I hope you’re hungry tonight because my high protein vegan chili is here to satisfy some big appetites! This delicious and healthy vegan chili gets protein from TVP (textured vegetable protein) and beans, and is loaded with heartwarming flavors of sweet potatoes and chipotle chile peppers.
Since we are about to embark on a cross-country move from Alabama to Washington state, lately I’ve been trying to cook through all of the dried and canned food in my pantry. Okay, maybe not all – it’s unlikely that I’ll go through about 10 pounds of dried beans of all sorts, but at least I’m trying!
With all these beans in my pantry, it seems only logical to make a big pot of high-protein vegan chili loaded with the goodness of plant protein and fiber. To boost the protein content, I decided to add some textured vegetable protein, or TVP as it’s known in the cooking world.
I bought a bag of TVP to make these vegan sausages from Lindsay Nixon’s Happy Herbivore Cookbook. The sausages were delicious, but I haven’t made them again since then, and the bag of TVP got pushed all the way to the back of my pantry. Once I rediscovered it the other day, I set myself for a challenge to use it.
Enter this vegan chili recipe I came up with: I was able to use up at least a half of the TVP I had, plus a cup of dried pinto beans from my vast dried bean collection. (Here’s how I cook dried beans from scratch.)
The internet is abundant with various TVP chili recipes, so I was happy to use a few helpful tips on using it in cooking. Basically, the dried TVP crumbles come back to life after you soak them in boiling water for a few minutes, and once you add them to the pot of chili, they absorb all of the flavors of the dish.
My biggest surprise was to find out that cooked TVP has the exact same texture as ground meat, which worked great in this chili!
Another tip I found helpful: Matt from No Meat Athlete blog suggested blending some of the cooked beans (pinto in my case) with tomatoes and hot peppers in a food processor, and adding that mixture to the rest of the ingredients in the pot. This adds up to the hearty texture of your chili.
Following his advice, I blended 1/2 cup of beans with canned green chilies, tomato paste and some vegetable broth. The resulting chili was thick and velvety-smooth, so I highly recommend this tip!
I can see that some of us might question if TVP fits into the category of healthy whole-food ingredients. I’ll admit that it is a processed food since it doesn’t grow on a tree branch out in the wild, but if we only use it once in a while, there’s no need to be afraid.
There are lots of other plant-based ingredients that we can add to a pot of chili (for example, I used barley in my Three Bean Barley Chili recipe), so if you’re not a fan of the TVP idea, you’re welcome to skip it altogether.
If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Give it a star rating below, pin it to Pinterest, tag @vegan_runner_eats on Instagram, or leave a comment.
What other vegan recipes with TVP have you tried?
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