Calypso Chili is a rich, hearty chili, packed with fresh vegetables and warm, savory-sweet Caribbean flavors. Extra-mild, kid-friendly, and surprisingly vegan.
What's the Story Behind this Recipe?
Calypso Chili is a rich, hearty chili, packed with fresh vegetables and savory-sweet Caribbean flavors. This extra-mild, kid-friendly chili is also vegan, but it doesn't taste vegan at all. Mushrooms give it a meaty bite, and it's packed with fresh vegetables (and a few fruits) that combine to give it its distinctly Caribbean flair.
I developed this recipe years ago as an entry in a community chili cook-off. I was entering the contest on a whim, and had absolutely no notion of winning anything. I mean, who wins a chili contest with a vegan chili recipe?
I did! That's who!
My Calypso Chili recipe didn't win the "Spiciest" award, or the "Meatiest" award; but it did win the prize for "Best Overall Flavor." Knock me over with a feather - I'll take that trophy anytime!
What Goes into this Recipe
As noted, this is a very mild chili, but it's super-easy to spice it up by leaving the seeds in the jalapeños, and/or adding more or spicier peppers (e.g., Aleppo, Serrano, etc.).
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
This is a very mild chili, so if you need to add a little more heat, go for it!
★ Beans: For this chili, we recommend using Orca Beans if you can find them.
Orca beans, also known as Calypso Beans, small, tasty heirloom beans. They are dappled black and white, and unlike many beautiful beans, they hold their lovely markings after cooking.
Black beans, navy beans, and small red beans all work work equally well in this chili.
How to Make Caribbean-style Vegan Chili
Calypso Chili can be made well ahead of time, and like most chilis, it is always better the next day.
Place beans and broth in a stock pot or Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer until beans have softened; 45-60 minutes. Drain beans and set aside.
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet. Add onions, peppers, carrots, and sauté until onions begin to brown; about 8-10 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeno, and mushrooms and sauté for 3 more minutes.
Add vegetable mixture to beans. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, cumin, salt, and pepper. Continue simmering until beans are completely cooked; about 15-20 minutes.
Just before serving, add the mango, orange juice, and cilantro. Give the mixture one more good stir and let it simmer for a few minutes more.
Garnish with additional diced mango and chopped cilantro.
More Chili Recipes
- 1 cup small chili beans small red beans, navy beans, orca beans
- 5-7 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped fine
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large red pepper or orange; chopped fine
- 2 medium carrots chopped fine
- 1 whole jalapeño seeded and minced
- 8 ounces mushroom very finely chopped
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash fresh ground black pepper
- 1 large mango chopped
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
- Sort and rinse beans and place in a large soup pot with broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are softened; about 45-60 minutes.Drain beans and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onions, peppers, carrots, and saute until onions begin to brown. Stir in garlic, jalapeno, and mushrooms and saute for 3 more minutes.
- Add vegetable mixture to beans. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, cumin, salt & pepper.
- Continue simmering until beans are completely cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
- Just before serving, add the mango, orange juice and cilantro, give it one more good stir and let it simmer for a few minutes more.
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