Articles & Recipes

Holy Mole Chili (vegetarian)

February 26, 2019

With its notes of cumin, cinnamon and chocolate playing off the gentle spices, this meatless chili combines the best of a mole sauce and a Cincinnati-style chili. Its rich body makes it a seriously satisfying dinner any night of the week.

Ingredients Makes 4 to 6 servings

4 cloves garlic, minced 4
1 large green bell pepper, diced 1
1 onion, finely chopped 1
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) diced tomatoes, with juice 1
1 can (14 oz/398 mL) baked beans in tomato sauce 1
2 cups cooked or canned romano or pinto beans, drained and rinsed 500 mL
2 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed 500 mL
1 tbsp chili powder 15 mL
2 tsp ground cumin 10 mL
2 tsp ground coriander 10 mL
1⁄4 cup mole paste (see Tip) 60 mL
1⁄2 cup vegetable broth 125 mL
Crushed tortilla chips, chopped fresh cilantro, shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)


  • Minimum 4-quart slow cooker
  1. In slow cooker stoneware, combine garlic, green pepper, onion, tomatoes with juice, beans in tomato sauce, romano beans, black beans, chili powder, cumin and coriander.
  2. In a bowl, combine mole paste and broth. Using a fork, gently stir together into a thin sauce. Stir into bean mixture.
  3. Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours or on High for 21⁄2 to 3 hours, until vegetables are tender and chili is bubbling. Serve topped with tortilla chips, cilantro and cheese (if using).
This dish can be assembled up to 12 hours in advance. Prepare through step 2, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, place stoneware in slow cooker and proceed with step 3.
If you can’t find mole paste, substitute 1 tbsp (15 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder and 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon. Note: Mole paste is a rich, dark, reddish brown sauce used in many Mexican poultry dishes. It is a smooth cooked blend of onions, garlic, several varieties of chiles, ground seeds (such as pumpkin or sesame) and a small amount of Mexican chocolate, which adds richness without being overly sweet. You can find mole paste in the Mexican foods section of the supermarket or in specialty stores.


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