Wild Mushroom Chili Recipe

 Wild Mushroom Chili

Wild Mushroom Chili Recipe

This vegetarian mushroom chili needs no meat for a big flavor. The secrets to this recipe are the umami bombs: dried mushrooms, chipotles, smoked paprika, and soy sauce provide the chili with all the savory, smoky flavor that you’ll need.

Using fire-roasted tomatoes also layers on smokiness. Sautéing the fresh mushrooms, and then adding them to the chili at the end of cooking, ensures that the mushrooms retain their amazing flavor and texture.


  •  2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (from one can), chopped
  •  1 cup water
  •  ½ cup dried mushrooms (such as shiitake, morel, porcini, chanterelle, and cremini)
  •  2 tablespoons cooking oil
  •  1 small onion, chopped
  •  2 stalks of celery, chopped
  •  2 medium carrots, chopped
  •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  •  2 tablespoons chili powder
  •  2 teaspoons ground cumin
  •  1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  •  Two 14-ounce cans of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  •  2 cups vegetable broth
  •  3 tablespoons soy sauce
  •  One 14-ounce can of kidney beans, drained, rinsed, and drained again
  •  One 14-ounce can of cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, and drained again
  •  ½ cup pearl barley
  •  2 tablespoons butter
  •  1 pound fresh mushrooms of choice, chopped into dice-sized pieces
  •  1 ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  •  Salt and pepper, to taste
  •  Garnishes: shredded cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, avocado slices, sour cream, diced red onion


Bring the water to a boil and pour it into a small heatproof bowl. Add in the dried mushrooms and allow them to soak for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, use your fingers to squeeze the mushrooms of liquid, letting the liquid fall back into the bowl. Reserve this soaking liquid. Transfer the mushrooms to a cutting board and chop them up.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add in the chopped chipotles, rehydrated chopped mushrooms, onion, celery, and carrots. Cook for 8 minutes, until the vegetables, are softened.

Add in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. Cook for another minute, until the spices are fragrant.

To the pot, add in the reserved mushroom liquid (avoiding any grit at the bottom of the liquid) as well as the diced tomatoes, broth, soy sauce, kidney beans, cannellini beans, and pearl barley. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and then turn the heat to low to simmer for 40 minutes, or until the barley is tender.

While the chili is cooking, heat the butter in your largest skillet over medium heat. Cook the fresh mushrooms for 6–10 minutes, until browned. Season with a little salt.

When the chili has finished cooking, add in the sautéed mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.
Top with shredded cheese and other toppings of your choice just before serving.

Note: This recipe calls for chipotles in adobo sauce. We’ll only use two chiles from the can (NOT two cans!)-reserve the rest for another recipe.

I like dividing the chipotles into little baggies of two chiles each and then freezing the bags. Most recipes will just call for a couple of chipotle.

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