Easy GF Vegan/Vegetarian Chili Recipe

One of the things that surprised me when going gluten free is the amount of soups and stews that contain gluten, especially chili. Chili is one of my favorite meals to make because it is hearty, wholesome, and delicious! It goes great on hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries too. However, I have to be careful about ordering it when dining out. Many kinds of pre-packaged chili contain gluten. Premixed chili spice packets also can contain gluten. I even had a friend offer me some of her “famous” chili, but declined when she told me her secret is to dump a bottle of beer in it at the end! That is also why I ask what is in each thing I consider eating, even if it seems obvious.

This recipe is my favorite, because of it’s simplicity. Basically you dump a can of every vegetable you like into a pot and let it stew. You can do it quickly in a stock pot on the stove or let it stew all day in your crock pot. You can easily add or remove any ingredient, based on taste, without damaging the recipe overall. I added an onion and peppers for flavor, but they aren’t necessary. This time, I even replaced the chili spices with two of the new McCormick GF Chili spice packets, to make it even easier! It may not be haute cuisine, but it is great in a pinch. Probably the best aspect is its low cost. I purchase the canned goods when they are on sale, never paying more than $1 per can. I estimate it cost me $12.22 to make the whole pot. I usually get 8-10 servings per pot. Assuming the 8 servings, that is $1.52 per serving! It also freezes well too, so you don’t get tired of leftovers. I portion out the leftovers, so I can bring them to work or eat them later, when I don’t feel like making a meal from scratch.

Ingredients – Chili Base

1 small onion, white or yellow, rough chop

1 bell pepper, color of choice (I used green this time)

2 – McCormick Gluten Free Chili spice packets

1 – 15 oz can of black beans

1 – 15 oz can of kidney beans

1 – 15 oz can of corn

1 – 15 oz can of okra

1 – 15 oz can of sqaush

5 – 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, flavor of choice (some brands offer chili seasoned ones!)

1 – 6 oz can of tomato paste

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  1. Saute onion and pepper, if desired. Add it to your stock pot or crock pot. If you are using a stock pot, you can saute in the same pot so you have less dishes.

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2. Add in spices or spice packet, cook for a few minutes until fragrant. This brings out the flavors more, so you can use less spice.

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3. Add in mixed veggies, making sure to drain the liquid from each can. Rinse the beans thoroughly too. I usually throw the contents of each can in a colander and rinse.

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4. Add in the tomatoes, also well drained. If you purchased spiced diced tomatoes, do not rinse them or you will loose the spices!

5. Cook on low crockpot setting for 6-8 hours or medium heat on the stove for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. As the vegetables cook down, the chili will look a little watery (see image above).

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6. Add in the tomato paste to thicken the chili. It is ready to eat!

  • I serve mine with vegan cheese and avocado or guacamole. Sometimes I also include tortilla chips or GF cornbread on the side too.
  • For a meaty version, add in 1 lb cooked ground beef or turkey in between steps 2 and 3.
  • For a fall twist add cooked pumpkin or another winter squash. Adding cinnamon to the squash version is great too!

For those of you who don’t want to use a spice packet:

Ingredients – Homemade Chili Spice

2 Tbl Chili powder

1.5 tsp red pepper flakes

1.5 Tbl Garlic Powder

1 Tsp Onion Powder

1.5 Tbl Cumin Powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp sugar

Turkey Meatball Pho

My husband absolutely loves vietnamese pho and it is one of the few stove top dishes he will help me make (he prefers cooking on the grill). While I eat vietnamese food every chance I get, it is difficult to find a restaurant where they have gluten free options. Even though the noodles are gluten free (rice), many restaurants marinate their meat in either soy sauce or hoisin sauce, which are not gluten free. I have even been places where they added soy sauce to the broth. So I make it at home!

Traditionally, pho is made with sliced meat. However, we prefer a meatball version, which I have seen on menus before. It’s great because because you can mix in extra flavorings there too. Also, ground meat is cheaper! This time around, we decided to make it even less traditional and go with  a leaner ground turkey, instead of beef.  Since I used poultry for the meat, I also opted to use chicken stock instead of traditional beef stock. You can easily change the recipe back to the beef, using like quantities of each.

Ingredients

1 quart gluten free chicken broth

2 shallots – 1 quartered, 1 sliced

1 piece star anise

1 tsp cilantro, dried

1 tsp sugar

1 inch piece of ginger, fresh – slice half, and mince the other half

2 shallots – 1 quartered, 1 sliced

1lb turkey, ground

1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs (or crushed GF crackers)

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 medium jalapeno pepper (optional)

1/4 cup white onion, minced

6 oz rice noodles

1 oz bean sprouts, rinsed

Optional Garnishes: 

1/2 bunch Thai basil, shredded

1/2 bunch mint, shredded

1 lime, sliced in wedges

1 tbl peanuts, crushed

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To start, pour chicken stock into a 3 to 4 qt pot. Add the quartered shallot, sliced ginger, the star anise, and the cilantro. Simmer, while you make the meatballs.

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Next, heat up a frying pan with some oil. Mix turkey with the breadcrumbs, minced ginger, garlic, jalapeno, and onion. Roll into balls, preferably bite sized. *My husband made these much too large, so we had to cut them up to eat.*

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Brown the meatballs on all sides. They do not have to be cooked all the way through, yet. While they are browning, skim the shallot, ginger, and anise out of the broth.

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Once the meatballs are browned, add them to the broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through. While that simmers, boil some water in a large pot and cook the rice noodles. They cook very quickly, usually 6-10 minutes, so keep an eye on them. While the water is boiling, quickly fry the sliced shallots in the hot oil left over from the meatballs, then set them aside.

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Drain the noodles and divide them between two bowls. Top with bean sprouts. Add some meatballs and broth. Add desired garnish. We used basil, jalapeno slices, and the fried shallot. Lime wedges, mint, and peanuts are other great traditional options.