Pierce Street Vegetarian Chili Recipe: Delicious and Hearty

I think its safe to say, we are long overdue for a good vegetarian chili recipe. I kept waiting until I had a pot in front of me that I was giddy about, the kind of chili that has you leaning over the pot, spoon in hand, shaking your head once or twice, saying mmm-hmm. And believe me, I never thought the best pot of chili I’d made (in years) would be inspired by a bunch of little bags of remnant grains and pulses collected in my cupboards. But that’s what happened. This chili is made with bulgur, farro, lentils, chile peppers, crushed tomatoes and the chickpeas I had hanging around. Beyond that, you’ve got chili powder, and the wildcard – a bit of grated ginger.

What To Do With Leftover Chili

Like most chili, or stews, this vegetarian chili is even better the day after! This makes an XXL pot of the stuff, so you’ll have plenty left over. If you are feeling adventurous, you can ladle some of it into a shallow baking dish, make a few indentations with the back of a large spoon, crack eggs into the hollows, drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss it into a 375F degree oven until the eggs set up – a twist on baked eggs.

To Freeze Chili

This chili freezes brilliantly. Allow it to cool completely before ladling into freezer safe containers. I like to divide the chili into meal-sized allocations which will be different depending on your family size.

Close up photo of lentils


I should also note, you can swap in other grains if you like. That said, I think part of the success here was choosing grains that held their structure. And shoot for grains that cook in roughly the same amount of time as the lentils. Pearled grains cook much more quickly than whole farro or barley, although certain brown rices, perhaps a basmati, could work well. There are countless great ideas in the comments as well. For example someone swapped in hominy in place of the chickpeas and said it was the best part. Brilliant! French lentils pictured above, and pearled farro pictured below.

Close up photo of pearled grains

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