The Foodie Dietitian Blog

Vegify Your Chili!

Well, here it is, the last recipe to complete my self-quota for the week! 4 recipes in 7 days. Phew! From now on I think I will set a more realistic goal, one new recipe every week. The realistic goals we set for ourselves are usually the ones we can maintain, right?!

Today I am going to share with all of you a chili recipe. A very healthy one in fact. This vegetarian chili recipe calls for tofu as a meat substitute. Some vegetarian chili recipes call for beans only as a protein source; however I love the tofu addition because it adds more substance and makes it taste heartier.

If you’re used to beef in you chili, don’t be afraid to try tofu instead! It mimics the texture of meat and absorbs the flavor of the chili. PLUS one serving of this tofu chili is only 280 calories and only 1.5 grams of saturated fat! Oh and did I mention the BONUS that it has 7 grams of fiber per serving as well! Nutritious AND delicious!

Plus, if you usually are cookin for one like myself and don’t like to waste food, this recipe is great because it freezes well and you can easily heat it up at a later time!  So without further ado, the recipe!

Tofu Chili (Whole

1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 small jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 1/2 cups gluten-free vegetable broth or water
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt or gluten-free tamari to taste

Arrange tofu on a large plate lined with 3 or 4 paper towels and top with more paper towels. Press firmly to release as much water as possible from the tofu. Discard paper towels, crumble tofu and set aside.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. Add pepper, onion, jalapeño and corn and cook for 5 minutes. Add broth, beans, crumbled tofu, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin and salt or tamari and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered or partially covered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and flavors have melded, about 45 minutes. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

Per serving (about 16oz/443g-wt.): 280 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 920mg sodium, 35g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 16g protein

How did I tackle this recipe? What was my experience?
First of all, I’m not too keen on spicy foods and neither is my stomach so I opted out of the optional jalapeño. But hey! If you’re the kind of person who loves the sensation of your mouth on fire or if you justDSCN1122 need to clear out your sinuses, go for it!

I also decided not to include the corn in my chili because I’m just not a huge corn fan plus I figure I get enough corn in my diet through processed foods anyway!  I also chose to use vegetable broth over water in hope to give it some added flavor.

Serve this chili however your heart desires! But here are a few suggestions:

  • Serve over brown rice, suggested by Whole Foods
  • Serve with cornbread to make a complete Southern meal. I used Trader Joe’s cornbread mix to make mine!
  • Serve with some tortilla-style chips. Trader Joe’s veggie & flaxseed tortilla chips were my pick!
  • Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top and add some calcium to your meal! I gotta have cheese on my chili!

Serve this chili hot. hot. hot (like the song). And enjoy!

Peace, love, and food,


How do you like your chili?!

I’m a nutrition coach and yoga teacher helping people to learn to love food again. I love cooking, taking pictures of my food and traveling around the world. Follow my blog for delicious, seasonal vegetarian recipes and simple strategies to bring more yoga and mindfulness into your life. And check out my e-book to learn how to improve your health through nutrition and yoga. Show me what deliciousness you make! Tag me @karalydonRD on Instagram.


  1. The hotter the better! I add TJ’s fire roasted green chiles or chipotles in adobo for a real kick. I think the secret to good chili is the cumin!

    • Absolutely, the cumin and chili powder are definitely key! I’ve used chipotles in adobo in a different dish before..they sure kick it up a noch!

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