Old West Style Vegan Chili

“Chili” with an “I,” versus “chile”  with and “E.” What’s the difference?

Chili with an “I” is what you serve in a bowl and what I am serving up to you with this chili recipe here, or it’s a spice blend used in said bowl of chili that’s known as chili powder.

Chile with an “E,” in this case, is either the fruit of one of the various kinds of chile plants popular in Sonoran and Mexican cuisine, or a South American country. Chili powder usually contains at least one variety of chile. I am using both chili powder and chile powder in my chili.

plant based beef chili with vegan cheese and sour cream in a glass bowl on a patterned glass plate on a black background
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Old West Style Vegan Chili
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jackie Alpers
Arizona chili recipes originated from meals cooked from chuckwagons and by cowboys working on the range. Canned tomatoes, beans, chiles and ground meat were easily accessible. These days this translates to ingredients that you have on hand.  I’ve updated the concept a bit with the addition of fresh mushrooms and plant-based meat and dairy.


Dried Herbs and Spices

Wet Ingredients

For Serving


  • Sauté the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the olive oil over medium heat, in a large Dutch oven or soup pot, until the onion starts to soften and brown, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the red wine, then plop in the plant-based beef, breaking it up with a spatula or wooden spoon as you mix it in. Then, fold in all of the dried spices until well combined with meat mixture.
  • Next, pour in all of the wet ingredients, stir, then let cook for 5 minutes and taste and see if you need any more salt or pepper and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you are not using any fish sauce there is a good chance you will need to add more salt.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes more.
  • To serve, ladle the chili into bowls then scoop in a dollop of sour cream and an handful of shredded cheese. Garnish with chopped green onions or chives and crushed chiltepin chile if you want your chili even spicier. Enjoy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Sonoran
Hungry for More?Buy the Taste of Tucson Cookbook!

Get my recipe for Cincinnati Turkey Chili(Opens in a new browser tab)

Recipe Index

Visit Jackie Alpers @ The Food Network

Jackie Alpers for the Food Network

Order Jackie’s Newest Cookbook: Taste of Tucson

About Jackie Alpers

Portrait of Taste of Tucson Cookbook author in her Mexican tiled kitchen

International color awards nominee medal

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This