Kitchen Experiments: Super Bowl Chili

The recent cold weather has put me in a mood for warm dishes, such as soups and stews. So for the Super Bowl, I decided to break out my favorite chili recipe. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser and, since it’s pretty much just vegetables, it’s a healthy choice too.

This recipe makes a massive batch, but it freezes really well so don’t worry about cooking too much.


  • 3/4 cup medium or coarse bulgur
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 3 table spoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne paper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 can Italian plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1/2 lb green beans with the ends trimmed off (I use frozen)
  • 2 large sweet red peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 package frozen corn (10 oz)
  • 1 can dark kidney beans
  • 1 can chick-peas
  • 2 zucchini, shredded

Combine the orange juice and bulgur in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature.

In a 5 quart heavy bottom pot, warm the oil and then add in the onion and garlic. Cook until tender

Stir in all of the spices and let cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. It will start to smell really good at this point.

Add in the tomatoes and their juice, and the chicken or vegetable stock. Add the salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

At this point, I make up the rest since I lost the full recipe years ago. I add in the beans and let them cook for a while. Maybe a half hour or so. Then I add in everything else, including the bulgur/OJ mix. The bulgur adds a heartiness and ground beef-like consistency that makes this more than just a vegetable stew, so don’t skip this step!

I keep the heat on medium for about 15-20 minutes until I think the beans have cooked enough, and then let it simmer for a few hours so that the spices soak into everything. Stir regularly to keep the bottom layer from burning. Add in more spices until the flavor is just right.

Serve with cornbread and enjoy!

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