Nutrition: Vegetarian Cincinnati Chili, Panther Style!

I’m a sucker for a good Cincinnati Chili, but since I’m vegetarian most of the time, I don’t get to eat it too often. I decided to tweak a Food Network recipe and make it my own, vegetarian style. It is pretty damn tasty.


2 tablespoons olive oil (more depending on how much mushroom you use)
1 Red onion, diced
2 Sweet Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika (normal)
1 tablespoon paprika (smoked)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (1/2 if you like things hot as heck)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bag “Morning Star” recipe crumbles (or equivalent amount of mushrooms, see note below)
1 package “baby bell” mushrooms, washed, drained and diced
1 6 ounce can tomato sauce
1 6 ounce can of “fire roasted” tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 square of unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 small can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
shredded cheddar for topping (fresh shredded or bagged is fine, I used 2% Sargento)
sugar to taste (or sweetening agent of your choice)

In a medium pot with a heavy bottom (giggity) heat up the oil. Add the garlic and cook until just barely golden. Add sweet onions and cook through till onions are transparent and soft. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have shrunk. You may need to add oil.  Dump in chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and clove. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture coats onions/mushrooms and just starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. It will get very fragrant as well. Add in bag of crumbles and heat through (crumbles are already cooked).

NOTE: If you don’t wish to use the textured vegetable protein crumbles, you can replace them with 2 packages of diced, cooked baby bell or white mushrooms. It is recommended that you cook them separately and add them in instead of the crumbles, cooking them until they are just heated through. 

Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaf and 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir to combine the ingredients and let simmer, uncovered, until it thickens slightly (took mine about 5 minutes over medium heat).

Add chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and stir to combine the mixture and melt the chocolate. Cook for 10 minutes, then taste and add sugar to cut the bitterness of the chocolate and balance the heat. Add in beans. Cook for 5 more minutes then remove from heat, removing the bay leaf in the process.

Boil water and cook pasta based on the instructions on the box. Serve chili over the pasta, topping with cheese and diced red onions.

Makes a shitload of chili, invite friends.

Nutritional info: Hell if I know. By using either the vegetable protein crumbles or mushrooms you’re cutting out a ton of fat though (add it back in with the cheese, yum) and calories depends on how much sugar makes it taste just right for you. I use a high fiber whole wheat pasta for my noodles. Enjoy and let me know how it turns out in the comments!

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