Seven Layers of Heat: A Vegan Chili Recipe

Updated on December 13, 2019
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Audrey won the "Spiciest Chili Award" at a chili cook-off with this homemade recipe.

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My display and allergy information at the cook-off!My "theme" was fall!My little scarecrow watching over my ticket jar!Excuse the horrible picture, I was shaking with excitement! I cannot believe I won the golden plunger!
My display and allergy information at the cook-off!
My display and allergy information at the cook-off! | Source
My "theme" was fall!
My "theme" was fall! | Source
My little scarecrow watching over my ticket jar!
My little scarecrow watching over my ticket jar! | Source
Excuse the horrible picture, I was shaking with excitement! I cannot believe I won the golden plunger!
Excuse the horrible picture, I was shaking with excitement! I cannot believe I won the golden plunger! | Source

This chili recipe is everything that you love about chili, minus the animal cruelty! I used this homemade recipe that my brother and I created to win the "Spiciest Chili Award" at my church's chili cook-off. The name comes from the seven different layers of heat that it has, as it's made with six different peppers and spices. It is an all-day project that's perfect for rainy days at home!

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 3 hours
Ready in: 4 hours
Yields: Feeds up to ten people, if you skip seconds!


  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ginger, shredded
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 dried Thai chili pepper
  • 1 dried guajillo pepper
  • 5 dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 small can diced green peppers
  • 1 can corn
  • 3 cans black beans
  • 1 can Northern white beans
  • 2 cups TVP
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 bunches green onions, diced small
  • 2 bunches cilantro, picked from stems
  • Dollop vegan sour cream or ranch


  1. Wash and cut your veggies. Sloppy cuts are okay.
  2. Warm your large pot to a medium-high heat.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in the pot, and add the veggies and bay leaf (optional).
  4. Turn down to a medium, stirring every minute or two for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Smoothly grind all your spices.
  6. Add your soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, vegetable stock, oil, brown sugar, ginger, chipotle peppers, Thai chili pepper, guajillo pepper, and mushrooms to a large blender and blend on high for two minutes.
  7. Add your ground spices to vegetables, and bloom for two minutes.
  8. Add your base (from the blender) to your vegetables.
  9. Blend with an immersion blender (a normal blender will be too small, but if you're patient it could work).
  10. Add your canned ingredients (green chilies, corn, black beans, northern white beans, and TVP) with all the juices.
  11. Add 2 to 3 cups of water, it will simmer out and be soaked up.
  12. Let sit on low for an hour or two, stirring occasionally. If the chili becomes too thick, add more water. When you stir, scrape the chili from the bottom.
  13. Scoop the chili into a bowl, add your garnishes, and enjoy!

Allergy Information

This recipe contains:

  • Nightshades (peppers, tomatoes)
  • Gluten
  • Soy
  • Porcini/mushroom
  • Allium (ginger, garlic, onion)

This recipe is:

  • Dairy-free
  • Vegan/vegetarian

Enjoy the Spice!

I hope you enjoy my recipe, and if you do, please leave a comment letting me know! Also, the longer it sits, the spicier it becomes!

© 2017 Audrey Shropshire


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