Vegan Chile Colorado

July  4, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Ali Slagle.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Serves 8
What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Vegan Chile Colorado
  • 5 (78g / 2 3/4 oz) chiles anchos, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 (21g / 3/4 oz) chiles pasillas, stemmed and seeded
  • 4 (20g / 3/4 oz) chiles guajillos, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 (8g / 1/3 oz) chiles morita, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup (40g / 1 1/2 oz) raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 (1.8kg / 4 lbs) cauliflowers, cored, halved and sliced into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 (232g / 8 1/4 oz) sweet potato, beet or plantain scrubbed clean, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 pound (453g) cremini or button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 (398g / 14 oz) white onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (24g / 3/4 oz) Diamond Crystal or 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • Steamed rice and tostadas, for serving
  1. In a large saucepan set over high heat, bring 5 cups water plus the anchos, pasillas, guajillos, moritas, and raisins to a boil in a large saucepan; cover, remove from heat, and let sit until chiles are very tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer chiles and soaking liquid to the jar of an upright blender and puree, starting on the very lowest speed and gradually increasing to high, until completely smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. In a spice grinder, grind cumin, coriander, peppercorns, oregano, sage, and bay leaves until fine. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil over medium high. Add half of cauliflower and cook, leaving them undisturbed, until browned underneath, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss and continue to cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl. Continue with another 2 tablespoons of oil and remaining cauliflower.
  4. In the same pot, heat an additional 2 tablespoons oil. Add half the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until browned underneath, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl with cauliflower. Continue with another 2 tablespoons of oil and remaining mushrooms. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same pot and cook onion, garlic, and salt, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, 6 to 8 minutes. Add ground spice mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sweet potato, cauliflower, mushrooms and any accumulated juices and stir in chile puree until completely coated. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour.
  5. Serve warm with rice and tostadas.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Diver Bob
    Diver Bob
  • Smaug
  • Emilie1!
  • vccvilla
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

8 Reviews

Emilie1! August 15, 2022
This is so delicious and healthy. The flavors are complex. The mushrooms and cauliflower are meaty. The heat from the chiles is slow and smoky. The sweetness from the raisins and sweet potatoes is divine.
Emilie1! January 21, 2022
I truly think this is a 5-star awesome recipe. As with many stews, it tastes even better the next day. I did it with well-roasted sweet potatoes which somewhat broke down into the sauce to excellent effect. I do think the recipe as written lacks acidity, so I added a few sun-dried tomatoes to the chili mixture, and a dash of balsamic at the end because I didn't have any lime. Also, I roasted the veggies in the oven all at once, rather than in batches on the stove. I thought the flavors were fabulous with an incredible slow heat. Love love love.
vccvilla May 21, 2021
This is delicious!! I used the chiles it called for and made sure they were plump not too dried out and crackly. The flavor is unbelievable!!
Easy to make too which is always a plus.
swissconnie April 9, 2021
Made a half recipe, turned out great. Finished with a squeeze of lime and just a little more salt to brighten everything up. Delicious with rice and some chips as pictured, plus a little avocado and some fresh cilantro on top.
Diver B. April 5, 2021
This looked great! But when I made it, it tasted muddled together. Added some salt and cocoa powder, and that helped, but not the explosion of chili flavor I had hoped for.

Maybe the chilies I get are too old and lack punch. I will try again after hitting up a Hispanic grocery for some of the good stuff!
alfaroworld April 5, 2021
I tried it today and i would agree with other reviewer. Flavor was muddled. I think plantains instead of sweet potato or in addition to it, may have helped bring some variation of flavors.
Smaug April 7, 2021
You're likely to be right about your chilis- if you use a lot, you can get good ones through Amazon- they usually come in 1/2 or 1 pound bags. I usually get Ole Mission brand, which have been dependable, though other brands may be as good. The recipe also strikes me as pretty weak on the other spices, particularly cumin and oregano. It should be noted that in the Western US Ancho chiles are often sold as Pasilla chiles; true Pasillas are much thinner and don't have the characteristic heart shape of an Ancho. The flavor is quite similar; I might sub in something brighter such as New Mexico or California chiles for the Pasillas.
Diver B. April 7, 2021
To be 100% clear, I used what chilies I could find...
I used Cascabels, Pasilla Negro, California, and New Mexico... but I used the same weights/numbers... and kept the Cascabels to the smallest amount as they were the least fiery.