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Ultimate Vegetarian Chili

What you need: 

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 peppers, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large can (28 ounces) tomatoes, undrained, chopped
1 cup water
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce)can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1/2 cup bulgur
salt and pepper, to taste
cilantro, for garnish, optional

What you do: 

1. In a large pan, saute the onions and spices with oil. Add peppers and garlic for 1 minute.
2. Add cocoa, tomatoes, and water; bring to a boil. Add kidney and black beans, corn and bulgur.
3. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. or until bulgur is cooked. Add salt and pepper, to taste. To serve, sprinkle with cilantro.'

Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 
Recipe Category: 


So quick and easy to make...uses ingredients I always have around the kitchen! This recipe makes ALOT so I halved it and was still able to fill a medium pasta pot (will be wayyy more than enough for 4 college girls). The original recipe must call for the BIG can of tomatoes, because I used the 14.5 oz can for the halved recipe, and that seemed just about right. I used diced tomatoes, so no chopping involved. Other changes: used one roasted red pepper from a jar, used 1 red onion, 2 cloves garlic, paprika instead of cayenne, omitted salt and barley (I'll be serving it with rice).



I used canned tomatoes with the juice, one onion, added a liberal shake (or two) of bay leaves, a tiny bit of liquid smoke and used barley because I didn't have any bulgur. Also had only one can of beans left - kidney beans - so I just used the one & it still turned out awesome. I omitted corn because the person I was eating with doesn't like it, but next time I think I will add it (corn is delicious! I can't believe I know someone who disagrees). I didn't have any worcestershire sauce left but next time I do I'll add it too. The cocoa was a really good addition, didn't taste chocolatey but made it richer and a nice colour.

I also made a funky version of the outrageously easy big bread to go with it. SOOO GOOD. It's already all gone so I'm going to make more this week! 


This is a REALLY great recipe. I had to modify it a bit because I can't find all of the right spices here- I can't find chili powder or cayenne. So I use cumin, salt, loads of black pepper, paprika, maybe a mixed herb salt and thats all. And it is STILL fantastic- really, to me it is exactly what chili should taste like.
Also, I use white beans instead of black and I love it- they're so much bigger and meatier.
I never put corn in for the sake of my SO and I add the small dehydrated soy pieces and it takes the place of ground beef really well.
It's such a great, easy, quick recipe. I make it at least once a month and then the two of us happily eat it for days (might I add that he is a typical carnivore)


Mmmmm! I was suddenly "stricken" with a hankerin' for chili...and I am very satisfied, now. The only thing I measured was the cocoa, and I used 2 heaping tbs. I added one portabello mushroom in w/ the onion, two garlic cloves, about 5 red and green chilies from my dad's garden, some Gimme Lean "sausage", a whole, big can of chunky tomato sauce, one small yukon potato chopped very small, and the rest of my homecooked bean mix (pinto, black......others). Oh, I also added a little bit of dried basil.  :P


just made this, it's delicious and was very easy to make, thanks for the recipe!

i used kidney, pinto and garbanzo beans, my favorite tomato sauce instead of the tomatoes, replaced the bulgar with tvp prepared in vegetable broth (next time will double this to 1 cup), added a bunch more cayenne pepper, and left out the corn.  the cocoa really works in there, who'da thunk it...

muchisimas gracias :)



This was really good.  I didn't have any cayenne though.  I think I will get some for next time.  I just ate it as a dip with some chips, and I mixed a little NY "cheese" into it.  That was REALLY good! 

I think this may become a staple.


This was quite delicious.  I was a little scared of the cocoa powder, so I only used 1 Tbsp.  I didn't have any bulgur, so I used TVP, which was really good;  I might add a little more next time.  I also added an extra cup of water to make it a little soupier.  I didn't have any peppers, so I skipped those too, but I would add some green chilies next time if I have them on hand.  I thought the cayenne gave it plenty of spice (I did a rounded 1/4 tsp.) but I'm not a super-spicy person.  For those of you who aren't into the corn, I think it would be just as good if you left it out. 
My husband liked it too.  This one's a keeper!


This recipe is fantastic! I made it a couple of weeks ago, served it to a number of people, and everyone really loved it. The coco powder and the bulger just give it that hardiness you can't find sometimes in other non-meat chilis. I can't wait to make it again! Thanks for posting!


I have cooked this recipe twice. It's fantastic. I made some adjustments to the recipe (one onion, less cocoa powder, more bulgur) and I think it turned out great! Thank you for posting!


Holy smokes, this is some tasty chili. I use only one tablespoon of cocoa powder and omit the corn and bulgar.

Our shops used to sell a common chocolate biscuit which had a Chili flavour. I liked it, many others didn't. It eventually (weeks) got specialled out & became a deleted line.



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