We have a handful of friends who abide by a vegetarian diet, and I always adore the challenge of cooking for them. My mind immediately relapses to Indian food, which usually does a bang-up job. But for the friends who’ve never experienced that cuisine before, I’d rather leave it up to the professionals to set the first impression.
That’s why when one of my oldest and bestest girlfriends came over for a movie night, I appeased her vegetarian diet with this chipotle chili. After nearly 4 hours of Elf and White Christmas and cozy holiday socks with clever, adult-themed messages, this dinner greeted us like a warm welcome to the end of a happy and friendship-growing afternoon.
As a Texan, I think I am legally obligated to turn up my nose at any bean-based dish that claims to be a chili. However, we’re all about being open and enjoying the tastiest, most delicious recipes here at Dash of Texas, so haters step aside.
Black beans and red kidney beans compose this belly-warming concoction. The added element of smoky adobo chiles ramps up the level of deliciousness from mere beans to a crave-worthy bowl of spice, smoke, and comfort, topped with all of your favorite chili fixings. Or fixins.
The dense, soupy chili base comes from an easy trick that just requires a food processor. Half the beans and half of the canned tomatoes go into the bowl of a processor with 2 adobo chiles, sauce and all. That processes until it comprises a deep-colored and fragrant paste. Then, the paste, beans, tomatoes, and stock all heat through together, until the fragrances from that stock pot infiltrate your home with smoky and enticing Tex-Mex-y aromas.
I nestled the chili into individual bowls on top of a fluffy bed of white rice. On top, I placed my favorite chili toppings… Fresh raw white onions, sharp cheddar, sour cream, and a generous sprinkling of tart lime juice. Throw in an avocado or fresh cilantro if your heart desires it.
I adored eating this dish after it had sat in the fridge for a day or two. The flavors meld together beautifully over time, and the heat from the adobo and cayenne slowly deepen into a strong, mouth-tingling spice. I found myself craving it day after day, meal after meal… a heartwarming and healthy concoction on a bed of rice with the smooth and tart taste of sour cream streamed throughout, interspersed with the crunch of onion and addicting bite of cheddar. When I ran out of rice, I switched to tortilla chips and saw the world in a completely different, delicious light.
This makes for an easy, quick, healthy dinner in the midst of rich holiday meals. Use up these pantry staples instead of scrounging around in the fridge that is bare in preparation for days of Christmas traveling.
Vegetarian Chipotle Chili
- 2 15 oz cans red kidney beans
- 2 15 oz cans black beans
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 whole adobo chiles with juices
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken stock, if you're not strictly vegetarian)
- 2 cups cooked jasmine rice
For the toppings
- Sour cream
- Cheddar cheese shredded
- White onion chopped
- Drain all cans of beans and rinse. Place 1 can's worth of black beans and 1 can's worth of kidney beans in the food processor. With a slotted spoon, add about ½ of the can of diced tomatoes. Add the chilies. Pulse until a paste forms.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for a few minutes, until translucent. Add the cumin, cayenne, and paprika. Continue cooking until fragrant and slightly toasted, 5 minutes.
- Add the paste and remaining beans and tomatoes to the pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring well. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve over a bed of rice. Top with desired toppings and enjoy warm. Seal in an airtight container in the refrigerator and simply reheat to enjoy later.
- For the adobo chilies, use the canned version that you can find in most grocery stores and fish out two chilies with their juices. Place the rest in a plastic bag or freezer-safe container and freeze until your next use.