A Cozy and Colorful Transition to Spring: Confetti Tofu Chili

By Kelli Swensen, Dietetics Student, Sargent College


Every Wednesday Karen Jacobs EdD, OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA hosts the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen in Stuvi 2 Apt. 2302 from 8-11pm. She kindly welcomes the BU community to test new Sargent Choice recipes while we eat, talk and play BananagramsCheck out the Sargent Choice event calendar and joins us next week!

While yesterday was technically the first day of spring, the snow on the ground and chilly weather suggested winter isn’t quite done with New England yet. With cold weather still here, cravings for warm, comforting foods still lingers. Luckily Karen Jacobs’ Test Kitchen had just the thing for my cozy food craving: Confetti Tofu Chili.

Another recipe from our favorite cooking duo The Meal Makeover Moms, the confetti chili was a hit! Many of the students said (and repeated) how much they would love for this recipe to be a winter dining hall staple – now that’s a complement! What makes this recipe dining hall-worthy? It’s all in the confetti.

Like confetti, this chili is pretty to look at with the bursts of color from the tomatoes, corn, and carrots. As Karen poured the chili into an elegant serving dish, students kept remarking how pretty, colorful, and good tasting it looked. But looks aren’t everything, so of course we had to taste it. We were initially worried about how much spice the recipe called for, but the flavor was spot on. While we agreed that it doesn’t taste like a traditional beef chili, it has a delicious flavor with plenty of depth that you would want out of a chili.


Who knew black eyed peas are so pretty?!

The best part about the chili, in addition to the flavor, is all the different textures and how perfectly they work together. Another concern we had initially was that the cubes of tofu wouldn’t hold their shape. We were wonderfully wrong. The tofu stayed in perfect cubes and had a fantastic smooth texture that, when combined with the chewiness of the beans and crunch from the vegetables, was truly satisfying.

This recipe is easily doubled or even tripled, making it a great option to make a large batch on Sunday, then freeze the extras so whenever the weather decides to not corporate you’ll be ready with a warm meal.

Some quick tips for making this recipe:

  • Don’t be alarmed by the 1 Tablespoon of both Cumin and Chili Powder — it’s the perfect amount!
  • If you can’t find pre-cubed tofu at the store, just buy regular extra firm tofu and cube it yourself
  • It is very important that you get extra firm tofu. Other tofu will fall apart during cooking
  • On a similar note, it’s important to drain your tofu and press down with a paper towel to get a little more of the moisture out — the more moisture the higher the chance of the cubes losing their shape during cooking
  • Cheese and greek yogurt/sour cream are optional and can be omitted if you are vegan or lactose intolerant, but the cheese especially adds another depth of flavor
  • Many times buying blocks of cheese is cheaper than pre-shredded cheese

Hope to see you next week at our Passover-themed test kitchen!

Confetti Tofu Chili
Recipe from Meal Makeover Mom’s cookbook No Whine with Dinner
Yield 6 servings


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup all natural vegetable broth
  • 1 8-oz package cubed super firm tofu, drained (or 1 8-oz package super firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)


1. Head oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 min

2. Stir in the garlic, cumin, and chili powder and cook for an additional 2 min

3. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, beans, broth, tofu, and corn. Cover, raise the heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Keep covered, occasionally stirring, until the carrots are tender, about 30min. Season with salt and pepper to taste

4. Top each serving with cheese and sour cream as desired


Nutrition Facts for 1 generous cup
280 Calories
8g Fat
2.5g Saturated fat
19g Protein
38g Carbohydrate
10g Fiber
490mg Sodium


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