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Chunky Vegetarian Beef Chili is the ultimate in vegetarian chili options.  Loaded with kidney and black beans, big pieces of tomato, and textured vegetable protein, this dish will fool even the most die-hard ground beef lover!

One of the things that I miss the most about my life before cohabitating with John.e, the vegetarian, is the ability to prepare dishes with loads of meat.  I used to love cooking chili with extra ground beef; in fact, I much preferred the beef over the beans!  At the same time though, I’ve always preferred a chunkier version of chili rather than just the ground beef crumbles and tomato sauce version.  Textured vegetable protein has enabled me to find a balance that works for both me (the meat-eater) and John.e (the vegetarian).

If you or your household are not vegetarian, you can certainly enjoy this awesome chili recipe as well.  Just switch out the textured vegetable protein and add equal amounts of ground beef, pork, turkey, sausage, or any combination you’d like.

To get the chunkiness that I crave, I use tomatoes.  Yes, that’s it; just tomatoes.  A while back, I posted a recipe in which I schooled you on the differences between canned diced tomatoes and canned whole tomatoes.  Just a reminder here, canned whole tomatoes are much better than canned diced or chopped tomatoes.  

If the recipe you are preparing requires diced tomatoes, then just simply roughly chop the canned whole tomatoes.  You will benefit from a better tasting tomato.  Manufacturers use bruised and not-so-pretty tomatoes to make the canned diced tomatoes, however, the blemish-free tomatoes are used for the canned whole tomatoes.  Just makes more sense really – use the best in all of your recipes whenever possible.  The end result makes the extra effort worth it!

Now, before we get to the recipe, I must warn you – this recipe makes a very large batch of chili.  Even though there’s just the two of us, I cannot seem to change the way I cook, which is always more than we need.  I don’t know why that is, but it’s just the way it works for me. 

Feel free to split the ingredients in half if you’d like a smaller amount, but the great thing about chili is that it freezers very well and can be easily reheated without sacrificing any of the flavour or integrity.  In my opinion, reheated chili is even better!

Chunky Vegetarian Beef Chili
Serves 10
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
97 calories
16 g
0 g
3 g
3 g
1 g
135 g
328 g
4 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97
Calories from Fat 30
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 328mg
Total Carbohydrates 16g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 4g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 packages vegetarian ground round (textured vegetable protein, 312 gram packages)
  2. 2 large onions, finely chopped
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 4 teaspoons chili powder
  6. 2 teaspoons paprika
  7. 1 teaspoon cumin
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  10. 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  11. 1 can tomato paste (5 ounces)
  12. 2 cans whole tomatoes, roughly chopped (800ml)
  13. 2 cans tomato sauce (680ml)
  14. 2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed (540ml)
  15. 1 can black beans, rinsed (540ml)
  16. 1/4 cup parsley, chopped, for garnish
  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the two packages of ground round (textured vegetable protein) and stir into the onion mixture. Cook for 5 minutes. (If you are using dry textured vegetable protein, then follow the instructions on the package for re-hydrating the product before using.)
  3. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Stir well to combine.
  4. Add the tomato paste, chopped canned tomatoes, tomato sauce kidney beans, and black beans. Stir all ingredients well to combine. Place a lid on the pot.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve hot with crusty bread, nacho chips, or topping such as grated cheese, sour cream, red onions, etc.
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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. This is pretty much how I'd make a vegetarian version. In the states we have MorningStar veggie crumbles, which I am guessing is pretty similar to Yves. I was a vegetarian for two years, so I tried recreating meat dishes with meat substitutes. Chili is such a perfect winter dish.
    1. Yes, I've tried Morningstar Veggie Crumbles, and it's basically the same thing as Yves, although the taste is very slightly different - both still good though!
    1. It's a pain and a mess to stick your hand into a large can of whole tomatoes and chop them up, but the end result is worth it. I always try to cook with the best ingredients; it really does make all the difference!
    1. Oh my! I'm flattered! I'm seriously considering 100% vegetarian - it's just a hassle preparing two dishes at home if I desire meat.
  2. I'm glad to know the cooked crumbles freeze and reheat well. It's something I've wondered about but never tried as I never had any reason to cook ahead when I did choose to follow a vegetarian lifestyle. Do the beans also freeze well? I'm that person who never puts beans in chili I plan to freeze because I'm worried they'll go weird like potatoes.
    1. Hi Mary. Yes! Beans freeze very well! I completely understand where you're coming from with the frozen potato bit; I've been there and done that! But, for me, beans tend to hold up quite well. Just reheat the chili on a slow, constant heat; it works best that way.

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