This Red Bean Chili with Smoky Chili Cashew Queso recipe is a quick and easy vegan meal that is sure to warm you on a chilly winter evening.
If you follow me on Instagram then you may remember a little preview I gave of this Red Bean Chili recipe wayyy back in September with the promise that the recipe would be coming soon. I’m glad ‘coming soon’ is relative because most people would probably not say a 4 month gap in truly ‘coming soon’ but here we are! And I’ve FINALLY got the recipe to share with you which is what really counts!
The delay in sharing this Red Bean Chili recipe is because I actually made it for a vegan cookbook coming out by a band I’m a big fan of, Turnover, and I wanted to wait to share until pre-orders for the book were up. But, as happens when writing cookbook (I know after writing 2), some delays have occurred and I just don’t want to hold this gem back anymore because it’s peak cold and this recipe is peak comfy.
The Red Bean Chili is packed full of flavor with an array of spices and my favorite chili ingredient – cocoa powder! I find that adding cocoa powder gives a deep and rich flavor boost without overpowering the other ingredients.
I finish the whole thing with lots of toppings (think fresh scallions, juicy tomatoes, meaty avocado) and a spicy vegan queso sauce that is so convincing that Wyatt didn’t even notice the cheese was missing when digging into this (a true win in my book). The sauce is packed with several forms of peppers (adobe in sauce, green chilis, and smoked paprika) to create a powerful punch of flavor.
Anyhow, I’ll make sure to share more details about the book when they are available but for now, stay warm out there and MAKE. THIS. CHILI!
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 large red onion diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper seeded, deribbed, and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce chopped
- 2 15 oz cans red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: Smoky Chili Cashew Queso (recipe follows), nutritional yeast, fresh chopped cilantro, cherry tomatoes, fresh chopped green onions, and/or chopped avocado
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add red onion and bell pepper and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add chili powder, cocoa powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and chipotle pepper and sauté for another 30 second or until the spices are fragrant and have coated the vegetables. Pour in kidney beans, fire-roasted tomatoes (with their juices), and vegetable stock
Turn heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer until the chili thickens and most of the liquid has cooked off, about 5-10 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, add toppings, and serve.
- 1 cup raw cashews (not salted) soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 4 oz can of diced green chilis
- 1-2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce + 1 tsp sauce (depending how much heat you like!)
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary (add more adobe sauce for extra heat).
Love chili and looking or more chili recipes? I’ve got you:
- Vegan Chili Mac & Cheese
- Creamy Vegetarian White Chili
- One Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole Over the Open Fire
- Black Bean & Wheatberry Chili