There’s nothing like warming up with a big bowl of chili in the winter, am I right? It’s the best! Growing up, chili was a big staple in my house. Every year my dad invited all of our family and friends to our house for the Super Bowl and he would make the biggest Mexican feast you could possibly imagine. Everything from chips and salsa to enchiladas – you name it!
My favorite dish my dad served at our Super Bowl parties was chili con carne. While I don’t miss eating meat at all, there is a certain savory flavor the beef brings to help balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes. I made my own chili recipe for YEARS trying to add as many spices to achieve those same savory flavors as my dad.
Then I discovered beer. I had never really thought of cooking with beer before. Wine? Sure. But beer was foreign to me. I am still experimenting with other kinds of beers for various recipes, but adding a basic stout to my go-to chili recipe has really made all the difference.
I love this stout chili recipe because it’s 1. Cheap to make. 2. Really easy to make. 3. Yields a bunch of leftovers. It’s super customizable too! You can top it with avocado, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, or all three! Dip some chips in it! Fill a baked potato with it! The list goes on…
This recipe can be customized too. I love spicy chili so I always leave the seeds in my serrano peppers, but if you prefer a mild version or have kids who haven’t developed a taste for spicy foods, you can omit the seeds and even use less of the serrano peppers to get the desired spice you’re looking for.
For beans, I like to stick with red kidney and pinto. I find black beans have too distinct of a flavor and plus, I don’t think my dad ever used them in his original recipe. If you like black beans, you can always omit one of the red kidney cans and sub black beans instead. You can also add corn if you like – I feel like this makes the recipe too sweet, but If you like it and you’ve gotta have it, by all means.
If you don’t have stout beer lying around or are gluten-free, you can always add some dark chocolate to your chili to produce a savory flavor. I have also used marmite, a yeast product that makes a special appearance in my Beet French Dip, but advise against it unless you’re looking to rid it from your pantry. You have to use quite a bit to get the flavor right.
If you’re not sure which stout beers are vegan and need a hand, Barnivore is a very handy resource! Guinness recently changed their recipe, so they’re probably the most accessible vegan stout, but there are so many great ones out there. For this recipe, I used their Extra Stout, but I’ve experimented with others, including barrel aged stouts in the past.
As always soups and stews taste better the second and third day, so if you’re serving this to a large group of people, remember to make it the day before and warm it up on the stove prior to serving.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or tag me at #hellyesitsvegan on Instagram. Cheers!
Vegan Stout Chili
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, chopped (seeds removed if you want a more mild chili)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 15 ounce cans red kidney beans
- 1 15 ounce can pinto beans
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 12 ounce bottle or can stout beer
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- ½ Tbsp garlic powder
- ½ Tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 shakes ground cinnamon
- In a large pot, add olive oil, onion, serrano, and garlic cloves. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium-high until the onions are translucent.
- Do not drain the beans or tomatoes. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, and simmer for 45 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot every ~7 minutes.