Mom’s Crockpot Chili

This is my veganized version of my mom’s infamous chili recipe. I would always eat the beans first (and avoid the meat) as my favorite part of the meal! Since I loved the beans so much, my mom would double the amount she put in! While I usually make this recipe in a slow cooker, it could just as easily be made in a large pot on the stovetop. This is a wonderful recipe for those cold, winter months. It’s also great to bring to potlucks (vegan or not — I’ve fooled many carnivores with this one!).

1 large can (29 oz) of tomato sauce
1 large can (28 oz) of whole peeled tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) of dark kidney beans
1 can (15 oz) of light kidney beans
Vegan meat crumbles (Lightlife or Yves are some brands) or wheat bulgur (1/2 to 1 cup dry)
1 green pepper
1 medium onion
chili pepper to taste (I prefer A LOT)
salt & pepper to taste (optional)
garlic granules/powder (optional)
Follow Your Heart  or Daiya vegan cheddar cheese (optional)

Depending on how long you have to prepare this meal, you may choose to slightly cook the veggie crumbles in a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil (if you’re running short on time), then put them in the slow cooker on low setting. If you have more time, just throw the veggie crumbles into the slow cooker and put on low setting. Then pour the can of tomato sauce in and sprinkle chili powder on top to coat this layer. If using the wheat bulgur, no need to preheat. You may want more sauce if using 1 cup of wheat bulgur (as it soaks up a lot of the sauce). Then chop up the green pepper and onion. Toss them into the slow cooker with 1 can of the beans. (If cooking on the stovetop, cook the green pepper and onion first in a pot with a tablespoon or two of olive oil to soften). Then sprinkle another layer of chili pepper on top. Next put the last can of beans into the pot. Chop up the whole peeled tomatoes and cover the beans with them. Sprinkle another layer of chili powder to coat the tomatoes and beans. Lastly, sprinkle the salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. (Don’t go too heavy on the salt, as this dish is fairly salty as is, depending on how much chili powder you use). Mix well with a large spoon.

Cook in the slow cooker on low for approximately 4-6 hours. If cooking on the stovetop, 1 to 2 hours is sufficient on a low simmer. Serve alone or with shredded vegan cheddar cheese on top!

Easily serves 4-6 people depending on how hungry you are!

In this picture, I served the chili in a sourdough bread bowl from Ithaca Bakery.

Mom's Crockpot Chili