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

A delicious and healthy bowl of comforting goodness. This recipe serves 6-8.
Total Time30 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 TBSP margarine or canola oil
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 serrano chilies minced (for less heat, remove seeds and membrane before mincing)
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 TBSP ancho chilie powder
  • 2 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP Mexican oregano
  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 20 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can enchilada sauce
  • 3.5 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 12 oz bag Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles or other meat analog of your choice
  • 11/2 cups cooked or one can, rinsed and drained pinto, black or kidney beans (or blend of all three)
  • 1/2 cup corn optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped grilled pepper optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped grilled zucchini optional
  • 1 TBSP liquid smoke
  • 1 TSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TSP soy sauce
  • 3 TBSP chopped cilantro
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice

Optional Toppings

  • shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
  • sour cream or vegan sour cream
  • yogurt
  • crumbled tortilla chips
  • diced avocado
  • minced red onion
  • diced tomato
  • chopped scallions


  • Heat margarine on medium heat in large soup pot or dutch oven.
  • Add onions, garlic and serrano peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
  • Add spices and tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and stir to remove spices from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add enchilada sauce and veggie crumbles and bring to a boil.
  • Boil for 10 minutes, then add beans, extra vegetables (if using), liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
  • Immediately before serving, stir in lime juice and cilantro and top with optional toppings.

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