Nov 2010

America’s Test Kitchen Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Given my great love of restaurants and their hardly healthful fare, it’s really important that my meals at home provide nutrients that otherwise go missing from my diet. Whenever I’m not painting the town red, I prepare recipes that make tasty use of whole grains, legumes, and vegetables. My subscription to Cooking Light magazine has been a great source of inspiration, and of course, the internet is chock full of solid ideas on how to balance the excess in my life.

The majority of the healthy dishes that I prepare serve their nutritional purpose and taste mostly decent, but they’re usually not outstanding enough to be featured on the site. This vegetarian three bean chili is a rare exception. In addition to being a fiberfull powerhouse, this meatless stew is also immensely satisfying. The heat from the chipotles combined with the smoky chili powder makes for an exciting and spicy flavor profile. The trio of beans provide just enough heft to fill one up nicely. Paired with some old fashioned cornbread, it’s impossible to feel deprived when one is eating this well.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
  • Salt
  • 4 (15.5 ounce) cans of kidney, pinto, or black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, bell pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds.

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, water, chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Add the beans and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the chili is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Serve chili topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese, or slices of avocado.

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook [For Printable Recipe Click Here]

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17 thoughts on “America’s Test Kitchen Vegetarian Chili

  1. i’m only just now appreciating the benefits of beans and fiber in my diet, now that i’m older. and chili around this time of year? necessary.

  2. What a delicious and hearty looking chili.

    I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my new vegetarian photo gallery showcasing the best vegetarian dishes and recipes on the web.

  3. I always marvel at your kobayashi-esque ability to eat such epically baroque meals and yet stay so tiny, thanks for the recipe, I love Chris Kimball and crew!

  4. I just made this recipe and it’s really good. I did, however, accidentally vary it. I grabbed a bottle off the shelf that said “chile powder,” but I didn’t notice the fine print – it was actually a bottle of pure powdered ancho chile, instead of “chile powder,” which is usually a mixture of chiles and other spices. I think that is why when I made this recipe, it came out REALLY HOT. I added an extra can of beans to bring the heat down to a tolerable level, and the result is a pretty hot chile that is really tasty and flavorful. By the way, I found a dutch oven was not necessary if you have a high quality stock pot to cook it in.

  5. Nice pictures, but they are kinda misleading, as the recipe calls for onions that are chopped FINE, and thos ein the pics are lovely but sliced. Anywhoos I have tried this Delicious recipe from ATK and lost it, so thanks!

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