Traverse City Cherry Chili

Traverse City Cherry Chili

mmmm nothing tastes better than a nice warm bowl of chili. But not just any chili, this version has cherries from Traverse City, Michigan (the cherry capital of the world) to enhance the flavor! Whenever we travel to Traverse City, I always bring back several bags of their famous cherries (dried). Using it in this recipe was perfect and well worth the wait to cook. You won’t be disappointed!

To make the Traverse City Cherry Chili, the most important thing is getting the right cherries. You want to use Balaton dried cherries by Cherry Republic. They are not as tart as Montmorency cherries so it is perfect for recipes. The cherries are picked from hundreds of acres in the Leelanau and Grand Traverse County area. They are known for their superb flavor and plumpness. But you don’t have to go all the way to Traverse City (it’s a wonderful vacation place). You can order directly online through Cherry Republic. If you are lucky enough to be in Michigan, there are several stores that carry these.

You can also find locations from Denver to New Hampshire that carry this brand of cherries. Check their website for locations or order online. I have tried several different kinds of dried cherries and these won out every time.

To make this, gather all your ingredients together and place spices in individual prep bowls. Once set up, the process goes faster. Start by heating 2 cups of vegetable broth in a large pot on medium heat. Add the diced onion along with the bell peppers cooking until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add your garlic, mushrooms, chili powder, and tomato paste and continue cooking for 5 minutes while you are stirring.

Next add the remaining ingredients, including 2 more cups of broth, stirring occasionally until the flavors are blended, about 48 minutes. During the last 1/2 hour, add the remaining broth.

Season to taste and serve in individual bowls. You can also garnish with a few extra cherries on top.

Cherry Chili

Traverse City Cherry Chili

Yield: 8 1/4 Cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 58 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes

mmmm nothing tastes better than a nice warm bowl of chili. But not just any chili, this version has cherries from Traverse City, Michigan (the cherry capital of the world) to enhance the flavor! You will fall in love with this and your family will too!

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 Cups vegetable broth
  • 1 - 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 - 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced (any color)
  • 2 Cups Bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup tomato paste
  • 1 Tsp. chili powder
  • 1 - 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 - 14.5 oz. can low sodium diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 3/4 Cup dried Balaton dried cherries
  • 3/4 Cup red bulgur
  • 1/4 Cup date sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp. Tumeric
  • 1 Tsp. dried mustard
  • 1 Tsp. savory spice
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian spice
  • 1/2 Tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp. sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat 2 cups of broth on medium heat. Add the diced onion and bell pepper, cooking until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes), while stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic, mushrooms, chili powder, tomato paste and continue cooking for 5 more minutes, while stirring.
  3. Next add the remaining ingredients including 2 more cups of broth, continuing to stir until the flavors are blended (approximately 48 minutes).
  4. During the last 1/2 hour, add the remaining broth.
  5. Season to taste and serve in individual bowls.

Notes

This is a very versatile chili. You can serve it on a bed of rice or even on baked potatoes. The Balaton cherries can be ordered directly from the Cherry Republic website and they will ship to you.

This recipe stores well in an airtight container for up to 6 days. To store in the freezer, be sure your container(s) are cooled before freezing or refrigerating. Freeze the chili in either storage freezer containers or Ziploc bags for up to 3-4 months. When thawing, you will want to add either more broth or water as the ingredients continue to soak up the liquid when stored.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a small percentage from your purchases at no cost to you. Thank you!

Did you make this recipe? We'd love to hear from you!

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Michele Wallace

Entrepreneur and author of A Plant-Based Revolution.com. Michele has also earned her Plant-Based Nutrition Certification from eCornell University. The book is an easy and complete guide for those wanting to get healthy and offers step-by-step instructions, including over 85 delicious and healthy recipes.
A Plant-Based Revolution is dedicated to whole food plant-based nutrition.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to Recipe