This is actually the chili that my mom taught me to make. She grabbed the original recipe from Trader Joe’s, which is one of my favourite stores. I think the original way to make it was just beans, tomatoes and the chorizo, but we add a few extra ingredients. So I’m not sure if I should give the credit to TJ’s or my mom? Thanks to both of you!
My family has a place in Washington, so I always make a stop at Trader Joe’s when I head down (we need one in Vancouver!), or if my parents are going I ask them to bring me back some of this soy chorizo. I like to keep a few on hand – it freezes really well and defrosts quickly. It’s perfect for nachos, tacos, chili fries, pasta sauce..basically whatever you would use chorizo for (or any ground meat) you can replace with this. It’s amazing – the texture is fantastic, it’s spicy, flavourful, and unlike regular chorizo or ground meat, it’s not greasy or fatty. I’ve been able to get quite a few friends on board the soy chorizo train. It’s definitely worth stocking up on it if you make it to TJ’s! If you don’t have access to one, I’m sure another soy chorizo would work just as well.
The best thing to make with it though (in my opinion) is this chili. Whenever I think about chili I think about a big ol’ pot of hearty meat and beans…complete with a layer of grease and fat floating on the top…and a big ol’ stomach ache to follow. No bueno. This chili on the other hand has all the heartiness of a regular chili…but without that layer of fat and grease from the meat..so it’s tastier and way healthier! To be honest, the first time my dad had this chili, he had no idea it was meatless. This is hands down our favourite chili even though we are not a vegan family.
Not to mention this chili is way easier to make because you don’t have to brown meat or play around with spices. The chorizo already has all the spices in it…including salt…so there’s no need to add any salt or chili powder which is another reason it’s quicker to make! Play around with it though if you like it a bit spicier.
This chili freezes really beautifully. My mom often makes it when we go away – she makes it a few days ahead and freezes it so it’s ready to go (perfect for camping or ski trips *wink wink* Gord). I like to make a big pot of it and pack it up in individual servings for quick dinners and lunches. It makes quite a bit, so I even packed a couple containers up to share! And because it’s so quick to make it’s a great dish to make during the week!
I top mine with crushed taco chips, avocados, cilantro, and lime. Sour cream or cheese are also great toppings if you’re not worried about keeping it vegan.
You don’t need to be vegan to love this chili. It’s really the perfect comfort food for a cold winter… hearty, warm, spicy, comforting, and easy! What more could you ask for….except for maybe a cold beer on the side!
Chorizo Chili (Vegan)
- 1 pkg Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo
- 1 large bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (more or less to taste)
- 1 – 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 2 – 520 ml. cans of kidney or black beans (drain if desired, but not necessary, I don’t like dry chili)
- 1 cup of corn
- Olive oil
- Dash of hot sauce, if desired
- Toppings, optional – Cilantro, lime, avocado, taco chips (or your favourite topping)
In a large dutch oven, saute onion, garlic and bell pepper in a touch of olive oil until they begin to get soft.
Add chorizo by slicing open the casing (like a regular chorizo) and squeezing into the pot. Saute until chorizo becomes hot and slightly brown.
Add tomatoes, beans and corn (and hot sauce if you want it spicier!). Stir and cover with lid. Once boiling, turn to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick – or until you’re ready to eat!
Top with your favourite chili garnishes, or serve over rice or quinoa. Pack up the leftovers in freezer bags or containers and freeze for a quick and easy meal!