Make a Vegetarian Chili for Super Bowl Sunday


Difficulty level Easy

YIELD Serves 4

It has come to my attention that this Sunday is the Super Bowl. Now, I don't want anyone to think that I'm a girlie-girl who doesn't like sports. In fact, I'm a much bigger sports fan than my husband. I just don't see the allure of 300-pound men chasing a little ball around and jumping on each other. I like 250-pound men skating around and chasing a little puck, with sticks. I am Canadian, after all.

I'm not interested in actual event and the great commercials get blacked out in Canada, but I do love a party. The Super Bowl seems as good as reason for a party as any. The great thing about this is you can have something really informal where you invite your buddies over for some healthy snacks, a few beers, and a bowl of chili. I'm suggesting a big pot of chili because people can get up and serve themselves. So whether you are in it for the kick-off or the half-time show, you can choose your own moment to eat.

If you're really not into football, but you still feel like a party, make the chili and invite a bunch of friends over and watch Groundhog Day, instead.I looked at lots of recipes for vegetarian chili, but in the end I adapted my regular meat based chili because I like the seasonings. Without the meat to soak up the heat, I found the chili too hot. I have reduced the amount of dried chili peppers by quite a bit, so if you like your chili on the spicy side you could increase it. Use the list of vegetables as a guideline, and feel free to toss in whatever you have on hand. I used kidney beans, but you could add some chickpeas or black beans, as well. If you do want meat in the chili, brown 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef before you add the other ingredients.

You can make this chili on the day of the party, but I think it tastes better the next day. The other benefit is that you don't actually have to do anything once your guests arrive. Just remember that the chili will be hotter the next day, so don't make it too spicy to begin with.


2 tbsp olive oil
6 bay leaves
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2‑1 tsp crushed dried red chilies
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp vinegar
1 5 1/2 oz can of tomato paste
1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 can kidney beans, drained


  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and sauté for 2 minutes. Add bay leaves, cinnamon, allspice, dried chilies, salt, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in vinegar, tomato paste and 3-4 cups of water, depending on how thick you want the chili. Add tomato, green pepper, zucchini and corn and cook, uncovered, for an hour. Add the kidney beans and mushrooms and cook for 1/2 hour longer. If the chili is too think, add a bit more water.

    From Hot and Spicy Cooking by Cynthia Wine (1984, Penguin Books)

This recipe appears in: Chilis

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