Vegan Chili with Bulgur

Vegetarian week continues successfully with a brand new, created from scratch recipe!! I figured that INAUGURATION DAY was a great time to try a new thing!I’ve wanted chili for the longest time, and with vegetarian week came a challenge: create a delicious chili with no meat but still lots of flavor and texture.

I did it! After some research of other meatless chilis on various recipe sites, I came to a few conclusions:

  1. I am not (and probably never will be) brave enough to try TVP. It just kinda scares me.
  2. I don’t like using Boca crumbles in things that have to cook a long time since they get weird and tough.
  3. Wheatberries take altogether too much time to cook.
  4. Many meatless chilis use nothing to keep the “meat” texture in there, but since I thought it was important to keep it as close to my normal chili as possible!
  5. Adam said that if we were going to have vegetarian chili, it had better have a TON of beans in it.

I almost always go to the Mexican food aisle to get my beans, and when I was picking up the 8 (yes, 8, you read that right) cans of beans for this chili, something caught my eye. It was small. It had a blue label. Real chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I had to have them. They had to go into my chili.

Then I went on to the natural food aisle to pick up the organic small-cut bulgur wheat that I like, and ended up picking up some Odwalla bars, which I’m now obsessed with!!

Ok, I’ll stop rambling and get to the eats! Just a quick note too, I’m physically incapable of making a small pot of chili. This recipe makes approximately 6 quarts of chili, so feel free to halve the recipe!

Check out that grainy goodness!

Check out that grainy goodness!

Vegan Chili with Bulgur


1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cups bulgur wheat

4 cups water

2 large (32 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes

2 cans pinto beans, drained

2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained

2 cans light red kidney beans, drained

2 cans great northern beans, drained

3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

2 Tbsp. reserved adobo sauce from pepper can

2 Tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. Sriracha or other hot pepper sauce


In a LARGE pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook until transluscent, and the garlic is browned. Add the tomatoes, drained beans, bulgur and water. Stir well. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to medium-low, and simmer until bulgur is done, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I did muck with the vegan integrity of this meal by putting sour cream on top…but what’s chili without sour cream?? I have to say, this was, quite possibly, the best pot of chili I’ve ever made! Ok, that wasn’t exactly modest. Whatever! It was awesome! The chipotle peppers gave it a nice smoky flavor, and the hot sauce gave it a nice kick. Since the bulgur gave it the texture and bulk that ground beef does without the calories, one of the BEST parts of this recipe is the nutrition facts. Are you ready for this? Seriously…are you sitting down? Each 2-cup serving (the recipe makes 12) has only 240 calories, 1 gram of fat and… 15 grams of fiber!!! One serving was enough for dinner!

I’ll stop rambling now… but just a reminder! My guest post on Love of Oats is tomorrow! Make sure you read and let me know what you think!


14 thoughts on “Vegan Chili with Bulgur

  1. Wow, great recipe and fabulous nutrition stats…all that fiber. Hope your chili freezes well. If so, you’ll have plenty of leftovers for cold winter nights. Perfect! You’re right, chili is just wrong without sour cream…and I like cheese on mine too. I have dairy issues – love it so much!

  2. I totally just printed that recipe out! OH MY! Can’t wait to try it! I have to buy all the beans first, though. Thanks goodness Friday is grocery day!!

  3. That sounds good and spicy!
    Have you had morningstar farms crumbles? They’re pre-seasoned TVP and they taste amazing!

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