Winter always makes me crave soups, stews, and crockpot meals. Even though I live in Texas now (it was nearly 80 degrees today), I still like to curl up with my fuzzy socks, a good book, and a bowl of something. Yesterday, that meant chili.
Now, I’ve got quite a few chili recipes that we use in regular rotation, but this one is always a huge hit-and (bonus!), it’s vegan. I use Tempeh to mimic ground beef, and no one is the wiser. Plus, I discovered that I can actually make this recipe in my Instant Pot, so it takes me about 10 minutes of hands-on time.
If you’re not a fan of tempeh, you can always substitute ground beef or sausage (or a combination of the two)…just be sure to brown it first.
My Vegan Chili Recipe
1 8-ounce package tempeh (I absolutely love 5 grain tempeh, but use what you have)
1/2 large onion, diced
1 cup freeze dried celery
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 packet Chili Seasoning
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup freeze dried corn
1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Turn your Instant Pot to sauté, then grate the tempeh into the pan. Stir frequently until browned. Add the onion and celery and stir until the onion starts to turn translucent.
Next, add the chili seasoning and garlic. Sauté for another minute or until garlic becomes fragrant.
Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, corn, and vegetable broth to your Instant Pot. Turn on the soup setting and you’re done! Be sure to let your Instant Pot naturally depressurize before serving for approximately 15 minutes. This allows the flavors to fully develop. Trust me-this is worth the wait.
This recipe serves 5-6 adults. If you’re serving this to the munchkins, look for a mild seasoning.
Smalls LOVES this recipe. So much so that I had a difficult time cooking because he really, REALLY wanted to stir everything. EVERYTHING.
Thankfully, he’s getting old enough to actually help with the cooking, and the Instant Pot is a great way for him to start. He can help me add the veggies, or measure the freeze dried foods from their cans (one of his favorite things to do lately).
He can also “cook” by pushing the buttons on the Instant Pot when I ask him to help me-and he lives for those moments of control. Maybe it’s just being six or maybe he’s my kid. The jury’s still out.
DIY Chili Bar
I like to do a chili bar for our family with sliced avocado, Daiya cheese, Tofutti sour cream, and blue corn chips. I’ve also been known to add a few freeze dried green onions which take seconds to rehydrate once they hit the chili liquid (and they add an extra pop of flavor and color).
Now, I’m no longer vegan, so I also like to add extra ground meat for the boys since they prefer more protein. You could also grate and brown a second block of tempeh to achieve the same result.