Getting back to my New Mexican roots today by making this delicious Vegan Chile Colorado, a hearty veggie stew made with a Mexican red chile broth.

A big bowl of my vegan Chile Colorado garnished with cabbage, radishes, cilantro, and corn tortillas

You know I love my red chile – so any excuse to make a batch is good enough for me. But when I realized I had this older recipe that hasn’t been updated since 2017, I knew exactly what I had to do.

So what is Chile Colorado?

The word “colorado” is a Spanish word that simply means “colored red”. The Colorado River got its name because of the red sandstone soil of the region, which ended up being the official name of the entire region after gold was discovered near Pike’s Peak.

So Chile Colorado is a stew (usually made with beef), that is “colored red” by stewing the beef in a broth of red chile sauce.

In my version, I replaced the beef with some soy curls, added some stew veggies (carrots, celery, onion), and finally added LOTS of my favorite starches – papas! (potatoes).

Trust me, red chile and potatoes go together like Ben & Jerry (or Tom & Jerry for those of you old enough to remember 😁)

And if you’re wondering why on Earth I’m making a stew in MAY..

It has been an unusually cold 🥶 and wet spring here in the Pacific Northwest, with evening lows still in the 30s! So a nice, hot bowl of stew is absolutely perfect for our wild & crazy weather.

Besides, a delicious stew is good any time of the year, am I right?!


Vegan Chile Colorado

Vegan Chile Colorado | Brand New Vegan

Let’s take a minute and talk about some of the ingredients I used to make this stew.

  1. Butler Soy Curls™ are simply strips of dried, shredded non-GMO soybeans. They make a good ‘meat’ replacement as they have the same texture as shredded chicken. If you want to stay soy-free – simply leave them out and add more veggies or potatoes.

    Link in my Amazon Store.

  2. Marmite is a thick & sticky paste made from spent brewer’s yeast. It gives the veggies and soy curls that savory, umami type of flavor and also provides some B Vitamins (including B12) and most of the sodium in this recipe. If you don’t want to use it you can try using soy sauce instead or just add salt to taste.

    Link in my Amazon Store.

  3. Dried Red Chile is the HEART of this recipe and cannot be replaced. I can find bags of both Guajillo & Ancho/Pasilla chiles in Safeway, Albertsons, Kroger, and Walmart.

    Link in my Amazon Store.

  4. Masa Harina is dried corn flour. It acts as a thickener so you can substitute any thickening agent you want, flour, corn starch, potato starch, etc. But the masa adds a nice tamale-like flavor. Many grocery stores carry this so look in either the aisle with your flour or the aisle with your Mexican products.

    Link in my Amazon Store.

  5. Mexican Oregano is similar to Italian Oregano but IT IS NOT THE SAME THING. They are 2 different plants, from 2 different plant species, that are native to 2 different parts of the world. It is often located in the same place as the dried chiles in your grocery store. If not…

    Link in my Amazon Store.

Now let’s make our Chile Colorado

A big bowl of my vegan Chile Colorado garnished with cabbage, radishes, cilantro, and corn tortillas

Start by rehydrating the soy curls.

I used 4 oz which is half the usual 8 oz bag. Add them to a bowl and cover with hot water. If you want to add a little more flavor, add 1-2 Tbs soy sauce too. Set them aside for now.

Next, let’s make the red chile paste

Clean the chiles by removing the stem and as many seeds as possible. Remember chile has an oil that will get on your fingers. And it WILL burn your eyes (or other sensitive areas) if you forget and rub them – please wash your hands after handling chiles!

And if you don’t like spicy – be SURE and remove those seeds AND the veins/membranes as that … is where the ‘heat’ is stored.

Toast them for 5 min in a 250° F oven and then add them to a saucepan and cover with hot water. Simmer them for 10 minutes or so until they get nice and soft, then remove them and toss them in your blender. Add just enough of that chile water to blend into a smooth paste (maybe ¼ cup) and then set that aside too.

Veggie Prep & Stew Base

Dice your onions to whatever size chunks you like in your stew, slice your carrots and celery, mince your garlic, and rough chop your potatoes.

Toss your onions into a deep stew pot or dutch oven along with the carrots and celery. Add just enough water or broth to prevent sticking and simmer them until they start to get soft.

Do NOT add the garlic or potatoes – not yet.

When the carrots start to soften, add your chile paste. Then take 1 cup of water and use it to swish around your blender to get ALL of that chile goodness into your pot, then add that water too.

Now add the veggie broth and your potatoes.

The Stew

Bring your stew up to a rolling simmer and let’s season it. As I mentioned before, I added a heaping teaspoon of marmite. I also added 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, ½ tsp garlic powder, and ½ tsp onion powder.

Let that simmer for 10-15 minutes, and NOW add your garlic. Also, drain those soy curls and add those too.

All that’s left is to simmer your stew over med-low heat until those carrots and potatoes are fork-tender.

This is also the point I added 2 Tbs of masa harina to thicken the stew. As mentioned, you use whatever thickening agent you are comfortable with, if any at all. I personally like a thick stew compared to a watery soup, but that’s me.

Once it begins to thicken, remove the pot from the heat and crumble in the oregano. Stir well, and then let the stew sit for 5-10 minutes.

Now you are ready to serve.

I like shredded cabbage and sliced radish for garnish, with a few sprigs of cilantro…yum. But you garnish it however you like.

I also might mention it goes REALLY well with my homemade corn tortillas too.

Just sayin’ 😉

Hope you enjoy the recipe! Stay warm (or cool) whatever your situation and I’ll see you next week!

A big bowl of my vegan Chile Colorado garnished with cabbage, radishes, cilantro, and corn tortillas


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Vegan Chile Colorado

  • Author:
    Chuck Underwood

  • Prep Time:
    30 min

  • Cook Time:
    30 min

  • Total Time:
    1 hour

  • Yield:
    68 servings 1x

  • Category:

  • Method:

  • Cuisine:

  • Diet:


Getting back to my New Mexican roots today by making this delicious Vegan Chile Colorado, a hearty veggie stew made with a red chile broth.





  1. Rehydrate soy curls by placing them in a bowl and covering them with hot water. Set aside. 
  2. Clean chiles by removing stems, seeds, and veins.  
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling chiles!
  4. Toast chiles in a 250° F oven for 5 minutes
  5. Rehydrate chiles by placing them in a saucepan and covering with hot water
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes or until soft
  7. Strain chiles into a blender reserving some of the chile water
  8. Blend the chiles using a little of that chile water to get a smooth thick paste, then set aside
  9. Dice the onion, chop the carrots & celery, then add to a dutch oven
  10. Add enough water to prevent sticking and saute until softened
  11. Add the chile paste.  
  12. Then add 1 cup of water to the blender to rinse out any remaining sauce, then add to the pot too
  13. Stir well then add veggie broth and potatoes
  14. Bring stew to a simmer then add marmite, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder – stir well
  15. Drain the soy curls and add them along with the minced garlic – stir well
  16. Simmer stew until potatoes are fork-tender. then add masa harina to thicken
  17. Once the stew thickens. remove from heat and crumble in the oregano
  18. Let set 5 minutes for the flavors to meld
  19. Serve with your favorite garnish

Keywords: vegan Chile Colorado

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