Hawaiian-Style Chili

By robertwalker      

October 17, 2016

Description: Move over, Texas and Cincinnati. The Hawaiian take on America’s favorite stew brings pineapple and Maui onion into the mix for an unforgettable sweet counterpoint to the chili’s heat. Already packed with lots of fiber from the pineapple and plant protein from the kidney beans, island-style chili gets an additional healthy twist in the Ornish test kitchen, when we replace the greasy ground beef and bacon with heart-protective veggie crumbles. With so many delicious flavors mingling in one bowl, you’ll never miss the meat! Don’t just take our word for it. Invite some carnivorous friends over to share and see if they detect the swap.

Original recipe appears on the Ornish Kitchen and was developed in collaboration with Island Heart Care.

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup chili over 2/3 cup rice

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yields: Serves 6


1 1/2 CUPS uncooked brown rice

2 CUPS sweet Maui or Vidalia onion; roughly chopped

1 1/2 CUPS red bell pepper seeded and chopped

1 1/2 TABLESPOONS chili powder; divided

1 (16-OZ) CAN low-sodium fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juice

2 1/2 CUPS veggie crumbles

7 1/2 oz1 3/4 CUPS cooked kidney beans or 1 (16-oz) can no-salt kidney beans1 (15-OZ) CAN low-sodium tomato sauce

2 CUPS pineapple finely chopped

3/4 TEASPOON dried oregano

1/4 TEASPOON fine sea salt

1/3 CUP cilantro and/or green onions freshly chopped; optional

Hot sauce or red pepper flakes for garnish; optional


1Prepare rice according to package directions. Set aside 4 cups cooked rice for this recipe, and save the rest for another use. (One and a half cups uncooked rice will yield about 5 cups cooked.)

2In a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan, combine onion, bell pepper, 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, and 1/2 cup water. Place over high heat and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until onions are tender and liquid has evaporated, 8–10 minutes.

3Add tomatoes with juice, veggie crumbles, kidney beans with their liquid (or an additional 1/2 cup water if using home-cooked beans), tomato sauce, chopped pineapple, remaining 1 tablespoon chili powder, oregano, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until flavors marry, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in one-fourth of the cilantro and/or green onions just before serving, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish.

4Serve chili warm over cooked rice with a dash of hot sauce or a pinch of red pepper flakes (if using) and 2 teaspoons cilantro and/or green onions per serving (if desired).

Original recipe appears on the Ornish Kitchen and was developed in collaboration with Island Heart Care.

Chef's Notes:
Veggie crumbles, also known as veggie ground, are the vegetarian cook’s secret weapon for replicating meaty dishes in a healthier way. We use Yves label in the test kitchen, but lots of brands are available, so experiment and find your favorite.

For the tastiest chili bowl, make sure your dried spices are up to date, ideally not more than 6 months old. If you can’t recall how long your chili powder and dried oregano have been banging around in your cupboard, pick up a fresh bottle. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes!

This chili does great on the re-heat, so it’s perfect for do-ahead entertaining. You can even freeze it.


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 1/4 cup
Total Fat2g
Saturated Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates50g
Dietary Fiber11g

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