Easiest Sun Oven Chili Ever

Sun Ovens in W.C.

Canned beans and prepared mole sauce eliminate almost all the prep work for this satisfying vegetarian chili.

Three-Bean Vegetarian Mole Chili

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Crock-Pot Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes)

1 can (15 1/2-ounces) chili beans in spicy sauce, undrained

1 can (15 1/2-ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 1/2-ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14 1/2-ounces) Mexican style diced tomatoes, undrained

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 onion, diced

1/2 cup vegetables broth

1/4 cup prepared mole paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onion


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Stir to combine. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the peppers and onion are tender, about 1 hour.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

2 teaspoons ground coriander

Soup for Supper

Sun Oven with 6qt Pot

Many of us worry about or waistline this time of year, myself included. One thing I’ve learned from being a lifetime Weight Watchers member is that the holiday meal on its own is not really the problem. It’s all the meals surrounding it. We spend so much time, planning, shopping for, and preparing the big feast that we completely forget about what we’re going to eat the days leading up to it. We may come home with a car full of groceries only to realize we don’t have anything for dinner that night. Easy to heat up, previously solar-cooked, healthy foods like this minestrone can save the day. This soup can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and is even better the day after it’s cooked.

Sun Oven Minestrone

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian)


4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced onion

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

2 cups peeled, diced potatoes

2 cups diced zucchini

1 cup diced green beans

3 cups shredded savoy cabbage

A saltine cracker-sized piece of Parmesan cheese crust, scraped clean (optional)

2/3 cup canned diced tomatoes, with their juices

1 2/2 cups previously cooked cannellini beans(or other white beans)

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Remove the leveling tray from the Sun Oven, place a rack or a trivet on the floor of the cooking chamber, and set it out to preheat. Combine the broth and water in a medium pot and put in the Sun Oven to heat while preparing the rest of the soup.

The onion through the cabbage are each added to the pot and cooked briefly before adding the next. To save time, prep each one as the previous one cooks.

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until softened but not browned. Add the carrots and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Do the same with the celery, potatoes, zucchini, and green beans, cooking each a few minutes before adding the next. Then add the shredded cabbage and cook for about 6 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the warm broth form the Sun Oven, the cheese crust (if using), and the tomatoes. Season lightly with salt. Cover and transfer to cook until the vegetables are soft and the soup has thickened, about 3 hours. Stir in the beans and cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the Sun Oven. Discard the cheese crust. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Adjust for salt. If not serving immediately, let cool and refrigerate in a covered container for up to a week.

Makes 6 to 8 servings


Vegan Stuffed Squash

T-Day SquashA tempeh stuffed squash can be a protein packed main course for any vegetarians that might be guests at your Thanksgiving dinner.

Hearty Vegan Stuffed Squash


1 acorn squash, halved and seeded

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 ounces (1/2 package) tempeh, crumbled

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup cooked beans

3 tablespoons whole wheat 0r regular pastina (orzo, acini di pepe, stelline)

1/2 cup vegetable broth or water


Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Place a rack in a baking pan.

Rub the inside of the squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, season with salt; set aside.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oli in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until just softened; about 1 minute. Stir in the the tempeh and continue cooking, stirring often until the tempeh begins to brown, about 4 more minutes. Add the soy sauce, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Remove from heat and stir in the beans then the pastina. Spoon the mixture into the squash halves. Set the squash on the rack in the baking pan. Pour 1/4 cup of broth or water into each half. Cover the pan with a second baking pan and bake in the Sun Oven until the squash is tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.



Slow Cooked Sun Oven Green Beans

Green Beans

This twist on the traditional green bean casserole is ideal for solar cooking. The longer it cooks, the more meltingly delicious it gets.

Solar Stewed Green Beans

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Mark Bittman’s Holiday Cooking)


1 1/2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, minced (about 1 cup)

1 can (14 1/2-ounce) diced tomatoes, drained or 1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomatoes

1/2 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Toss all the ingredients in an oven-to-table deep casserole dish or large pot. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the beans are very soft and the flavors have blended, at least 1 1/2 half hours.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup

Chunky SP SoupI usually use a white potato for this colorful vegetarian soup but I had just over half a sweet potato left over from yesterday’s gratin so into the soup it went.

