Vegetarian Chili with Bulgur (recipe)

One of my very favorite, and first cookbooks, is the Frog Commissary Cookbook from a now-defunct restaurant in Philadelphia. The spine is a mess, with many pages holding on for dear life. I wrote my whole name in the book, back before I was married, probably because I brought it along to college and did not want there to be any mistake about ownership. The earliest date I found was when I made the Commissary Carrot Cake on 6/27/1987. Wowser!

A few years back, I traveled to Philadelphia for an event, and was pleased to discover that Frog Commissary Catering was in charge of the food. I happily brought my book along, gushed to the servers about my long standing affection for the book, and asked to have it signed by Steven Poses, one of the original authors. My book was returned (with rubberband to hold it all together) with Steven’s signature in the front. Now I have a collectible.

Several times I have written about making the Frog Commissary Vegetarian Chili (if you don’t believe me, read it here, here and here), but I never took the time to post the recipe for my loyal readers. That is about to change, right here, right now. For your gustatory pleasure, I bring you:

Vegetarian Chili with Bulgur

Easy chili recipe, tastes better the second day. Original recipe found in the Frog Commissary Cookbook.


  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (I use Aleppo Pepper)
  • 1 TBS ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp dried basil
  • 2 TBS chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups tomato juice (I use a low-salt variety)
  • 3/4 cup medium grain bulgur wheat
  • 2 14.5-oz cans chopped tomatoes (low-salt)
  • 2 cans undrained kidney beans
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 1 TBS Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry white or red wine (optional)
  • 1 4-oz can chopped green chilis
Chop and prepare all your ingredients.Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven or skillet. Saute onions, celery, green peppers, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, spices, salt and pepper over high heat, 1-2 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, bring to boil, stirring (if you don’t, the bulgur may stick to the bottom of the pan). Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, uncovered.

Add additional tomato juice if too thick.

Serve with sour cream and grated cheese. A corn muffin or two would not hurt, either.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © 2011 Good Fud Media.
Recipe by Gudrun Enger.
Microformatting by hRecipe.


  1. Guess what?!?! You can still eat this chili, from Frog Commissary, at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia every day!! It is soooooo good!

  2. Kitchen Gadget Girl

    Very good to know! Do they also have the carrot cake, that is another one of my favorite recipes from Frog Commissary!

  3. Yes!! The carrot cake lives on in the form of cupcakes!!

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