My dad used to make the best chili around and gave it to all the neighbors and they loved him for it.  About a year before he died, he showed me his secret recipe for “Big Paul’s Chili”.  It was always ever changing since he loved to experiment with different ingredients and finally he had made it vegan!  Since then I’ve brought it here and there and it’s won awards for “Best Vegetarian Chili” and has been loved by many.  This recipe makes a large pot that will feed a big family for a couple of days.

Spicy Factor

2 out of 5 peppers (mild/medium)

Big Paul's Chili


3 bell peppers, chopped (yellow, red, orange, or green)

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 carrots, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

2 jalepeno peppers, minced

8 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

6 garlic cloves (or half a bulb), minced

1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar)

5 (1 1/4 ounce) packets McCormick Chili Seasoning

2 T chili powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 T molasses

4 (15 1/2 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans

1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans

2 (6 ounce) cans black olives, sliced in half

2 T lemon juice (or juice of 1 small lemon)

1 package Smart Ground Soy Crumbles (optional)


green onions, chopped


Big Paul's Chili Ingredients


1)  In a large pot over medium-high heat put about half a cup of water, onions, carrots, celery, and bell peppers and cook stirring occasionally until slightly soft for about 15 minutes.

The Trinity (onions, celery, bell peppers) + Carrots

2)  Add cans of tomato sauce, crushed tomato, garlic, chili seasoning, chili powder, black pepper, maple syrup or brown sugar, molasses, and stir until all ingredients are mixed well and have heated up.

3)  Reduce heat to medium, add kidney beans, black beans, black olives, and optional Smart Ground Crumbles. Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour uncovered, stirring occasionally to heat through.

4)  Add lemon juice and stir through.

Flavors Melding Together

5)  Serve with an optional garnish of green onions and crackers or crisp French bread.  Enjoy!


4 Responses to “Best Vegan Award Winning Chili Recipe, “Big Paul’s Chili””

  1. […] to cut down on my meat consumption, I’m loving the Adventurous Vegan’s recipe for Big Paul’s Chili – because yes, Vegans can have fun in the kitchen […]

  2. Paul Bates says:

    Thanks! Yep, vegans can definitely have some fun in the kitchen. Hope you had a good Superbowl!

  3. Chris says:

    I randomly came upon this recipe while I was browsing the Internet. It is cooking on my stove as we speak and will be entered into a competition at my work tomorrow. It is smelling great!

  4. Anna says:

    GREAT Chili!!!!
    Thank you very much for recipe.

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