Makes 12 muffins
Chili Serves 6 to 8
I’m no Texas chili expert, but I am a culinary reality TV expert, and one thing that’s for sure is that if chefs on a cooking competition talk about Texas, they talk about chili. And if they talk about chili they have to state no less than 10 times that Texas chili has no beans in it. They’ll say it in slow-mo and with echo and dubbed over techno music. Texas chili has no beans. Did you hear that? NO BEANS! So this is my reverse homage to Texas chili. A mean pot of stew filled with all my favorite beans! It’s thick and stick-to-your ribs, and super duper meaty thanks to the cooked down lentils. Serve with Cornbread Muffins and guacamole.
Watch me make it and then I’ll watch you make it! Wait, no I won’t.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced medium
1 green pepper, seeded, diced medium
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, thinly sliced (seeded, if you want it less spicy)
3 to 4 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 tablespoon dried mexican oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Several dashes fresh black pepper
1/8th teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups water (plus extra as needed)
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz can)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz can)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons lime juiceFor the Corn Muffins:
1 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal, medium ground
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 cup corn kernels (thawed if using frozen)
Set your slow cooker to “sear.”Saute the onion, green pepper and jalapeno in the oil with a big pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add the garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients, cover and set to slow cook for at least 8 hours. Lentils should be very tender.
Taste for salt and seasoning, and thin with a little water if necessary.
Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium high heat.
Saute the onion, green pepper and jalapeno in the oil with a big pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add the garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chili powder (start with 3 tablespoons and go from there), oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and cloves and toss to coat the onions, letting the spices toast a bit (about a minute or so).
Add the 4 cups water and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Add the lentils, cover the pot and turn the heat up to bring to a boil. Let boil for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and again. The lentils should still be firm, but almost tender enough to eat.
Add the crushed tomatoes, kidney beans and black beans. Cover the pot, and turn heat down to simmer. Let cook for about 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally. The lentils should be quite mushy, almost melting into the chili. You may also need to add more liquid depending on how much the chili has cooked down. Adding up to two cups more would not be unheard of.
Add lime and maple syrup, then taste for salt and seasoning. It tastes best if you let it sit for 10 minutes or so, but if you can’t wait then just dig in!
For the Corn Muffins:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Measure out the milk and add the apple cider vinegar to it, then set aside to curdle.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and add in the milk, oil and applesauce. Stir together the wet ingredients in the well. Then mix the wet and dry together just until the dry ingredients are moistened, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the corn kernels.
Fill each muffin tin most of the way with batter. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes. Tops should feel firm to the touch and a knife inserted through the center should come out clean.
Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle (usually 10 minutes or so), transfer muffins to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.
Does this freeze well? I need a dinner to eat tonight and freeze till family arrives next week. Ordered IZA DOES IT and anxious for it to arrive.
These recipes were great; the chili and corn bread were delicious. To add some kick ( and to use what was already in my fridge), I added 1/4 c Chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce and that made the flavor even better. Cant wait to buy your book! Keep it coming. Thanks Isa!
Made the chili & muffins for my dinner party last night and everyone was like “This is amazing can I have your recipe??” and I was like pshhhh lemme introduce you to the Queen of Veg!… and sent them all the link to your blog :-). I am way overdue to show you some comment love.. your recipes have been keepin’ it spicy in our household for a long time now! Everything you post is exploding with flavor and I love it! I am SO excited to see you speak in Philly in Dec!! Anddd your videos are great your dance moves are rockin’. Thanks for being awesome!
This was sooooooo great! I’m trying to help my mom see that plant-based food is actually REALLY delicious and she was scraping the bottom of her bowl when I made this! And she ate three mini muffins! Thank you!
I made this chili last night. It was amazing. Very, very tasty. Thanks for a delicious vegan chili recipe.
I made this for my in-laws this weekend (who are not vegetarian) and my husband and I, who are. It got rave reviews! Everyone loved it, and it was perfect for a cold fall evening.
Thanks for making such great recipes that always turn out, even the first time I attempt it!
Would green lentils absolutely destroy the way the chili looks?
No those are ok!
thank you so much. you’re teaching me how to cook. i’m 32.
