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 Moosewood Vegetarian Chili

Chili is the perfect food for your next party or family gathering!  It is extremely versatile and can be adapted to almost any dietary restriction: vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, diabetic, or low-fat.  Keep reading for tips on how to prepare a delicious and deeply satisfying bowl of chili and how to throw an awesome chili party for your friends and family.

Chili Party Tips

1. Host a Chili Cook-Off.  

-Prepare a few recipes of chili and have guests vote for their favorite.

-Compete against your spouse or roommate.  Each could prepare a pot of chili and guests could decide whose is best.  Give the winner a kitchen-themed award, like an apron or set of wooden spoons.

2. Make your chili a few days ahead of time to save time on the day of your party and allow the chili flavors to mingle.

3. Ask your guests to bring their favorite chili topping or dipper, such as:

-shredded cheese

-sour cream

-green onions


-tortilla chips

-corn chips

-crusty bread


4. If you will be providing the chili, offer a variety of meats and levels of spice.  Prepare a recipe of each:

-Vegetarian Chili

-Beef Chili

-White Chili

5. Serve your alone in a bowl or on top of:


-baked potatoes

-baked sweet potatoes



-hot dogs

6. Serve each type of chili from its own crockpot so that it will stay warm throughout your party.  If you do not have enough of your own crockpots, borrow extras from your friends.

7. Have a themed mug or soup bowl contest.  Ask each guest to bring their ugliest, holiday themed, or sports themed mug or soup bowl and vote on the winner.  

8. Serve brownies for an easy dessert.  Make them ahead of time and freeze.  Serve them alone or as the base of an ice cream sundae.  

9. Freeze any leftover chili for a quick weeknight dinner or send extra chili home with your guests.

10. Ask each guest to bring a can of chili or beans to be donated to a local soup kitchen, food pantry, or homeless shelter.

Chili Making Tips

1. Cook meat completely before adding any other chili ingredients.  Brown ground meats or poach and shred poultry.  Drain off any excess fat.

2. Saute aromatics, such as garlic and onion, in olive oil, vegetable oil, or butter until they are caramelized.  Then, add the cooked meat and other chili ingredients according to your recipe.

2. Think about adding chiles instead of, or in combination with, chili powder.  Only add varieties of chiles if you are confident of their flavor and spiciness.

3. Add traditional spices such as: chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander, oregano, and paprika.  Cinnamon, clove, or star anise can also give your chili an interesting flavor. Whatever dried spices you add, be sure that they have not expired.

4. Thicken your chili with:

-Tomato paste

-Refried beans

-Mashed sweet potato

-Pumpkin puree

5. Include a variety of beans in your chili, such as: red, kidney, pinto, cannellini, black, garbanzo, or pink beans.

6. Instead of adding water to your chili, use meat broth, vegetable broth, or tomato stock.

7. Season your chili in layers.  Taste as you are preparing it and adjust the seasonings accordingly.  If it has become too spicy, add a little bit of brown sugar or honey.

8. Fill your chili pot with vegetables.  Bell pepper, corn, carrot, squash, and sweet potatoes will stay firm as your chili cooks.

9. Use leftover meatloaf, meatballs, roasted chicken, or sloppy joe filling as the base of your chili.

10.  To give vegetarian chili a richer flavor and texture, add lentils or mushrooms.

11. For a silky texture, fold sour cream into your chili.



Moosewood Vegetarian Chili

Basic Chili

Black Bean Chili

Black Bean and Quinoa Chili

Crockpot Chili

Crockpot WIld Rice Meatball Chili

Easy Turkey Chili

Three Bean Vegetable Chili

Winter White Chili

White Bean Chili

Black and White Bean Chili

Arcadian Eight Bean Chili

Mexican Chili

Tavern Chili (Microwave)

Spicy Texas Chili

Chili Accessories:

No-Fry Tortilla Chips

Chili Lime Tortilla Chips

Corn Bread

Corn and Cheese Muffins


Butter Corn Sticks

Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits with Chives