a bowl of vegan chili

Chef Mike from Leaf & Lentil shares his vegan Thanksgiving recipe.

Thanksgiving isn't all about the turkey—vegans can rock out, sans bird, with the earthy, layered flavors of this easy fall chili recipe from Leaf & Lentil. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian or neither, this dish unites all palates and feels perfectly seasonal, right down to the bottom of the bowl. 

Leaf & Lentil, owned by chef Michael Schoening and partner Sheila Siegel, is tucked away in a corner of Indian Beach Plaza, on North Tamiami Trail near Ringling College of Art and Design. Its cozy atmosphere and thoughtful, flavorful dishes make it a year-round destination. A rotating, ever-changing menu features dishes like polenta fries with a cilantro crema and a muffuletta made with eggplant and grilled zucchini. Now, with colder weather finally upon us, there's this chili.

“This makes a great addition to any holiday dinner," Siegel says. "It keeps well and can be made ahead of time. Just reheat on the stove top or in a crockpot the day of your dinner."

Leaf & Lentil's Easy Fall Chili

Serves eight to 10.
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 60 minutes. 

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 medium yellow or white onion, diced 

4 cloves garlic, chopped 

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. chili powder 

2 tsp. ground coriander 

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro 

1/2 lb. diced fresh tomatoes (about 2 large tomatoes) 

1 (16 oz.) can black beans 

1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans 

2 (16 oz.) cans pinto beans 

1  green onion, sliced to garnish

Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the onions in vegetable oil for a few minutes. Add the garlic and stir.

Add the dried spices to the onions and garlic and sauté for a few more minutes.

Add the tomatoes (including the juice from the chopped tomatoes, which will deglaze the pot), then add the fresh cilantro.

Finally, add the beans (do not drain them). 

Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Reduce heat and continue to stir occasionally for roughly 45 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. 

Top with chopped green onions for a zesty garnish. 

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