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Vegan Chili Recipe for Burgers & Dogs

If you love carrot/veggie dogs and black bean burgers but miss topping them with chili, I think you’re about to do a happy-dance! This quick vegan chili recipe is simmered with spices and onions and can be made in minutes.

bulgur chili in white bowl with pot of chili in background on wooden table

We love this chili because it’s…

  • So versatile
  • Great on chili cheese fries, carrot hotdogs, black bean burgers, and more
  • Busting with flavor
  • Hearty
  • Easy to make
  • Even fools meat-eaters

Before switching to a healthy whole food, plant-based diet (WFPB) and lifestyle, we used to eat a lot of artery-clogging burgers and hot dogs.

We also had a host of medical conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and joint pain.

Discovering how to make meatless chili for veggie burgers and dogs

For 35 years, I had made my homemade chili to top those burgers, hot dogs, and fries. It was a recipe I learned from my mom and grandmother, and it was so good.

Then, after four years of eating chili-less Black Bean Burgers, carrot dogs, and French fries, I decided to veganized my old recipe by replacing the ground beef with a grain called bulgur that is available at many grocery stores.

What is bulgur?

Bulgur is a whole wheat grain that is cooked exactly like rice in about 15 minutes. (Follow package directions).

wooden spoon with cooked bulgur beside wooden spoon with uncooked bulgur

I like to make a big batch of it and store it in the freezer to use in recipes like tacos, stews, chili beans, no-meatloaf, etc. because bulgur adds a ground beef texture and soaks up flavors of dish you’re preparing.

It’s so nice to be able to pull it out of the freezer already cooked and jump right into cooking the main dish.

For this chili recipe, you can use already cooked bulgur from your freezer or uncooked. Just reduce the cooking time if you decide to use cooked bulgur you already have on hand.

cooked bulgur in stainless pot with spoon

A full list of ingredients, measurements, instructions, and a print button can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

How to make vegan chili

In a saucepan, saute diced onions in approximately 3 Tbsp of the veggie broth. As they brown and begin to caramelize, add more veggie broth 1 Tbsp at a time. Allow to caramelize well.

Add all other chili ingredients including the bulgur, stir well, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Cover and turn off. Chili is basically done and ready to be eaten.

stainless pot with bulgur, onions, ketchup, chili spices

*NOTE: If you already have pre-cooked bulgur (2 cups) in the freezer that you would like to use, simply omit the veggie broth/water except for about 1/2 a cup, and cook for only 5 minutes. 

stainless pot full of vegan chili with wooden spoon

Add to carrot dogs, veggie and black bean burgers, vegan chili cheese fries, or anything else you can think of.

plate full of vegan chili cheese fries on wooden table
This meatless chili is delicious on Vegan Chili Cheese Fries. Click photo to see the recipe.

Tips for making this vegan hotdog chili

I make big batches of bulgur in my rice steamer and freeze it to be used in recipes like this, along with tacos, lasagna, and chili fries. The great thing about having bulgur already cooked is that it cuts a step out of food preparation and speeds up the process of sitting down to dinner.

It’s so nice to be able to pull it out of the freezer and jump right into cooking the main dish.

This chili is the perfect topping for carrot dogs, which are my new love.

You’ve just GOT to try my homemade Vegan Cheese Sauce on your hot dogs and burgers too!

To make this gluten-free, try substituting Buckwheat Groats or cauliflower rice.

If you would like to make your own ketchup for this recipe, check out my 10-Minute Vegan Ketchup recipe.

overhead shot of carrot dogs topped with chili, vegan cheese, jalepenos
Grilled Carrot Dogs are delicious topped with this chili.

*Originally published May 25, 2017

Comment from follower

Made this on Monday and used no-salt added tomato sauce…it came out perfect! So delicious on carrot dogz.”–Chickavegan

Other recipes that use bulgur

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bulgur chili in white bowl with pot of chili in background on wooden table

Vegan Chili Recipe for Burgers & Veggie Dogs

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

If you love carrot/veggie dogs and burgers but miss topping them with chili, I think you're about to do a happy-dance! This quick Chili Vegan Recipe is simmered with spices and onions and can be made in minutes. Links to Vegan Chili Cheese Fries and Black Bean Burgers also included.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In saucepan, saute diced onions in approximately 3 Tbsp of the veggie broth. As they brown and begin to caramelize, add more veggie broth 1 Tbsp at a time. Allow to caramelize well.
  2. Add all other chili ingredients, stir well, and simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes. Cover and turn heat down to warm or off. Chili is basically done and ready to be eaten.
  3. *NOTE: If you already have pre-cooked bulgur (2 cups) in the freezer that you would like to use, simply omit the veggie broth/water except for about 1/2 a cup, and cook for only 5 minutes. 
  4. Add to carrot dogs, veggie and black bean burgers, vegan chili cheese fries, or anything else you can think of. Black bean burger and vegan chili cheese fries recipe links below.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 1gCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 5gProtein: 6g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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Vegan Chili for veggie dogs and burgers
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Kathryn

Monday 20th of July 2020

Hi, could I sub the bulgar out with quinoa? Cant wait to try!

Terri Edwards

Tuesday 21st of July 2020

Hi Kathryn- I haven't tried subbing out quinoa for the bulgur before. Some folks have said they've used buckwheat groats as a gluten-free substitution in this recipe with success. I would say the quinoa would be worth a try. It will definitely change the texture, but the flavor should be similar.

Janet

Sunday 19th of July 2020

Hi...How can I make this gluten free? Thank you!

Terri Edwards

Monday 20th of July 2020

Hi Janet- I haven't tried it, but you might substitute buckwheat groats for the bulgur and see how it comes out. Other people have used buckwheat groats as a sub in other bulgur recipes with success.

Angela

Thursday 11th of October 2018

Terri, where can I find bulgar? And what section of the store is it located? Thanks. Can’t wait to try out this recipe.

EatPlant-Based.com

Thursday 11th of October 2018

Bulgur is can usually be found in the same section as rice and other grains. If your store carries Bob's Red Mill products, they usually have a couple of different types of bulgur. At Whole Foods and Earth Fare type stores, you can even find it in the bulk section and buy it by the scoop. Hope you love the recipe!

Michelle

Friday 20th of July 2018

Tried this with our first carrot dogs and it was a good addition. Thanks!

Karen

Saturday 7th of July 2018

I must thank Terri for introducing me to bulgar!! It is a great ground beef substitute for those of us getting used to leaving off meats. We've been WFPB for 3 years, but there are still times we miss the meaty texture that this bulgar is great at mimicking!! The chili recipe is great & we highly recommend it!