Spicy Vegan Chili

With the crazy cold weather in California these last few days, I thought it was the perfect time to make a giant pot of soup. Emily has been busy trying out new soup recipes up in Davis, and she recently sent me this one to try. Neither of us follow a vegan diet, but she said I should try it anyway because it’s “super yummy,” and boy was she right!

I love this recipe because it has all the flavors and spiciness of traditional chili, but the extra veggies give it a higher nutritional profile. Between the butternut squash, red bell peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes, you’ll have a soup that is full of Vitamins A, B-6, C, E, K, and fiber and potassium. Plus, the combination of the beans and the quinoa mean the chili is protein-rich and will fill you up just as well as one with meat would.

The only change I made to the recipe was a substitution of cayenne pepper for chili powder because I didn’t have any on hand. But be careful if you do the same because cayenne pepper is significantly spicier than chili powder. Only one tablespoon was enough to give the chili a powerful kick.

I topped my bowl of chili with crushed tortilla chips and some sliced avocado (the creaminess makes it the perfect substitute for cheese). The chili would also be delicious served with a piece warm, homemade cornbread. Enjoy!


Spicy Vegan Chili (recipe from nutritionella)

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 butternut squash, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes (with no added salt)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (or 1-3 tablespoons chili powder)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot, being the quinoa and water to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Set aside. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the butternut squash and cook for 5 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeño and zucchini. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with cayenne pepper, cumin, cocoa powder, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with your favorite toppings. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in a sealed container.


3 thoughts on “Spicy Vegan Chili

  1. Pingback: 40-Minute Vegan Chili | Vegetarian Made Easy

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