What’s the secret ingredient in your chili recipe? After making my traditional chili recipe for over 20 years, I accidentally, stumbled upon a recipe while surfing Pinterest that suggested adding peanut butter to chili. The idea was intriguing; the light nutty taste of peanut butter with its naturally sweet profile could be just what my chili recipe was missing. The idea for a Peanut Butter Vegetarian Chili was born.
It was a good opportunity to add some flavor depth to a vegetarian chili, which is why this is the first version of the recipe I’m sharing. However, this recipe has been made over quite a few times already with ground turkey, chicken and beef. Every single time it has been a success. There is no wrong choice here!
Capitalizing on our “we eat with our eyes” concept, this peanut butter vegetarian chili recipe incorporates many different colors to contrast against the dark red tomato background. The addition of red, yellow, and green peppers is vital, so don’t skip these ingredients. The mushrooms and onions are more for taste. All beans can be used— this one features black and pinto, however a combination of northern, white, garbanzo, red or any other bean of your choice can be substituted.
The best description of how the added peanut butter elevates your chili to “best of” status is the addition of texture. The tomato paste mixed with the broth makes up the liquid portion of the chili; the peanut butter adds a creaminess unlike any other. It’s velvet-like and gives the chili a more robust sauce to hold together the beans and vegetables .
When you have a choice of nut butters from Once Again, it’s obligatory as a recipe developer to push the envelope and try out the recipe with the other nut and seed butters l. Here is the result in a nutshell (pun intended): the peanut butter was by far the best choice, with cashew and tahini tied in second place. The almond butter didn’t work as well, and sunflower seed butter also wasn’t a good match in our opinion. Nonetheless, we are so curious to hear what you think. Don’t shy away from experimenting with your own recipes. Share your results in the comments section so we can try it as well. Thanks!
Want some more fall season like recipes? Try our Cauliflower and Pumpkin Au Gratin recipe found here.
Peanut Butter Vegetarian Chili
Carolina Jantac, MS, RD, LD
The secret ingredient to your best chili yet! Yes, it is peanut butter! Don't doubt it until you try it. The nutty flavor and velvety addition is going to be your signature move for chili. Make it on a cold fall night, or for a fun football game, either way enjoy it.
- ½ cup of chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 15oz can of pinto beans
- 1 15oz can of black beans
- 1 15oz cans of diced tomatoes in tomato sauce
- 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
- 3 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 cups of chopped red yellow, and green peppers
- ½ tablespoon of chili powder
- 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
- In a large pot, start with olive oil, onions, and garlic. Let them simmer for a few minutes over medium heat.
- Add in mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Next, add broth, tomato paste and peanut butter and mix well over medium heat. Then add in tomatoes and peppers. Cook for another 15 minutes over medium heat.
- Lastly, add both beans and chili powder. Taste to adjust amount of chili powder to your preference. Cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes, and then decrease heat to low for 10 minutes.
- Serve over pasta, brown rice, or Polenta! Top it with chopped onions, parsley, or cheese and sour cream, if not vegan .
- Store leftovers in refrigerators for up to three days.