Chunky Vegetable Split Pea Soup


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

3 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 pound dried split peas, picked over, rinsed, and drained

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

8 cups vegetable broth

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

sour cream for serving (optional)


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, and oregano. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the split peas, broth, and bay leaves. Cover and transfer the pot to the Sun Oven until the peas are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream.

Makes 8 servings.


Caribbean Sweet Potato Gratin

SP Gratin

This vegetarian gratin is hearty enough to be served as a main course.

Sweet Potato Gratin

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Moosewood New Classics)


2 1/2 cups coconut milk (unsweetened)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced (4 cups)

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 15-ounce can, drained)

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, stemmed and chopped


3/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted


Set Sun Oven out to preheat. lightly coat a baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the coconut milk, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Spoon 1/3 of the coconut milk mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Layer half of the sweet potato on top, slightly overlapping the slices. Top with half of the rice, half the beans, and half the spinach. Repeat, finishing with the last third of the coconut milk mixture.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, thyme, cumin, and salt. Add the coconut oil and mix well. Sprinkle the topping over the gratin. Cover with a second baking pan and bake in the Sun Oven until the potatoes are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

SP Gratin Piece

Squash, Cranberries, Sun

Cranberry Squash

Colorful and easy to prepare, this side dish is sure to be a hit for the holidays.

Sun Roasted Squash with Cranberries


1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into chunks

1 bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over

3 tablespoons maple syrup

salt to taste


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss together the squash and the cranberries. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking pan. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the squash is tender, about 45 minutes. Drizzle with the maple syrup. Season to taste with salt, tossing to combine.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Fall Flavored Soup

S.P. Soup

This soup is so creamy and velvety that you’ll be surprised to learn it’s made with just a touch of olive oil and no cream or cheese at all.

Sun Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Cranberry Relish

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Cooking Light)



1/2 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon chopped shallots

1/2 teaspoon sugar


2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 onion, cut into wedges

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 carton (32-ounces) vegetables broth

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots, onion, and sweet potato with the oil. Spread the vegetables out in a baking pan and season with the kosher salt. Cover and roast in the Sun Oven until soft, but still firm, abut 45 minutes. Prepare the relish while the vegetables are roasting.

In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, shallots, and sugar; set aside.

Transfer the cooked vegetables to a large pot. Add the broth and ginger. Return the pot to the Sun Oven and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 1 hour. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with chopped parsley and cranberry relish.

Makes 4 servings

Roast S. Potatoes

Delicious Sun Baked Granola


Granola sounds healthy but I consider it a treat. Its high fat and sugar content make it more of a deconstructed cookie than a breakfast cereal. That said, it’s delicious as a topping for ice-cream or baked fruit, mixed into yogurt, or on its own as a snack. And it can be stored in gift jars for your friends and family.

This recipe yields about 8 cups of granola and needs to be baked in two batches so start early in the day (unless your lucky enough to own two Sun Ovens).

Sun Baked Coconut Oil Granola

(adapted from the New York Times)


3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups raw almonds, coarsely chopped

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably grade B)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or cherries



Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss together the oats, almonds, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup, brown sugar, coconut oil, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the maple mixture to the oat mix, stirring well. Spread 1/4 of the mixture into each baking pan (set aside the rest for the second batch) cross stack the pans bake in the Sun Oven.  After 30 minutes start checking every 10 minutes or so to prevent burning and remove when golden and fragrant, about 1 hour. Transfer granola, in a single layer, to a large tray to cool, use the same parchment paper for the second batch. Let the granola cool completely (it will also dry out a bit) before stirring in the dried fruit. Store in airtight containers for up to 2 months.

Moroccan Style Sun Braised Carrots

Moroccan Carrots

You’ll never serve boring steamed carrots again once you taste these, and they’re just as easy to make.

Solar Braised Moroccan Carrots

1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds

4 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cumin


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Combine all the ingredients in a pot. Cover and cook until the carrots are soft but not mushy, 30 to 45 minutes. Serve with juices.

Makes 4 servings.

Join The Every Needful Thing Newsletter

  • Helpful Preparedness Tips
  • Solar cooking Recipes
  • Preparedness product reviews and promotions

The monthly resource for emergency preparedness and food storage specialists, and their family, friends and neighbors.