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Vegetable-Chickpea Chili with Fried Almonds


Serves 4

Yields about 2 quarts

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 113

Make this quick vegetarian chili at home on a weekend and then enjoy the leftovers later in the week; the chili tastes is even better after it’s mellowed in the refrigerator for a day or so. Almonds fried in olive oil until golden brown are a creative and crunchy garnish for this chili.

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. hot paprika
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels (from about 4 medium ears)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium jalapeño, thinly sliced crosswise into rounds
  • 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup small basil leaves
  • 6 scallions (white and light-green parts only), thinly sliced; more for garnish
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and onion, season with 1 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, chili powder, and cumin, cook for 1 minute, and then add the tomatoes and their juice. Stir, smashing the tomatoes against the side of the pot to break them up slightly. Add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. Stir in the chickpeas, corn, bell pepper, jalapeño, and 1 Tbs. salt and cook until the peppers have lost their raw crunch, 8 to 12 minutes (at this point, if the chili looks too thick, add an additional 1 cup of water).

While the vegetables cook, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in an 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until goldenbrown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels and immediately season them with 1/2 tsp. salt.

Stir the basil and scallions into the chili. Serve the chili with a dollop of sour cream (if using), more scallions, and the almonds.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the chili up to four days ahead; store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently to serve.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with basmati rice.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 510, Fat (kcal): 22, Fat Calories (g): 190, Saturated Fat (g): 2, Protein (g): 19, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13, Carbohydrates (mg): 65, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 5, Sodium (g): 1900, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 17,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I just love this recipe. We have made it many times including tonight. We also used a sweet smoked paprika instead of hot paprika otherwise it's just perfect!!


My husband and I are not vegetarians and we both agreed we did not even miss the meat. It had great texture with the corn, chickpeas and toasted almonds and I think all those things made it really hearty and filling. This is a receipe we will make over and over again!

I made this for my daughter who is a vegetarian. The whole family enjoyed it. Very good and not too difficult to prepare.

We used freshly cooked garbanzo beans and fresh farmer's market tomatoes instead of canned, and smoked paprika instead of hot - to make it kid-friendly - and we had a delicious chili the whole family gobbled down. Stirring in the scallions and basil at the end, along with the fried almonds and sour cream for crunch and enrichment really made this recipe a standout. Very delicious and simple to make.

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