Chickpea Cauliflower Chili

Growing  up chili was a big deal in our house. My dad is the self proclaimed king of chili making. He makes at least one huge batch a week, if not two batches and eats it every single day. This has been going on for as long as I can remember.

His chili was the only chili I had ever eaten growing up. I thought it was the way all chili was, and truth be told... I was not a huge fan. I went through life thinking I was a chili hater. Once I was opened up to the world of chili making, I quickly changed my opinions. I love chili. I could eat it breakfast, lunch and dinner. Obviously, I am my father's daughter!

 Now, not to sound like a hater.... but there are a couple reasons I am not a fan of my dad's chili. (He knows these reasons because I make fun of him for them often, and we're cool with it.) Reason number one, he uses canned mushrooms. I ask you... WHAT kind of person uses canned mushrooms in anything?! Let alone in chili?! My dad that's who. Reason number two, his chili is thin... I like to refer to it as "Hamburger Soup!" It's definatly not a stick to your ribs kind of recipe. Now while I may not be a huge fan of his "Hamburger Soup", the man loves the stuff so much he eats it daily. So that's all that really matters right?? Power to you dad. Hamburger Soup for the win!

If dad were to read this blog post, he'd probably kick my ass, partially because I'm making fun of his cooking, but also because there is no meat in my chili! Hamburger is a must in his, and it's something I rarely cook with. My chili's are almost always vegetarian or I use chicken.

This particular chili starts with sautéed onions, chickpeas and cauliflower, I then toss in all of the other traditional ingredients.  In most of my chili's lately I do add in one secret ingredient that warms the whole dish up and gives it that "hmmm what is that?" factor.

It's cinnamon. I really adore it in this dish, and think it works perfectly. (Dad is certainly shaking his fist at cinnamon in chili!)

Start to finish, this is served in under 30 minutes.

Chickpea Cauliflower Chili
2 tbs olive oil
1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small white onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic minced,
2 jalapeño peppers, diced (or sliced thin if you like to see them. Seeds removed for less heat)
1 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 cup of your favorite beer
1 tbs chili powder
1tsp smoked cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs sugar
salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven, add in chickpeas, cauliflower and onions. 
Sauté until the onions are starting to caramelize and the cauliflower starts to become golden on some sides. 
Mix in garlic, jalapeños, tomatoes, vinegar, beer, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and sugar. Stir and bring to a low boil. Allow chili to simmer until everything has heated through. The longer it cooks the thicker it becomes. 
Salt and pepper to taste. 
To serve top with your favorite chili toppings. I like green onions, some like yogurt or sour cream, cheddar cheese, tortilla strips... possibilities are endless!



  1. Canned mushrooms skeeve me out big time! I adore cinnamon in chili too! This looks like one I would love.

    1. The slimy texture gives me the heebie jeebies!!

  2. This looks sooo good, must try! Gotta love our Dads- just not their chili!!

  3. Mmm, I sure am hungry now! :) Chickpeas and cauliflower are two of my favorite meat substitutes, I bet they would be awesome in this chili!

  4. I love everything about this chili! I have got to try this

  5. Gorgeous! Sorry dad, but I will choose your daughter's chili any day over your canned mushroom and hamburger, thin chili. Love all the flavors going on in here - jalapeños, balsamic, cinnamon. Yum! Get in my belly!

  6. One of the coolest chili recipes ever. Love the cauliflower!!!

  7. Interesting alternative to chili beans and beef!

  8. Love this recipe and the fact that it's vegetarian! I have to try it soon :) Also love the way you write, great post and ode to Dad, especially with Fathers Day around the corner :)! Have a great day my friend!

  9. I have never tried cinnamon in chili. Going to have to give this one a try. Although I am not planning on going full vegetarian, I am looking for good and healthy vegetarian recipes to try. This one looks fantastic!

  10. This recipe sounds awesome!! Just a quick question... Do you think it would still turn out well if one were to crumble up the cauliflower florets in a food processor to give the chili a more ground-beef-like texture?