Chili is a classic, but some recipes take forever and have tough-to-find ingredients. In this simple version, I use mostly canned ingredients for a quick and easy chili fix.
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30-35 minutes (or more if you let it simmer—feel free to start in advance)
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced/diced
- 1 large zucchini (or 2 little ones), halved lengthwise and then sliced finely
- Coarse salt
- Cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons chili powder (regular or ancho or smoky)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 3 cans of beans, drained (I recommend a combination of different flavors—I used kidney, white, and chickpeas, but you could also use black beans or pinto beans or black-eyed peas or whatever. Even a can of corn in there would be fine. Just use 3 cans of whatever.)
- 1 28 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes for a smoother chili)
- 1 cup veggie broth
- A liberal splash of hot sauce (I recommend Cholula)
- Optional ideas for garnishes and extras: cilantro, vegan sour cream alternative, vegan cheese alternative, spaghetti (we call that “Cincinnati chili”), or corn bread
- Saute the onions and garlic in the vegetable oil until the onions start to soften.
- Add the zucchini and season with salt and cayenne (to taste—careful with that spicy cayenne.)
- Stir the mixture and let it fry for 3-5 minutes more, until the zucchini starts to soften.
- Add your spice mixture, the chili powder and cumin, and stir in for a minute or so, until it becomes fragrant.
- Add your beans, tomatoes, veggie broth, and hot sauce and simmer for at least 20 minutes—the longer, the better.
- For a thicker chili, simmer without the lid and boil off some of the liquid; for a thinner chili, simmer covered to trap the liquid. You can also add water or veggie broth as you go. Voila! Perfect chili.