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Bowl of Meatless Chili con Carne with Spoon, Drinking Glass and a Bunch of Scallions in the Background
Meatless Chili Con Carne
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Meatless meat chili? YES! It's a thing, and a delicious one! Hearty cauliflower walnut crumbles stand in for meat in this vegan spin on chili con carne. You'll be amazed!

Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 329 kcal
Author: Alissa Saenz
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 small crown)
  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup medium dark beer (like lager) or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place the cauliflower, walnuts, soy sauce, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, and liquid smoke into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

  3. Arrange the cauliflower walnut mixture in an even layer on the baking sheet.  

  4. Bake the mixture for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until browned around the edges.

  5. While the cauliflower walnut mixture bakes, coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat.

  6.  Add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the peppers begin to soften and the onion is translucent.

  7. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.

  8. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, beer or broth, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne pepper.

  9. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  10. When the cauliflower walnut mixture has finished baking, stir it into the chili. Allow the chili to simmer about 10 minutes more, until it's nice and thick. You can thin it with some water if it becomes too thick.

  11. Remove the chili from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust any additional seasonings to your liking.

  12. Divide into bowls and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Meatless Chili Con Carne
Amount Per Serving
Calories 329 Calories from Fat 175
% Daily Value*
Fat 19.4g30%
Saturated Fat 2.2g11%
Sodium 997mg42%
Potassium 557mg16%
Carbohydrates 31.9g11%
Fiber 10.6g42%
Sugar 10.5g12%
Protein 11g22%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 4.3mg24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.