Open Arms of Minnesota

Potluck Recipe #01: Chilly Willy Chili

The aroma of delicious food, the sound of laughter and the warmth of a welcoming table…for many of us that is Open Arms. This year, we’re asking you to create that same atmosphere in your own home — host a potluck and share the story of Open Arms and the important work we do.

Today we begin a new series of sharing: each week we’ll post a new potluck recipe from the Open Arms kitchen here on our blog. These recipes will give you a starting point for your own potluck.

This week, we’ve got an award-winning chili recipe from this year’s Toast! event. With its balance of sweetness and spice, this tasty vegetarian chili is sure to be a hit with your guests.

Chilly Willy Chili

1 lb. tempeh
2-3 tbsp. ancho chile powder
2 tbsp. cumin 2 pints of beer (Lagunita’s Copper Ale or another nice beer with malty sweetness)
15 oz. black beans
15 oz. adzuki beans
bay leaves
1/4 cup butter
3 onions, chopped
1-2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 cup masa harina (or flour)
1 tbsp. chipotle chile powder
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 qt. diced and/or crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

One day ahead:

1. Marinate crumbled tempeh overnight in 1 tbsp. of the ancho chile powder, 2 tsp. of the cumin and 1 pint of beer.

2. Cook black beans and adzuki beans with bay leaves the day before (or used canned beans).

Day of meal:

1. Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add crumbled marinated tempeh and 2 tbsp. butter. Cook, stirring often, until tempeh is browned (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. Sauté onions, red bell pepper, garlic and crushed red pepper in butter. In a small bowl, combine masa harina (or flour), chipotle chile powder, cocoa, and the rest of the ancho chile powder and cumin with enough liquid to form a paste. When the onion sauté is soft, add 2-3 tbsp. of the chili paste. Stir to combine well.

3. Add black beans, adzuki beans and tempeh. Sauté for 5 min, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and the other pint of beer (or stock of your choice) to desired thickness.

4. Let chili stew for 30 min. before adding honey and cinnamon. Add chili paste to strengthen spiciness. Add cilantro just before serving.

5. Serving recommendations include: Whole Grain Milling Company yellow corn chips, sharp cheddar from the Caves of Faribault, and several dollops of sour cream mixed with avocado, lime and cumin.

This recipe was created by Rita Panton and Kay Mitchell for the chili cook-off at Toast! A Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, held on Jan. 13, 2011, at Open Arms of MN.

More from Open Arms

Moveable Feast 2023 Graphic

Moveable Feast Attendee Reminders

Open Arms Set To Host Moveable Feast At Allianz Field May 18 We can’t wait to welcome you to the Community Table for our most anticipated event of the year! Open Arms of Minnesota is excited to see you at our 19th Annual Moveable

Read More »
Leah touring St. Paul campus.

St. Paul Kitchen & Campus Video Tour

Take a Tour of the St. Paul Kitchen & Campus with Leah Hebert Welles Courtesy of our friends at Cresa, check out this video for a behind-the-scenes tour of our St. Paul Kitchen & Campus and hear about what’s new! In this exciting video, CEO

Read More »


Pull up a chair and join us at the Community Table for this year’s Moveable Feast! TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE for the 19th Annual Moveable Feast Gala, being held on Thursday, May 18 at 5:30 p.m. at Allianz Field in St. Paul!!