Every Sunday for dinner I whip out the dutch oven to make a thick, spiced-up vegetarian tofu bean chili. Made with easy-to-find, affordable pantry items, along with tofu for added protein and “meatiness.”
The ingredient list might be hefty, but every ingredient is worth it and helps make a delicious, hearty chili that’ll make you forget that meat is not even in the equation.
Because I wanted this vegetarian tofu chili to remind me of the kind of chili I had back during my meat-eating days, I used a not-so-secret ingredient: Edward & Sons Not-Beef Bouillon Cubes.
It’ll help to bring a deep, umami flavor. Less salt, more flavor, a great ingredient for chili, or any dish that traditionally uses beef flavors.
For more quick and easy plant-based dinner recipes, check out 30-Minute Plant-Based Dinner Ideas.
More Stew + Soup Recipes:
- I used Edward & Sons Not Beef Bouillon Cubes to make “Beef” stock. All you need is 2 cups of water and 1 bouillon cube. If you don’t have any, you can use water or your choice of vegetable stock. Adjust salt accordingly.
- To make this recipe a bit easier, chop and prep your vegetables first and measure out the spices and have them ready before cooking.
- For the tofu, feel free to pan-fry in a non-stick pan over high heat before you start making the chili, or while the chili is simmering. It should only take you about five minutes to make. The only goal is to get golden bits for texture.
What To Serve With Chili
Chili is great on its own, but this protein-heavy dish can use a carb-heavy side to keep things balanced. Hands-down, my favorite food to have with a warm bowl of chili tender, sweet cornbread.
Here are some other ideas:
- Chopped cilantro
- Tortilla chips
- Vegan grated cheese
- Sliced avocado
- Vegan sour cream
- Homemade Potato Chips
How To Make No-Beef Broth
All you need to make vegan “beef” broth is 1 Edward & Sons Not-Beef Bouillon Cube and 2 cups of hot water. You do this in three ways –
- Boil 2 cups of water in a small pot, then add the bouillon cube. Stir until the cube has dissolved.
- Or, heat two cups of water in the microwave for 2 minutes. Once done, drop a bouillon cube and whisk together until the cube has dissolved.
- As another option, if you have all the cool kitchen equipment, you can also heat up the water in a kettle, pour the water into a heat-safe bowl, then stir in the bouillon cube until it has dissolved in the water.
What Kind Of Tofu To Use
I used super-firm tofu from Trader Joe’s. I love their tofu most because I do not have to press, and it has a nice bite to it. However, if you use another kind of tofu, I suggest draining and pressing first.
Either way, you don’t want to use silken tofu in this recipe because its texture is too soft to achieve a “meaty” bite.
How To Store
Am I the only one who managed to eat the entire pot? To be fair, it was practically my breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert.
Anyway, to store the vegetarian tofu bean chili, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
But before you do, let the chili cool for 20 minutes.
Vegetarian Tofu Bean Chili
- 1/2 block super-firm, extra-firm, or firm tofu drained, pressed
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 2 whole carrots chopped
- 3 crushed garlic cloves peeled, crushed
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 can kidney beans drained
- 1 can black beans drained
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups not-beef broth/broth of choice (see notes)
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- In a non-stick pan over high heat, add a touch of oil. Crumble tofu with your hands directly into the pan and pour over soy sauce and nutritional yeast. Cook for a couple of minutes until there are golden bits. Set aside.
- Pour olive oil into a large pot or a dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and carrots. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Add crushed garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the spices: chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
- Next, pour the drained kidney beans, black beans, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and not-beef broth. Stir to combine. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Add two bay leaves (optional). Once at a boil, lower temperature to simmer.
- Combine the tofu and frozen corn to the chili and continue to simmer, covered with a lid, for a total of 20 minutes.
- If you want a thicker chili, simmer without a lid for an additional five minute or stir in a bit of flour
Did you try out this Vegetarian Tofu Bean Chili recipe?
Thinking about starting a plant-based? Check out our cheap, plant-based guide.