(vegetarian) chili verde

a family favorite - this vegetarian chili verde packs subtle spices, hearty beans & tender seitan into each tasty bite. mild green chile brings that fresh southwestern taste - without a ton of heat.  

there's something about southwestern food that is cozy and comforting.  maybe it's the warm spices, that kick of heat or the fresh-yet-hearty flavors. perhaps it's the simple ingredients and quick preparation. or maybe it has something to do with the memories - and taste memories - that accompany each recipe. this chili verde has it all.

growing up in Utah, ben ate a lot of southwestern-style food, and chili verde was his favorite dish, hands down.  luckily, sue (his mom) makes one killer chili verde - which she learned from a navajo woman while living in gallup new mexico - and this recipe was inspired by hers.  

the ingredients are simple and minimal - some beans, veggies, green chiles & a protein simmered in broth until meltingly tender.  served with a hunk of warm cornbread or tortillas on the side. a perfectly balanced meal full of the flavors of the southwest.

 traditionally this dish is made with mutton, which was wildly available on the navajo reservation in gallup, but the, ahem, kitchen odors (to put it nicely) associated with cooking mutton quickly had sue changing  that ingredient to pork. in developing a meat-free version, we've discovered that seitan is the perfect vegetarian substitute - mild and meaty, it soaks up the rich flavors of the stew and becomes fall-apart tender.  and bonus - seitan doesn't require a long cooking time - this dish comes together in under 40 minutes.  unbelievable taste in a surprisingly short amount of time.  recipe win!

give this vegetarian chili verde a try - it'll be a family favorite after one bite!

recipe: vegetarian chili verde

serves: 4 to 6


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 2 - 3 white button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can (14oz) white beans
  • 1 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 package seitan
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large jar green chile salsa
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce, or to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 c grated cheese - (we used colby jack) - optional


  1. heat the oil in a large pot
  2. when the oil is hot, add the onions, pepper & mushrooms & cook until tender ((about 5 minutes)
  3. add salsa, beans & veggie broth and simmer for 10 minutes
  4. add the potato and seitan, and simmer until the potato is tender - about 10 minutes
  5. remove from heat and add the hot sauce, if using
  6. ladle into bowls, top with cheese & serve with tortilla chips 
  7. enjoy!


b, h & s