“Beefy” Chili

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years of Recipes and Reflections from the Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant

Welcome to Claire's

By Claire Criscuolo

Published 2014

  • About

When I make chili, I use Lightlife® Gimme Lean® Beef, or for a “chicken” chili, I crumble up four Gardenburger® Chik’N Grill veggie patties. Both are delicious in the chili. Serve this chili with warm cornbread or warm corn tortillas.


  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 pound organic pinto beans, sorted for any stones
  • 2 large organic onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 organic bell peppers (1 each of red, yellow, and orange), seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small local butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes in juice, squeezed using your hands
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 12-ounce tube ground soybeef” or 4 meatless chicken patties, defrosted and crumbled
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen organic sweet corn kernels, defrosted


  1. Put the water and the beans in a large pot over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer the beans, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, peppers, garlic, butternut squash, chili powder, cumin, oregano, jalapeño, tomatoes, sea salt, and pepper. Stir well to mix. Cover, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. This should take about 10 minutes.
  2. Once the mixture reaches a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and cook at a slow boil, covered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender. Stir in the soy beef or crumbled veggie patties; stir in the corn. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the meat substitute and corn are heated through. Taste for seasonings.