Ready in under 30 minutes, this Small Batch Vegan Chili Non Carne is perfect for those nights when you crave a comforting bowl of chili but really don’t have hours to spare… plus, it tastes so crazy good, you probably won’t even be able to tell the difference. Or that it doesn’t contain meat, for that matter!
I think my boyfriend must’ve been Mexican in a previous life; he LOVES, but I mean LOVES everything Mexican. Especially Mexican food. Pretty much every week-end, I make him (well, I make US, to be honest…) a batch of Guacamole (minus the mayo, now) and a great big bowl of Pico de Gallo, which we enjoy with a couple of handfuls of corn tortillas. This is typical sacred Sunday afternoon snack/lunch for us.
Unsurprisingly, Chili Con Carne ranks really high on his list of favorite meals. One night, shortly after we’d decided to go plant based, I’d asked what he would like to eat for supper and he said: Chili, please!
Yikes! This was a big challenge for me, for 1- it was already pretty late so I had to whip up some kind of a quick meal and 2- I’d never made Vegan Chili con Carne before.
But being the amazing woman that I am (insert hair flip here…) I decided to try my very best to grant his wish; this was my first time working with tempeh (actually I had only even heard about it before!) but honestly, the chili that night was a complete and utter success.
This Chili Non Carne has become one of our regulars since. Because it’s a small batch, it means we’re not stuck eating nothing but chili for a week, and since it’s ready in so little time, I can whip it up any time we feel like it. But the real kicker is that it’s so tasty, I can’t even think of a reason why I’d want to bother making the big batches anymore…
I’m totally, completely sold on this recipe. And I hope you will be too!
Start by heating a few tablespoons of olive oil (or other cooking oil of your choice) in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until golden and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the crumbled tempeh, stir to coat and continue cooking for about 2 minutes.
Then, add the spices, stir well and continue cooking for a few more minutes to allow all those gorgeous flavors to develop.
Next, add the crushed tomatoes, water, tomato paste, cacao powder, dried parsley and blackstrap molasses…
Give this all a good stir… As you can see, this chili to be already has a very nice, super thick consistency.
Stir in a can of dark kidney beans, along with their liquid.
Bring to a simmer, cover loosely and simmer for 15 minutes, to give the flavors a bit of a chance to meld and develop.
See how much darker, thicker and richer the chili got after just 15 minutes? You won’t believe how tasty it became, either!
All that’s left to do now is remove it from the heat source and let it rest for about 5 minutes, then you can go right ahead and serve it to your hungry family!
Call me weird, but I like to garnish my chili with shredded iceberg lettuce or green onions… If you haven’t tried any of those, I strongly suggest that you do.
Or, you could always stick with the more classic chopped cilantro. And of course, no bowl of chili would be complete without at least a handful of corn tortillas…
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Small Batch Vegan Chili Non Carne
- 1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 14 oz fresh tempeh crumbled
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 19oz can kidney beans with their liquid
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 3 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil (or other cooking oil of your choice) in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until golden and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the tempeh, stir to coat and continue cooking for about 2 minutes, then add the spices and cook for a few more minutes to develop the flavors.
- Next, add the crushed tomatoes, water, tomato paste, cacao powder, dried parsley and blackstrap molasses and stir well, then stir in the kidney beans along with their liquid.
- Bring to a simmer, cover loosely and simmer for 15 minutes, to give the flavors a chance to meld.
- Kill the heat and let your chili rest for about 5 minutes, then garnish with chopped green onions or cilantro, if desired, and serve with flour tortillas.