There was once a time when I was afraid of being vegetarian. Scared of not eating meat. And while it can be a big change to get used to, recipes like this vegan Chili Sin Carne recipe certainly help smooth the way.
I often found meaty meals a bit hard to just cut the meat out of – I’d usually end up avoiding the dish and make something else instead.
That was a shame, because it meant I missed out on some of my favourite meals.
Chili con carne was one. But if you just change the name a little, you have a totally vegan meal.
(In Spanish, chili con carne means chili with meat and chili sin carne means meatless chili, so that name change makes a big difference)
This vegan chili recipe proves that you can still enjoy your favourite meals, but in a new, animal friendly way. If you’re on the hunt for other vegan dinner recipes, check out this list of our favorites.
The lentils and beans ensure the chili is hearty and filling, while the peppers, onion and corn give it that real chili sin carne feel. And the flavourings…wow.
It’s all about the cumin. I’m not saying you have to use a lot of it, but it’s the game changer.
In this particular dish all the spices and herbs (’erbs to you over the pond), add their own unique element, but when the cumin hits the pan everything comes together.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes to those herbs and you suddenly have one awesome vegan chili on your hands.
So get cooking, dig in and enjoy those veggie meals with a passion.
Health Benefits – Vegan Chili Sin Carne
It’s not just tasty – the dish is a nutritional powerhouse. Who said vegan recipes can’t deliver? Just one small serving of this vegetarian chili recipe packs an amazing 28.5g of protein – that’s a serious amount.
Add over half your iron and vitamin A count for the day, and double your vitamin C – and you’ve got something really good going on.
It’s been a while since I banged on about fibre too – so you’re in for it now. It’s a ridiculously important part of any diet, and the average American gets waaaay below the optimal amount (fantastic fibre).
But it’s really easy to add to your intake, and this chili sin carne does that. A full day’s worth in one serving.
Fibre protects against heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease and others. Time to get munching.
Tips for Serving Vegan Chili con Carne
Add your favourite toppings
We love topping our meatless chili recipe with cilantro, avocado and some sliced red chillies for a spicy kick.
Our readers have also suggested adding other toppings like a cashew cream (also known as vegan sour cream), fresh oregano, shredded cheese and even smoked tofu – delicious!
Switch up your sides
The beauty of a good veggie chilli is how versatile it is. You can make a single batch and serve it in so many different ways.
We paired our chilli sin carne with wholegrain rice as it’s high in fibre and has a lovely nutty taste.
That combo makes for a fantastic gluten-free chili recipe, but here are some other ways you might want to dish up.
On a baked potato or sweet potato
There’s nothing heartier than a baked potato topped with homemade chili. It’s also a quick and easy way to serve up vegan chilli leftovers – just pop a potato in the oven or microwave, heat up your chilli and enjoy.
Check out our guide to cooking the ultimate microwave baked potato for tips on how to master the perfect potato.
With cauliflower rice
One of our readers suggested serving this meatless chilli with cauliflower rice and we couldn’t agree more.
It’s a fantastic low-carb alternative to traditional rice and packs even more vegetable goodness into the dish.
With wholemeal or rye bread
If you prefer a more soup-like consistency to your chilli, simply add more water at the end of cooking and season to taste.
Pair this vegan chili sin carne with a hearty wholemeal or rye bread, and you’ve got the perfect winter warmer lunch.
Veggie Chilli Con Carne FAQs
Can I use canned lentils for this chilli?
You sure can, just swap out the dry lentils in our recipe for 1 can of cooked lentils (rinsed) and continue cooking as per the recipe.
How long does it keep in the fridge?
Stored in an airtight container, the chilli should last for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Can I freeze meatless chilli?
Definitely – simply allow it to cool completely and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How do I reheat it?
You can either pop the chilli in the microwave until it’s well cooked through, or reheat it slowly over a medium heat on a stove.
Isn’t it technically chilli sin carne?
Yep, you got us there! Technically a meatless chilli would be called chilli sin carne, but rest assured this dish is 100% vegan friendly.
What Our Readers are Saying
I loved this recipe, it’s the first time I made a chilli without powder and I will be be staying with this one. All my friends are asking for the recipe. Thank you for giving me a simple recipe with everyday household ingredientsLeonard Cooper ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Just made this. So easy, so delicious. Thank you!Maverick Roberts ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was delicious and I can’t believe it actually tastes better than my usual meat chili con carne. Thank God I found this recipe. It has saved my life since turning vegan cause the kids devoured it along with cashew sour cream. Yum! Thank you so much!Liz ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Con Carne
- 1 onion
- 1 bell pepper, green
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 chilli / jalapeño
- 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup brown lentils, cooked (1 cup = 1 can 15oz/400g)
- 1 can kidney beans (1 can = 15oz/435g)
- ½ can sweet corn (1 can = 15oz/435g)
- 1 can tomatoes (1 can = 14 oz/400g)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 2 tsp oregano (fresh, frozen, dry – all work – use more if fresh)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 avocado (for garnish)
- Dice the onion, garlic, bell pepper, chilli and dried tomatoes into small pieces. Then throw all these ingredients into a pan with oil and fry them for 3 minutes on a low heat.
- Add the broth and water, rinsed and drained beans, lentils, sweetcorn and chopped tomatoes and stir well.
- Add the tomato paste and season with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika powder and oregano. Really nice if you add maple syrup. Let it all simmer on medium heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with rice, toasted bread on the side, a dollop of (vegan) sour cream and sliced avocado if desired.
Our nutritional information charts shows the counts from a serving size designed to be accompanied by a side of your choice – toasted whole grain bread, tortillas and brown rice all compliment it really well!
Whatever you call this vegan chili con carne recipe, we hope you enjoy it! We’ve had a quite a few people write to us with their interpretation of the name, and to be honest – we like them all!
Vegan chili con carne, vegan chili sin carne – you choose! No matter what – enjoy your animal-friendly chili.