Vegan Bean and Sausage Chili

Whew. Just got back from a 9-hour photoshoot with a great crew of people. The only downside to the day was an icy bike ride over and a finger-numbing ride home.  I’ve gotten so used to the light jacket-friendly days of January that this below-freezing weather nonsense in February feels preposterous.

I’ll gladly admit I’m a winter-hater, but it does provide a pretty good excuse to cook up some chili. Nothing feels better than coming home on a frigid evening to a hot bowl of chili, accompanied by a side of corn bread if I’m lucky.

The following recipe creates a hearty dish showcasing several meat-free, protein-packed ingredients. Here, kidney beans team up with vegan sausage to provide around 13 grams of protein per serving.  Served atop a 1/4 cup of bulgur (one serving), and you tack another 5 grams on to the meal.  Who says protein has to mean meat?

This dish is also brimming with flavor.  The beans and sausage simmer their juices with those of tomatoes, while being infused with the flavors of chili powder and smoked paprika.  Portobellos add that “meatiness” you’d expect from a protein-filled meal, and cilantro tops it off with a vivacious bang of freshness.  This is  F-F-F chili, vegan style.

Vegan Bean and Sausage Chili

Yield: Serves 4-5


  • -1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • -15 oz. can kidney beans
  • -15 oz. can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • -1 large onion, diced
  • -3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • -1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • -8 oz. baby portobellos, sliced
  • -1 1/2 Tofurky vegan sausages, diced into 1/8-inch semicircles
  • -1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • -1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • -1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar, optional
  • -Cilantro, for garnish
  • -1 cup bulgur wheat
  • -Vegan sour cream, optional


  1. In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup bulgur wheat to slightly more than 2 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high in a large saute pan. Saute onions, peppers, garlic, and sausage for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, and saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender. Add chili powder and smoked paprika, and cook for a minute, stirring frequently. Add entire can of both kidney beans and tomatoes. Stir in brown sugar, if using. Reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook 35-45 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve atop bulgur wheat. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

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  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    February 13, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Sounds wonderful! I recently noticed that we got some new grains in our bulk section at work, one that would go really well with this chili. It’s a type of ferro grain…and I can’t think of the name (darn it!) and it’s loaded with protein (about 15 grams) and fiber (about 6.5 grams!). I will have to write down the name and get back to you….

  • Reply
    February 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Grace, that looks brilliant. I love a good chili with plenty of beans. The flavours sound delicious.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    another ripper recipe Grace, thank you. i’ve cooked a few of your most recent recipes with a few variations of my own, lots of spices and different types of beans (tried cannelini beans? i can’t stop eating them cold while they wait to be cooked!). all the best from Ballarat, Australia – where it’s always winter, even in summer. 🙂

  • Reply
    Melanie Flinn
    February 15, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Chili is perfect in the winter. We had two good snow days here so I need to make something warm! Looks yummy!

  • Reply
    February 16, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Sounds delicious! I am always looking for great veggie friendly chili recipes. Too bad I can’t get vegan sausages here.

  • Reply
    Sausage King
    February 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Hi there

    Although we mainly focus on meat sausages it would be awesome to plug a recipe like this on our website.

    Would that be okay with suitable acknowledgement?

    Many thanks


  • Reply
    Top 12 of 2012 « Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    December 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    […] Best anytime dish: Vegan Bean and Sausage Chili […]

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