Chillier weather means the time is right to cook up a big pot of chili. These five recipes range from plant-based chilis to a turkey and sweet potato version and a Texas specialty.
1. Northeastern Championship Chili
The dining staffs at Boston’s top colleges took part in a chili cook-off earlier this year. The challenge: create a championship vegan chili. This version from Northeastern University won the competition with its combo of four bean varieties and an unexpected creamy ranch sauce made with almonds and cashews.
2. Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili
Chef Vivian Howard makes the most of a local crop in this recipe, where North Carolina-grown sweet potatoes stand in for beans and add a pleasing sweetness to an earthy, deceptively rich chili. Serve with sliced avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips or cilantro.
3. Taste of Texas Chili Frito Pie
Taste of Texas restaurant in Houston offers a new take on the walking taco to create a classic. Corn chips form the base of this pie that’s topped with the restaurant’s signature Texas beef chili. Avocado crema and candied jalapenos add color and textural contrast. The pie is a customer favorite, served regularly at the restaurant’s beer dinners and anniversary parties.
4. Veggie Chili
At Whiskey Kitchen in Raleigh, N.C., the kitchen combines three types of beans with winter squash to create a colorful and robust pot of vegan chili. Pasilla chile peppers and red bell peppers pair up to add sweet heat, and seasonings such as cumin, oregano, cayenne and cilantro pump up the flavor.
5. Nutty Fireman Chili
Chili may have been born in Texas, but many cooks give the dish a local or personal spin. At Grandpa Mac in Delaware, chef-owner Hari Cameron creates a plant-based version, substituting walnuts for meat. Two kinds of beans power up the vegan protein, and a variety of smoky and spicy ingredients add shots of flavor.