We are well into soup season and I've been loving every minute of it! There is something about cooking soups and stews that makes me feel free. The laid-back cooking process really allows you to let your creativity shine. I almost always end up adding a couple of ingredients I didn't plan to when cooking soups and stews, and this Best Chunky Chili recipe was no exception!
This chili is hearty, loaded with lots of chunky veggies and has the perfect amount of kick. I kept my chili vegetarian by using Beyond Meat plant-based ground protein, but feel free to use ground beef, turkey or chicken! There are a couple of unexpected ingredients in this chili recipe that really elevate the depth and complexity of the flavors. One of the surprise ingredients is charred poblano peppers - keep reading for the other one!
Making The Best Chunky Chili
First, char you poblano pepper under your oven broiler for about 4-5 minutes per side until the skin is black and blistered. If removing the skin and seeds (I left mine on for extra flavor and heat), place the pepper in a plastic zipper bag for a few minutes, then peel the thin skin off. The steam from being placed in the bag helps the skin come off easily. Slice pepper in half, remove and discard the seeds, then chop pepper.
If leaving skin and seeds in tact, simply chop your charred pepper after it has cooled enough to handle and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and bell pepper and sauté for 3-5 minutes until veggies begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute until garlic is fragrant. Add ground meat or protein and cook until until meat is almost cooked through. Season meat mixture with salt, black pepper, chili powder, chipotle pepper, garlic powder, ground mustard, paprika and cumin and stir to incorporate.
Add beans, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, poblano pepper, brown sugar and espresso powder. Stir to incorporate. If you like your chili a bit more soupy, add vegetable or beef broth at this time, half a cup at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. I like a really chunky chili so I did not use any broth. Reduce heat and simmer for about 25-30 minutes.
Serve chili immediately with shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro and chopped green onions if desired.
You Will Also Love This Harvest Vegetable Soup Recipe!
The Best Chunky Chili
- 1 medium poblano pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground protein of choice*
- Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne optional
- ½ - 1 cup vegetable or beef broth optional
- 15 oz can dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 15 oz can pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes with liquid
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1-2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro and sliced green onion, for topping, optional
- Char poblano pepper under oven broiler for 3-4 minutes per side until skin is black and blistered. If removing skin and seeds (I left mine on for added flavor and spice), place charred pepper in a plastic zipper bag for a few minutes to allow steam to help loosen skin, then remove the thin skin. Slice pepper in half, remove seeds and chop. If leaving skin and seeds in tact, just chop entire pepper once it has cooled enough to handle and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add ground meat and cook until almost cooked through. Season with salt, black pepper, chili powder, chipotle pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, ground mustard and cayenne. Stir to incorporate.
- Add beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, espresso powder, brown sugar, poblano pepper. If you like your chili more soupy, add vegetable or beef broth at this time. I did not use any broth as I prefer a really chunky chili and the crushed tomatoes provide a good bit of liquid. Stir and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 25-30 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if desired.
- Serve immediately and top with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro and sliced green onions if desired.