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Bowl ’em over with a vegan chili bar

Hey hey. Happy USA Chili Day! Or maybe it’s also National Chili Day where you are reading this from?

For cooler or colder temperature month gatherings, I’ve found it’s great to offer something hot, maybe even a little or a lot spicy for those who like it like that. How could a host easily accommodate mild, medium AND hot chili eaters though? A vegan chili bar!


Because chili is easily and often made in a slow cooker, it can become a great centerpiece on which a host can build a vegan chili bar from. There, one can add their favorite hot or hot HOT sauce IF they’re into that. The bar can include many extras like macaroni, brown rice, corn chips, salad greens, cornbread, and bread. It can also offer a variety of toppings such as shredded vegan cheddar cheese, chopped red onions, sliced green onions, tofu sour cream, and jalapeno peppers.


Vegucated FUN fact: a certain famous vegan musician and some prominent vegan restaurateurs enjoyed a vegan chili bar dinner with us way back in 2010 before screening a nearly final cut of our movie!

Besides wanting to create a more casual meal solution, and relaxed atmosphere otherwise, a chili bar can allow the special viewing people are gathering for to stand out more. That viewing might be TV season finales like one of the biggest of this month – the Super Bowl. It could be cheering those performing on, and/or winning at, the Grammys like newer vegan Ariana Grande or veteran vegan Moby.

Perhaps you want to host a Galentine’s get together, or something relaxed for single or coupled friends on Valentine’s. Or maybe you want a super chill feeling for what might be the world’s biggest TV event of the year – the Oscars – where guests can refresh bowls on commercial breaks. Or even during a boring speech 😉


Part of what makes a vegan chili bar so so great is how easy it is to put together and clean up after. If/when there are any leftovers, I encourage you to mix and match different combinations of extras and toppings to discover other kinds of chili bowls. Here are 54 (!!) vegan chili recipes in case you don’t have one of your own or need a new one.

Enormous appreciation to Ben Costantino. for crafting these photographs for us! Shoutouts to Beanfields for their awesome chips, business AND support. Likewise, appreciation to Yellowbird Foods for great vegan H E A T that’s Texan to boot. Appreciation to Ilsa of Nacheez for sharing a superb cornbread recipe. Thanks Bob’s Red Mill for such a great quality cornmeal. Thanks to Follow Your Heart for making such a versatile, shreddable cheese! And thanks to another veteran vegan food maker, Tofutti, for the tofu sour cream.

A very special shoutout to V Marks the Shop for hosting the recent Super Philly Chili Bowl vegan food competition. Twas wild to taste so many different chilis in one short afternoon! Their 2nd annual vegan mac & cheese competition is on the horizon if you are in the Philly area 🙂

On behalf of the Vegucated family, wishing wellness and warmth to you and yours.

p.s. Please know Tesla and Harry had a baby girl on January 28 🙂 Funny enough, that’s fellow cast member Ellen’s birthday!


all images within courtesy of Ben Costantino ©2017