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Camp Dinner: Where’s the Beef Camp Chili

Camp Dinner: Where’s the Beef Camp Chili

With a little bit of persistence and some slicing and dicing, you and your campmates can enjoy this hot n’ hearty recipe from our Camp Chef, Anne Assassi. Usually, chili recipes call for lots of meat and are notorious for filling you up (sometimes waaay to full). Preparing a meat chili requires the extra prep of transporting and storing raw meat, which can be a pain. This vegetarian version is a lighter, super-satisfying meal to nourish you without leaving you uncomfortably stuffed!

Notes: Bulgur wheat adds a textural component to the chili that nearly serves as a meat substitute. The beer and dark soy sauce add the umami flavor that meat would usually bring to the dish.

Feeling hungry and or inspired? For more healthy and delicious food experiences, visit Anne's website, Diet Assassinista.

Camp Dinner: Where’s the Beef Camp Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes

Serving Size: 6-8


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 (12 oz) bottle lager beer or stout
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 whole canned chipotle chilies, minced; 1 tbsp adobo sauce reserved Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 2 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans
  • Cornbread, to serve
  • Your choice of toppings: Sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, diced jalapeños, diced avocados, sliced radishes, lime wedges, hot sauce

Steps to Success:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, until the onions are soft.
  3. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beer, dark soy sauce, and chipotle chilies with reserved sauce.
  5. Season with with 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Stir in bulgur wheat and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes until the bulgur is al dente.
  8. Stir in the kidney beans and continue simmering, uncovered, for 10 minutes to allow flavors to combine and the chili to thicken.
  9. Serve in bowls with your choice of toppings!