Caryn's Big Bold Chili

You've never had chili like this! It's packed with beans and vegetables.  And, you'll never miss the meat because I have added bulgur wheat to give you that mouth-feel and the sweetness of the San Marzano tomatoes will add a richness you'll really love. I think it is really the ultimate comfort meal



  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 large carrots, large dice
  • 16 oz fresh mushrooms (your choice), roughly chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, large dice
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 zucchini, large dice
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 ounces corn
  • 1 28 oz can San Marzano whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 tablespoons date paste (maple syrup also works)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • fresh lemon juice




Add the onion to a pre-heated large stock pot or dutch oven. Stir until you begin to see caramelization (browning) and add the garlic. Stir for another minute, careful to not burn as it will become bitter. If at any time the ingredients begin to stick, add just a tablespoon or two of broth or water.

Add in the jalapeno, carrots, mushrooms, green bell pepper and spices. Mix well and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until the mushrooms release their juices.

Add in the beans, squash, roasted red bell pepper, corn, tomatoes, date paste and tomato paste. Stir. Finally, add the bulgur wheat and broth. Stir and cover for 20 minutes.

Right before serving, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice in to brighten it up.

*To make date paste, simply add 5-6 pitted dates to a blender and as  it is running, drizzle in warm water, only until things really get whirling. To make a large batch, increase the amount of dates and water. Will keep in the freezer for 6 months, and about 8 weeks in the fridge in a well sealed container.


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How did this recipe work out?

Posted by Marge Walker on
Going to the store now. Will cook today. It's my day off! I'll let you know how it comes out.
Posted by Mark on
Hi, I enjoyed the class this weekend!
I’m not a big mushroom fan but love chili. Would you recommend just leaving out the mushrooms or is there something I can substitute?
Posted by caryn on
HI Mark! Thanks for joining us!! Because the mushrooms are so very good for your immune system, I'd encourage you to keep them and chop them VERY small, however, if you really cannot stand the thought of them (I have a husband like this ;) ), leave them out and add in a few more beans.
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