Vegan Frito Chili Pie

We’re cooking up a classic, hearty chili today. It’s the first day in Oklahoma where the temps haven’t gone above 60, which calls for some serious comfort food.

Chili is one of my favorite meals to make because it’s cheap, quick, and filling. For a few years, I would make vegan chili only using beans as the base. A couple years ago, I discovered the ultimate chili hack that gives this veganized chili a meaty texture that bean chilis often miss. The hack is to use a magical meaty beefy substitute.

Before we got a Trader Joe’s in town, I used tempeh as this substitute, which was amazing. However, nothing beats Trader Joe’s meatless beef grounds. The texture, look, and taste is just spot on. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, though, tempeh will work just fine! You can find tempeh at most grocery stores by the tofu.

Alright, let’s get cooking. Grab a fuzzy blanket and take your makeup off, cuz we gettin’ COMFY COZY now.


  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 package of Trader Joe’s beefless beef grounds OR tempeh
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
  • Vegetable broth, see instructions for amount
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

Optional toppings:

  • Corn chips (like Fritos)
  • Vegan cheddar shreds
  • Vegan sour cream (or vegan cream cheese with a little bit of lemon juice, mixed together)
  • Chopped green onion


  1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients. Add in a little vegetable broth at a time until you reach desired consistency. For a thicker, hearty chili, use less broth. For a more soup-like chili, add more broth.
  2. Stir often while the ingredients heat up and the flavors mix.
  3. Once hot, serve immediately. Top with vegan cheese, sour cream, green onion, and corn chips for a comfy cozy chili pie.

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