We’re just Chili-in Up in Here

So how do you make chili for a vegetarian? Call up our friend Emeril from the Food Network and steal his recipe of course! (I actually got this recipe from my boyfriend’s mother – it’s one of their favorites!) Today, we made Emeril’s Chili Con Queso and made it our own 🙂 Here’s what you’ll need:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package boca crumbles ground beef substitute or similar (I used the Wegman’s brand)
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Essence (it’s Emeril’s Creole Seasoning which I already had – will post recipe at the end of this post)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 (15oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups water
Chili Con Queso (Recipe to follow)
Tostitos scoops


First, get your pan nice and hot. Add in the ground beef substitue and start thawing and browning. Then, add your onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder, essence, salt, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Stir to make sure everything is well incorporated and the “beef” is soft. Then, put the whole tomatoes (try to cut them up a little bit with your spoon while stirring), tomato paste, sugar, and water. Stir well and then bring this to a boil. Once it’s boiled, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes, uncovered. Make sure to stir it occasionally, just so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan. While your chili is simmering, you can start on your Queso sauce:

1/2 fresh poblano
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons all-purpose flower
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup milk
1.5 cups grated cheddar
1 cup grated pepper jack

First, start to cook your poblano. Broil it in the oven until it starts to blacken and the skin starts to peel off. Then, start cooking down your onions with some oil and cayenne. Once they’ve cooked down, add your flour to help thicken it.

IMG_6026 IMG_6027

Once your onion has thickened, add your pepper and tomatoes and stir. Slowly add the milk while you’re stirring until it starts to thicken. Then, add the cheese and mix thoroughly.

IMG_6028 IMG_6029

Serve over your chili (or with your tortilla scoops) and enjoy!

This was SO GOOD. It had just the right amount of spice to make it flavorful, but not overwhelming. The queso is ridiculously addicting and had just a good balance of flavors. This was also one of my first times trying a meat substitute and you honestly COULD NOT tell the difference. It was great because it had the texture of ground beef while saving the animals 🙂 Overall just a wonderful and comforting chili taste and luckily we had some leftovers 🙂 The queso dip would also just be something fun to make for a party or on game day! Can’t wait to make this again 🙂


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