Everyday Meals

Cauliflower Chili

Active time: :15 min. Total time::1 hour
Yield: :12 cups

Oscar Wilde famously espoused, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” That is the spirit of this recipe. It isn’t attempting to make chili super low-calorie. It is attempting to mitigate the calories while retaining full pleasure. And it takes advantage of the texture and mild flavor of the current darling of the pantry, riced cauliflower. Readily available in pretty much any produce section of your local grocery store, or easily made by pulsing cauliflower florets in your food processor, this vegetable adds bulk to a chili while cutting the calories from meat literally in half.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 pound Italian turkey sausage
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 7 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 6garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 214.5-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 12 ounces water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 pounds riced fresh cauliflower (don’t use frozen!)
  • 315-ounce cans pinto or light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat the oil in large pot over medium high heat until it shimmers. Then add onions and cook until translucent.  

Step 2

Add garlic and meats (sausage meat removed from casing) and cook until lightly browned. You can use a potato masher to break up the meat while it cooks. 

Step 3

Add all spices and herbs and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, water, cocoa powder, and tomato paste and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Add cauliflower and beans and cook 10 minutes to heat through.  

Step 4

Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed. If you want more heat, add red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste. For best flavor, refrigerate overnight and then reheat slowly over low heat on stovetop or in a slow cooker on low.

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