This is the second recipe that I have cooked from Isa’s new book and I love it! Made the chilli with the corn muffins as well. The corn muffins cook so quickly and are addictive.
Thank you so much for this recipe Isa!
OMG- the corn muffins were out of this world- best I have ever had!!! (And I must admit, I was a bit sceptical about the coconut oil and apple sauce)- but this was brilliant!!! 😉
thank you so much for this fabulous recipe! My first time making any kind of chili! It is soo good!
I dont have a corn muffin pan could i just make in baking pan and cut squares?!?
Sure! I’d use a 8×8 square.
I just made the chili, it’s amazing, lots of great flavors going on.
Has anyone experimented with throwing in uncooked (soaked) beans into the slow cooker? Would seem to save some labor if I didn’t have to pressure cook the beans…
Pepe’s Secret Guacamole? P 233 in ISA Does it? It’s not on page 233… Could you post a recipe online?
OMG, the chili is sooooo good! I have a crappy little kitchen in my apartment and I kept knocking stuff over (especially the lime juice), but I finally managed to get it all put together. I just tasted the first bite with the corn bread and it’s amazing!
Thanks so much for the recipe! (Also, this recipe totally gave me an excuse to buy a lime squisher, which I don’t know how I lived without!)
This chili is SOOOOO delicious! All of my meat-eating family devoured it yesterday!! Thank you!
This recipe is sooo delicious. It was a hit with my carnivore friends!!
THIS IS THE BEST CHILI. i’m so excited. i love that it’s not all chunky and vegetabley (not that i don’t like vegetables, just not in my chili as much). also if anyone is wondering, i substituted gluten free AP flour for the corn muffins and it turned out great. thank you so much for this recipe! yay!
Just made this, after doing a google search for vegetarian chili recipes – it is sensationally good!
Thank you very much indeed for the recipe, which is going to be used frequently in this household.
I’m now going to start studying the rest of your recipes…
Due to some recently diagnosed coronary artery disease, I am trying to change my eating habits. While I may never be a hard core, pure vegetarian, I do plan to cut out red meats and fried foods. In my quest for healthier eating I stumbled across this web site a few days ago. We live in Louisiana where food is rich and hearty. I Had never eaten a vegetarian dish in my 50+ years. We do cook chili a lot in the winter though I was never a fan of chili with beans. Even with these preconceived negative thoughts (vegetarian & beans), I decided to try this recipe. I must say I was shocked at how good it was. My wife, daughter and I all loved it.
I adore this recipe. I make it over and over. Will make it again for a party next week. I use a can of BBQ beans, with its sauce, to get that flavor.
Isa- I love it ! Love your site like a million other people!!
I usually add and little liquid smoke in my chili.
Love the recipe, I also had to post this on my site http://www.munspage.com
First, thank you for being awesome. Although I have never commented, I have made most of your recipes and have used many as a base for my own variations. Veganomicon was my first vegan “bible” and you are an inspiration. My healthy, happy, vegan five year old is seriously obsessed with beet burgers and he will eat just about anything with a little nut cheese to dip it in. Second, quick question on this chili before I just try doing it and end up disappointed…can I just use dry beans? Seems like it would work fine since it is cooking so long. I would just add more liquid, correct? I usually have some cooked beans in the freezer but I am down to black eyed peas and a handful of garbanzos. I have some dry black and beans, but I don’t have time to soak and cook them first. Again, thank you for being so freaking fabulous.
What is Mexican Oregano? This looks great but in Australia, Mexican Oregano is hard to come by. Thanks
VIDEOS!!! I haven’t visited the site in far too long. I’ve watched three already. LOVE! You are funny and charming and now I want faux clam chowder and pumpkin ice cream and chili. And orzilla (I read that one first).
I love your recipes! Sometimes we cook exclusively from them during the week. I am making this recipe now and can’t wait to try it as your mac n’cheese with roasted brussels sprouts last night was fabulous. I have a question about the amount of water needed. I am making the stovetop version and the directions read “Add the 4 cups water” but I’m noticing it’s really liquidy and not cooking properly. When I went to the top the ingredients read “2 cups water (plus extra as needed).” Thanks for sharing your culinary talents with us!
