Chili Weather
October 13, 2009, 11:41 pm
Filed under: Main Dishes

The temps are unseasonably cold here in Minneapolis for this time of year, which reminded me of how much I like some fantastically spicy chili on a brisk day to warm me up a bit.

D.Jones and I both agree that Fitger’s Vegetarian Chili in Duluth is the best vegetarian chili we’ve ever had, and as luck would have it, the recipe has been posted on Mpls-St. Paul Magazine’s website for years.  We’ve made it numerous times, though most often on a weekend when we have a little more time to dedicate to the chopping, which we always seem to do by hand.  It becomes a process, these chili days of ours, and the result is unbelievable and worth every minute of it.  If you’d like to try the best vegetarian chili on earth, here’s the recipe for you, as printed on

Fitgers’ Vegetarian Chili

Duluth’s popular Fitger’s restaurant fires up a cold North Shore afternoon with this meatless chili, featuring green peppers, Tabasco sauce, and red wine for added flavor. With the likes of black beans, mushrooms, carrots, and onions mingling in the spicy sauce, you won’t miss the ground beef.1/3 c. oil
1 pint onion, finely chopped
3/4 c. celery, chopped
1 c. green pepper, chopped
1 tbs. garlic, minced
1 pint mushrooms, chopped
1 tbs. ground cumin
3/4 t. dried basil
2 tbs. chili powder
3/4 t. dried oregano
1 1/8 t. salt
3/4 t. pepper
1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, canned
1 1/2 lbs. black beans
3/4 t. Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 oz. tomato paste
1/4 c. red wine
1 c. carrots, chopped

Heat oil in a fry pan and add onions, celery, peppers, carrots, garlic, mushrooms and spices. Saute ten minutes, add remaining ingredients, (reserving juice from black beans and tomatoes) and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, adding juice from black beans and tomatoes. Serves 8.

Now tonight I didn’t have quite as much time to prepare, as I have a 3 1/2 year old who loves to do things like scale furniture, terrorize cats, and chase the dogs with baseball bats when I spend too much time in the kitchen.  Instead, I made a speedy version of vegetarian chili, which actually turned out quite nicely.  Not, I will readily admit, as nicely as Fitger’s, but it made for a pretty good dinner without too much prep time.


Fast & Easy Veggie Chili

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 small red onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced or put through press

1 c. frozen or fresh corn

1 28 oz can finely diced tomatoes

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1/2 c. water

1 can black beans

1 can navy beans

2 T. chili powder

2 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)

1 tsp. cumin

2 T. olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


Lightly coat bottom of large sauce pan or stock pot with olive oil.  Over med-low heat, saute diced onion and green pepper until fragrant and beginning to soften.  Add garlic and continue to cook for another minute or two.  Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste, and corn, along with black beans and navy beans, rinsed, and 1/2 c. water.  Stir well to combine, and then add cumin, red pepper, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Stir again to combine and then cover pot, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes to 1/2 hour.

I served ours with a generous amount of shredded Vermont cheddar and some tortilla chips, which together were the perfect complements.



3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

ooh, sounds good. here’s my go to chili: Vegetarian Chili

Comment by Heather

[…] pork chops, cheddar beer cheese fondue (and a story about Crystal Grobe and Bill Roehl), and Fitgers’ vegetarian chili. var addthis_pub = "heavytable"; var addthis_options = 'favorites, digg, delicious, stumbleupon, […]

Pingback by October 14 Recipe Roundup « The Heavy Table

I cut that recipe for veggie chili out of the Strip about a decade ago, and make it regularly! But I usually do the veggies in sequence, from hard to soft–putting them all in at once and only cooking for a short time didn’t work as well as I’d’ve liked.

Comment by Girl Detective

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