12th Man Chili

A healthy yet still delicious and decadent Superbowl meal.  This chili is fantastic as is, or topped with shredded cheese, sour cream or yogurt, avocado, chopped red onion, cilantro and/or crumbled tortilla chips and serve with cornbread and beer.  True fans top with crumbled blue corn tortilla chips and bright green diced avocado.  🙂

A fantastic chili has lots of spices.  Even if you don’t like a lot of heat, you still need a lot of spice.  Lots of cumin and ancho can provide great flavor without much heat.  I have also used enchilada sauce in this recipe to help create a slightly thicker and more viscus texture.  The secret to a great meaty flavor is a little Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to provide umami, and smoked paprika and liquid smoke to provide smokiness.


12th Man Chili
Serves 6
A delicious and healthy bowl of comforting goodness. This recipe serves 6-8.
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 2 TBSP margarine or canola oil
  2. 1 small onion, finely diced
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 serrano chilies, minced (for less heat, remove seeds and membrane before mincing)
  5. 1 TBSP tomato paste
  6. 1 TBSP ancho chilie powder
  7. 2 TBSP cumin
  8. 1 TBSP Mexican oregano
  9. 1 TBSP smoked paprika
  10. salt and pepper
  11. 1 20oz can crushed tomatoes
  12. 1 8oz can enchilada sauce
  13. 3.5 cups water or vegetable broth
  14. 1 12oz bag Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles (or other meat analog of your choice)
  15. 11/2 cups cooked (or one can, rinsed and drained) pinto, black or kidney beans (or blend of all three)
  16. 1/2 cup corn (optional)
  17. 1/2 cup chopped grilled pepper (optional)
  18. 1/2 cup chopped grilled zucchini (optional)
  19. 1 TBSP liquid smoke
  20. 1 TSP Worcestershire sauce
  21. 1 TSP soy sauce
  22. 3 TBSP chopped cilantro
  23. 1 TBSP fresh lime juice
Optional Toppings
  1. shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
  2. sour cream or vegan sour cream
  3. yogurt
  4. crumbled tortilla chips
  5. diced avocado
  6. minced red onion
  7. diced tomato
  8. chopped scallions
  1. Heat margarine on medium heat in large soup pot or dutch oven.
  2. Add onions, garlic and serrano peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
  3. Add spices and tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and stir to remove spices from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add enchilada sauce and veggie crumbles and bring to a boil.
  6. Boil for 10 minutes, then add beans, extra vegetables (if using), liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
  7. Immediately before serving, stir in lime juice and cilantro and top with optional toppings.
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