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TIP OF THE DAY: Tofu Bean Chili For National Chili Day

Bean chili with cubes of tofu. Photo
courtesy House Foods America.


Today is National Chili Day. Chili has long been the subject of passionate debate:

Texas-style or Mexican? Beef only, meat and beans or beans-only-vegetarian? With tomatoes or without? Spiced with cumin? With a dash of chocolate or coffee? Served plain or over rice? Et cetera, et cetera and so forth.

Whatever your preferences, today is the day to enjoy a steaming bowl of chili. Make it with beans: Americans eat too few bean dishes, and beans are such an important, inexpensive and nutritious source of protein.

For even more protein and texture, add tofu. You’ll have a delicious dish that’s high in protein and low in fat.

We adapted this recipe from House Foods America, America’s leading purveyor of tofu, which is non-GMO verified and made from certified organic soybeans.



We like the medey of three different types of beans, but if you only have one or two on hand, that’s O.K., too.


  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained, cut into small dice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded, small dice
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 can (16 ounces) black beans
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans
  • 1 can (16 ounces) pinto beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained,* or tomato sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • Dash paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced, or 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Optional: 1 can corn, drained*
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Garnishes: chopped green onions or snipped chives, nonfat Greek yogurt or sour cream, shredded Cheddar
    *We like to save the drained liquid and use it instead of water in other recipes. It adds more flavor, but you may need to add less salt to the recipe because of the salt already in the canned vegetable liquid.



    1. HEAT olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and bell pepper and sauté until tender.

    2. ADD remaining ingredients except tomatoes and tofu, stirring to combine.

    3. ADD tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.

    4. ADD tofu and cook an additional minute or two until heated. Serve plain or with rice or other grain.

    VARIATION: For a more soup-like dish, add a cup or two of tomato juice or broth.

    If you don’t have a lot of time, start with canned chili.


  • 1/2 pkg (7 ounces) extra firm or firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chili beans or low-fat chili
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Garnish: 1/3 cup chopped green onions

    Enjoy chili plain or with a garnish of sour cream and chives or grated Cheddar. Photo courtesy



    1. COMBINE ingredients in a pot and heat.

    2. GARNISH and serve.


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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