Classic Tofu-Mushroom Chili

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

Yes, this is an old-school tofu-as-beef-substitute chili, and maybe chili should properly be in quotation marks, but I think there’s a place for different versions of the protein-plus-chile-and-cumin stew. Earthy mushrooms and lots of dark-red ancho chile powder, and a little hit of tamari at the end, give it a deep flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound (455 g) mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 pound (455 g) extra-firm tofu, pressed (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28-ounce/794-g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce/400- to 430-g) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed, or about cups cooked and drained kidney beans
  • Tamari or soy sauce (if needed)



    In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and turn the heat to high; cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and it has mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Scrape into the slow cooker.

    Return the skillet to medium heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then crumble in the drained tofu. Cook for 1 minute, then add the ancho chile powder, cumin, chipotle chile powder, and oregano, stir for 30 seconds, and scrape into the cooker. Pour ½ cup (120 ml) water into the hot skillet, scraping up any browned bits, then pour the liquid into the cooker. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.


    Season with tamari, if needed, then serve.