Chili is a fantastic way to sneak vegetables in to unsuspecting diners. Some people, adults and children alike, have an aversion to visible vegetables. But once those vegetables have been pureed into a delicious tomato sauce for chili, they’ll willingly ask for more.
Beef Chili (shhhhh…. lots of pureed vegetables in there!)
I usually try to make chili in one pot. Heck, it’s one of the reasons that I love chili, because it’s not a multiple pot or fussy dish. Having two pots is very helpful for this recipe so that you can saute and puree the vegetables separately.
Use whatever vegetables you have available. Cauliflower, broccoli, peas, eggplant…. whatever is hanging around in the crisper that you’re not sure what to do with this week. This recipe is as flexible as you need it to be!
Saute carrots and zucchini, then add tomato puree and raw spinach
Let vegetables simmer for about 20 minutes
Using an immersion blender, puree vegetables
In a large pot, add olive oil and saute onions until softened
Add ground beef and brown
Lovely browned ground beef and onions
To the large pot, add the vegetable puree, second can of crushed tomatoes and beans
Beef Chili with pureed carrots, zucchini and spinach
Beef chili with lots of pureed vegetables
- Beef Chili with Pureed Carrots, Zucchini & Spinach
Makes approximately 12 entree servings
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, diced
2 pounds ground beef
4 carrots, diced
2 large zucchini, cubed
10 ounces fresh spinach
2 28 ounce cans pureed or diced tomatoes (Tuttorosso or similar)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
(If you have a preferred chili seasoning, go ahead and use that)
Additional kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
1. In a medium sized pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Saute carrots for 6-7 minutes.
2. Add zucchini and saute for another 4-5 minutes.
3. Add 1 can of pureed tomatoes and raw spinach. Stir to combine.
4. Bring to a boil and then bring down to a low simmer. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes until carrots have softened.
5. Remove from heat and puree vegetables with an immersion blender. If using a stand blender, let vegetables cool a bit and then puree in batches.
6. In a large cast iron pot, or similar heavy bottomed pot, add remaining tablespoon of oil. Add onions and saute for 4-5 minutes to soften.
7. Add ground beef. Saute until browned.
8. To the ground beef and onions, add the pureed vegetables and remaining can of tomatoes. Warm through.
9. Add seasonings. Taste. Adjust for salt and pepper.
10. Add drained and rinsed beans.
11. Bring to a boil and the down to a simmer. Let simmer at least 20 minutes (and up to 5 hours) to let the flavors marry.
Optional: Serve over rice or pasta (for Cincinnati chili)
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!