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Moosewood Vegetarian Chili


I've made this one for decades, and it is the one I keep going back to. More than one meat-lover has mistaken the bulgur for ground beef.















2 ½ cups red kidney beans
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup cracked wheat (bulgur)
2 teaspoons olive oil
for saute
4 garlic cloves
1 ½ cups onions
1 cup carrots
1 cup celery
1 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon chili powder
or more to taste
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and black pepper
1 dash cayenne pepper
to taste
1 cup green bell peppers
2 cups tomatoes
fresh, chopped
½ lemon
juice of
3 teaspoons tomato paste
3 teaspoons red wine
cup cheese
¼ cup parsley leaves
fresh chopped


Put kidney beans in a saucepan and cover them with 6 cups of water. Soak 3 to 4 hours. Add extra water and salt. Cook until tender (about 1 hour). Watch the water level, and add more if necessary.

Heat tomato juice to a boil. Pour over raw bulgar. Cover and let stand at least 15 minutes. (It will be crunchy, so it can absorb more later).

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil. Add carrots, celery and spices.

When vegetables are almost done, add peppers. Cook until tender.

Combine beans, bulgar, sautéd vegetables, tomatoes, lemon juice, tomato paste, and wine and heat together gently, either in kettle over double boiler, or covered in a moderate oven.

Serve topped with cheese and parsley.


* not incl. in nutrient facts

Add review




Dawn Walz

I think you left out the peppers in the ingredient list.?

about 12 years ago


Thanks for your comment, just edited the recipe, it should be 1 cup of chopped green bell pepper. Enjoy!

about 12 years ago

Grocery List

so nice recipe ...Vegetables are low in fat and calories, a good source of dietary fiber and provide us with extra energy. All these features help control weight effectively.

about 12 years ago


I like this recipe...Vegetables are low in fat and calories, a good source of dietary fiber and provide us with extra energy. All these features help control weight effectively.

about 12 years ago

My mother in law prepared this chilli for us about 25 years ago and since then it was always part of our family menu. Now my son asked me to show to him how to prepare it. Thank you Molly for sharing with us this nice family friendly recipe. Zofia, Gex (France)

almost 9 years ago

This is probably not Molly's recipe as she used all of the Moosewood Restaurant's owners' recipes without ever giving them credit or paying these other women a dime. It is a great recipe book, but unfortunately Molly needs to pay her fellow recipe makers their fair share of her very profitable recipe book!!!!! You can do it Molly!!!

over 8 years ago

Who's Molly?


Molly Katzen. I had no idea there was an issue about authorship and sharing of revenues. Too bad. Amazing cookbook, if a little heavy on the dairy.


This is our favorite chili recipe and we're not vegetarians! My husband or I make a batch at least once a month from Fall through winter. Our recipe book is at another location so it was great to find it here.

over 7 years ago

I've been making this recipe for 30 years. Everyone loves it - even the people in my family that don't like vegetarian meals. I used to get this at a vegetarian restaurant attached to a health food store for lunch. I bought the cookbook and since then have bought all of your cookbooks and even drove to Ithaca once for lunch (4 hour drive) to see the restaurant. Thanks.

over 6 years ago

My chili mix right now is dry as a bone. Was I not supposed to drain the water off the beans? I'm afraid to put it in the oven!


over 5 years ago

Maybe add more water to your desired consistency, then adjust the seasoning?!


Yes, you were suppose to keep the bean water.

what may be used in place of the red wine? I hate to buy a bottle of wine for 3 teaspoons.

almost 5 years ago

It is only 3 teaspoons red wine, so I wouldn't worry about adding it in, if you don't have it on hand. Hope this helps, and happy cooking :)


It's Mollie not Molly. And if she owns the restaurant, then they she owns the recipes as well !

about 4 years ago

As someone who worked as a cook for years and created many recipes for the restaurants that I've worked for I can say that this comment is very insensitive to the people that pour their heart and soul into cooking food for others. What is wrong with giving credit to someone else when it's due? It's a better look than fluffing yourself up with the achievements of others.

LineCookUnited States
- about 1 year ago

I love this recipe and have been using it for years now. I use a variety of canned beans, drained, including pozole, and add Mexican oregano as one of the spices. Very versatile and delicious!

about 4 years ago

Anyone care to add Instant Pot directions?

about 4 years ago

I've been using this recipe since 1980, though sometimes I do cut up some organicly raised steak and add to it. I most always use a Dutch oven but have also used a crock pot. I do add a lot more chili powder than the recipe calls for. Always make a big batch and can it all except a couple meals worth. Really needs cornbread with it, I use the Joy of Cooking crackling cornbread (leave out the crackling) and make that in a skillet. Blue cornmeal. I also start with dried beans soaked overnight, per the original recipe.

about 3 years ago

This is a fantastic recipe, I add corn and skip the wine and cheese to make it vegan. I also make it with this cornbread recipe, so Good!

almost 3 years ago

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 580g (20.5 oz)
Amount per Serving
Calories 25210% of calories from fat
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 824mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 17%
Dietary Fiber 15g 59%
Sugars g
Protein 22g
Vitamin A 100% Vitamin C 82%
Calcium 10% Iron 20%
* based on a 2,000 calorie diet How is this calculated?


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