Best Chili EVER! Seriously, I’ve never had chili this good. I just used the stove top directions.
This is beautiful. Thank you for all the shockingly delicious vegan recipes—I’m just starting out as a vegan. I recently found out I’m allergic to eggs, dairy, and gluten; having cut those out, I’m suddenly finding meat to be repulsive! So here I am… 🙂
Can I just substitute gluten-free flour in the muffins, or is the flour ratio different? I’ve thought about getting some “cup for cup” GF flour for simplicity. I figure corn muffins are a good quickbread option for GF baking, because half of the flour equation is corn anyhow.
Oh gurl this is good! Okay, true talk, I’ve been slow to incorporate lentils in my cooking. Ever since trying one of your recipes out of Veganomicon with some split red lentils I was disappointed in the texture. Fuzzy? Fear not, I blame the type of lentils/brand. I trust you implicitly. Which is why I decided to try this recipe today. And boy is it tasty, with just the right amount of chewiness to it. And the flavor profile, as always, is spot on. Thanks for all your awesome creations. I might be trying the beet burgers this weekend. For now, it’s time for seconds!
The flavor is what got me on this recipe. Its the perfect combination of spices. The cornbread and chili mixture was meaty, sweet, and delicious. Do you recommend a good wine/beer with this?
Thanks again for posting such great recipes.
I tried the corn bread muffins. They were entirely too crumbly and they tasted very strongly of baking soda. Will not be using this recipe again.
Making this for seemingly the hundredth time, it is THAT good. We will be having it with brown basmati and fried corn tortillas, diet be damned. Thanks Isa for the awesomeness.
This is the BEST chili recipe I’ve ever tried. (Sorry, Mom, your recipe’s been replaced.)
The reason I am so obsessed with you(r recipe) is because you ‘get’ daily life. You know the average person ain’t got time for super fanciful chili powders and all that jazz. You perfectly allow people to go the extra mile with fresh tomatoes or home(pre)cooked beans, but you know why canned goods got popular!
Anyways, love you, and this recipe. Never stop being awesome.
The corn muffins were fantastic against all odds! I totally forgot to put the 1 c cornmeal, and they were still AMAZING. I did not like the flavor of the chili however to be quite honest. It wasn’t necessarily bland but it wasn’t exciting. The flavors did not come together for me. This is one of two recipes on your website that I have not enjoyed though, so I will still keep trying everything on your site!
The corn muffins worked out for me – I just left out the corn kernels. I got your recipe from another web site: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2014/01/27/vegan-cornbread-muffins-recipe
There it is suggested that “If you’d like to turn this into a berry corn muffin, feel free to add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest along with the wet ingredients, then fold in 1 cup of berries.”
I think it would be nice with a cup of berries added to it.
Thanks for the recipe.
More videos please.
OMG this chili is amaaaaazing 😀
I have this chili simmering right now; so far it smells and tastes great, so I know it will be even better tonight and tomorrow. I substituted a can of white beans for the red kidneys and added a few splashes of vegan worcestershire sauce. I had the sad realization that my cornmeal had gotten buggy, so I substituted an additional cup of flour for the cornmeal and the muffins are still cakey and delicious. Thanks for always having recipes that stand up to those of us who tend to read the ingredients list as we go 😀
Could ya use beer instead of water? Also what beer would you recommend if so!
This has become my go-to chili recipe. Also those muffins are as adorable as they are yummy.
Wow! Looks yummy, but the title put me RIGHT off! I almost didn’t even look at it. I mean, when a vegan sees the word “meat” prominently listed in the recipe title, we run a mile. I’d suggest changing the title. I will probably try the recipe, though.
P.S. I’m from Canada, and chili DEFINITELY has beans! It wouldn’t be chili without the beans. Duh!
So when is the cooking show coming out? The plant based world needs someone like you on the food network!!!
This is the best chili recipe ever. I used to just wing it and outcome was always different, but this is perfect so I follow recipe and make it really really often! Always 1&1/2 x or double quantity since everyone just sucks it down. Thank you thank you thank you ♥️