Folks from Cincinnati take their chili VERY seriously. Just the fact that we made it vegan is probably not okay by them. However, with the new Fiesty “Beef-Free” Crumbles from Beyond Meat, I’d venture a guess that even hardcore chili fans may take a fancy to this recipe. These crumbles are worth seeking out – they’re vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, kosher and REALLY delicious. We’ve even got a coupon code for you at the bottom of this post.
Cinci chili is traditionally a chili con carne style dish, beef-based and no-bean, with an unusual mix of spices that resembles a pumpkin pie blend. It’s commonly served over spaghetti or hot dogs, and is a thinner, sauce-like consistency than the normal stick-to-your-ribs chili most folks make. Regional Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana restaurants that serve Cincinnati chili are called “chili parlors” and according to the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cincinnatians consume more than two million pounds of chili each year, topped by 850,000 pounds of shredded cheddar cheese.
That’s an impressive amount of chili! But with no further fanfare, we’re excited to offer up a vegan style Cincinnati chili. Oh – you’ve got to get the lingo right: try it one-way (in a bowl); two-way (with spaghetti); three-way (with spaghetti and cheddar); four-way (with spaghetti, cheddar and onions) or five-way (with spaghetti, cheddar,onions and beans). And oyster crackers are always served on the side.
5-Way Cincinnati Chili
3 Tbl. olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl. chili powder
1 Tbl. paprika
1 Tbl. cumin
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 bay leaf
pinch salt/pepper, to taste
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 Tbl. A-1 sauce (yes, it’s vegan!)
2 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbl. apple cider vinegar
bag or box of your favorite spaghetti (we used Tinkyada)
shredded vegan cheddar (we like Daiya)
finely diced sweet onion
kidney beans or chili beans
In a large soup pot, saute chopped onion and minced garlic over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until caramelized and light brown. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, ground allspice, cinnamon, cayenne, ground cloves and bay leaf to pot. Stir until onions are well coated and oil makes the spices into what looks like a paste. Warm for about one minute, then add entire pack of Feisty Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles. Again, stir to coat so the spices are well distributed.
Over low heat, add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, A-1 sauce, cocoa powder and apple cider vinegar. Gently combine. The mixture should not be too thick; if it looks too thick, add a little water. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. Before serving, remove bay leaf.
In the meantime, prepare your chili fixin’s. Boil spaghetti according to package directions; drain and set aside. Chop onion into fine mince. If using pre-seasoned chili beans, warm them in a saucepan. If using kidney beans, drain and rinse from the can and season lightly with chili powder, cumin or your favorite spices. Warm in saucepan with a splash of water and olive oil.
To serve 5-Way Cincinnati Chili, build in layers: first the spaghetti goes into a bowl, top with a generous portion of chili. Next, add a handful of vegan cheddar shreds, some chopped onions and chili beans. And maybe more cheddar shreds, just cuz they’re good. Don’t forget the oyster crackers!
As promised, here is the coupon to try Beyond Meat’s Beef-Free Crumbles. To find them in your area, check Whole Foods, or try the map on Beyond Meat‘s website for the closest retailer. The code to get your own copy of this coupon is: http://bit.ly/OVWF3I