Vegetarian Chili

As we move more and more toward vegetarianism, one of the things we most often hunger for is a good bowl of chili. But you say there is no substitute for the ground meat. I experimented a lot until I hit upon mushrooms. Mushrooms will disappear if they are cooked too long, so the secret to making good chili with mushrooms is not to cook them too long.


  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Kidney or pinto beans
  • Olive oil
  • Green peppers
  • Red peppers
  • Chili powder
  • Salsa
  • Tomato Paste
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Dice enough vegetables. For example (8 oz mushrooms, 1 large onion, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, 1 large green pepper, 1 large red pepper) to equal or exceed the amount of beans (one large can - one quart) you will be using. The more mushrooms, the more texture and chewiness the chili will have. Saute these in olive oil (use as little or as much olive oil as you like to saute the vegetables) in a large pot. Pour in juice saved from the beans (either canned or home cooked), add the tomato paste along with at least a one and one/half cans of water. Or if you are using home made paste, as least one and one/half times the volume of the paste. Add more water if the mixture is too thick.

Add the chili powder, salsa, salt and pepper to taste. Chili powders and salsas vary widely and you just have to experiment with the right balance. Simmer until the vegetables are just cooked. Add the beans and simmer for about 10 minutes. Do not overcook or the beans will be mushy and the mushrooms disappear.

Serve with crackers, rice or spaghetti and a green salad.


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