've just passed on an award to you so check out my latest post for details. :)

  2. Thanks Sylvia! I'm honored, and loving your site!