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How-to Veganize Your Chili Recipe

By kathypatalsky |

vegan chili

vegan chili

Everyone loves a cozy bowl of chili on a gloomy day. And we all have our go-to chili recipe when a craving calls. But if your typical recipe calls for traditional meat/dairy ingredients, here are a few easy tips for “veganizing” your chili. You’ll still keep all that rich, spicy, warm and bold flavor – but this steamy bowl will be the veggie version!..

How-to Veganize Your Chili Recipe

1. The Meat. If you put gobs of meat in your chili recipe, here are a few flavorful, meat-free substitutions: TVP (comes dried – textured vegetable protein – looks like ground beef when re-hydrated) – or try chopped vegan sausage. I find that vegan sausage is packed with chili-perfect flavor (my fave is Field Roast brand’s spicy chipotle flavor). The sausage is contains oils, spices and vegan protein – while TVP is a lighter way to add protein, texture and flavor to your chili.

2. Beans. You are good here!

3. Sour Cream on Top. I love a cool, creamy dollop of vegenaise on top of my chili. You can also find soy-based sour cream substitutes that are quite tasty.

4. Beef or Chicken Stock. You can easily use a veggie broth in place of a meat-based broth.

5. Butter. Some recipes call for butter. Well you can substitute dairy butter with “vegan butter” – I like the Earth Balance brand. All the butter flavor you will need!

6. Cheese on Top. If you like a nice handful of cheese on top of your chili – try Daiya pepperjack cheese. It melts nicely and has a salty, savory, spicy cheese flavor.

7. More Cheesiness. I like to add in a few scoops of nutritional yeast to intensify the “cheezy” savory flavor of my chili. Plus nutritional yeast is packed with good for you nutrients like B vitamins.

8. Smoky Bacon. Smoky chili is delicious. But instead of adding high fat bacon to increase the smoke flavor – try vegan liquid smoke – in liquid form. It is awesome! I like the Colgin brand. Find it in the hot sauce section of Whole Foods. Or try vegan bacon too.

9. Beef Bouillon. I love Rapunzel brand veggie bouillon cubes. Perfect for adding vegan flavor to soups, stews and chili.

10. Cornbread. If you like a thick slice of cornbread to go with your chili – no fear – I have a few vegan cornbread recipes to satisfy! Cornbread Maple Muffins. Sweet Spoonable Corn Bread.

Try my Vegan Chili Recipe here!

vegan cornbread

it’s not chili without vegan cornbread!

my chili sign for a chili cookoff

my chili sign for a chili cookoff

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About kathypatalsky



Kathy Patalsky is a blogger, author and photographer. Her website features creative vegan recipes. She is the author of 365 Vegan Smoothies (Spring 2013). She is also the founder of

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