Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Sin Carne (vegan)
HurryTheFoodUp is reader-powered. If you click through using links on our site we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
You may think of this as a vegan chili con carne, but to be more accurate it’s actually a chili sin carne recipe (or meatless chili) as ‘sin carne’ means without meat.
According to Merriam-Webster, chili is the US spelling, chilli is used in the UK and Spanish-speaking countries use chile – who knew!
Chilli, or chili, or chile? – I don’t really mind how you spell it, I just want to eat it, don’t you?
This mouthwatering vegan chili sin carne is great vegan comfort food (and one of our fave plant-based high protein dinner recipes). It’s that delicious you won’t even miss the meat, I promise!
Let’s jump straight in there with the plant-based protein that is going to leave you feeling deliciously full between meals.
The lentils and red kidney beans ensure the chili is hearty, they’re a great meat substitute.
Although this is a vegan meal, it would also work well if you were looking for vegetarian Mexican recipes too, as it is packed with veggies (if you like this, you’ll probably enjoy these veggie quesadillas too)!
We’ve got onion, green bell pepper, garlic, chili, or jalapeno (leave out those seeds if you don’t like really spicy food!), and sweet corn.
Not only canned tomatoes but also sundried tomatoes as well as tomato paste. These concentrated varieties really give the chili an extra punch of flavor. This has the making of one delicious vegan chili!
Herbs and Spices
It’s all about the cumin. I’m not saying you have to use a lot of it (in fact, it’s important not to use too much), but it’s the game changer.
In this particular dish, all the spices and herbs add their own unique element, but when the cumin hits the pan everything comes together.
With oregano and paprika as well, these simple ingredients are going to make the perfect meal.
Traditionally in Mexico, chilli is made using dried chilies. Interestingly, in a traditional Texan chili, the focus is on the chilies and the meat, they don’t add any tomatoes or beans as we tend to in Europe.
We’re going to top it off with a drizzle of maple syrup to balance out that sourness.
How many calories are in chili sin carne?
There are 367 calories in chili sin carne.
Subscribe to get our FREE 7-Day Vegetarian High Protein Meal Plan for Weight Loss
It’s not just tasty – this delicious recipe is a nutritional powerhouse. Who said a vegan recipe can’t deliver? Just one small serving 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.
Fiber is a really important part of any diet, and the average American gets waaaay below the optimal amount.
But it’s really easy to add to your intake, and this chili sin carne does that with a full day’s worth in one serving.
Fiber protects against heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and others. Time to get munching!
Finally, the protein from the lentils and beans is going to be great to keep you feeling fuller for longer – a key tool if you’re looking to lose some extra pounds.
How to make the best vegan bean chili
Here’s a quick summary of how to make it!
- Prep work: Dice the onion, garlic, bell pepper, chilli, and dried tomatoes.
- Cook work: Fry them in a pan for 3 minutes on low heat. Add the broth and water, rinsed and drained beans, lentils, sweetcorn, and chopped tomatoes, and stir well.
- Season and simmer: Add the tomato paste and season with herbs and spices. Simmer on medium heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Optional but really nice: add maple syrup.
- To finish: Season with salt and pepper and serve with rice or toasted bread on the side and a dollop of vegan sour cream and sliced avocado if desired.
For the full recipe see the card below.
Veggie Chilli Con Carne FAQs
What to serve with sin carne chili?
I’ve paired this dish with rice or toasted tortillas, but you could also use cauliflower rice. It’s a fantastic low-carb alternative to traditional rice and packs even more vegetable goodness into the dish.
There’s also nothing heartier than a baked potato or sweet potato topped with homemade chili. It’s a quick and easy way to serve up vegan chili leftovers – just pop a potato in the oven or microwave, heat up your chili, and enjoy.
Check out our guide to cooking the ultimate microwave-baked potato for tips on how to master the perfect potato.
Is homemade chili healthy?
Yes, homemade chili can be very healthy, if you add various veggies, healthy proteins, and not too much oil and cheese.
Protein, among other things, can help build muscle, so if that is one of your goals check out my FREE 7-day High-Protein Meal Plan for loads more inspiration.
Can I lose weight eating chili?
Like all weight loss success stories, it is often based around a lifestyle that puts you in a caloric deficit. For main courses, I suggest around 500 calories is fine.
This Mexican dish is only 370 calories per serving (if you only stick to the toppings I suggested, making it the perfect comfort food on a weight loss journey. You can even add some rice or tortillas making it 500kcal per serving
For more ideas download this 7-day weight loss meal plan for FREE!
How to store and reheat chili?
Chili can be stored in an airtight container for a few days in the fridge.
If you’re reheating it in the microwave make sure to use a microwave-safe bowl and get it piping hot before eating.
Can you make chili ahead of time?
Yes, you can easily make chili ahead of time so it would be a great one to meal prep in a big batch if you’re short on time in the week.
Variations and Alternatives
There are so many good ways you could jazz this meal up if you wanted to. Here are some great ideas to try,
- Use a combination of beans – perhaps pinto beans or black beans
- Swap out the veggies listed for whatever leftover veggies you have in the house
- If you’re new to vegan food and you really miss the meat, try using vegan mince instead of the lentils
- Why not top it with lime juice, tortilla chips, fresh cilantro, or give it an extra kick with some hot sauce?
This really is my go-to chili recipe. There are so many pantry staples you could throw in it makes it great fun cooking it for my family and friends.
More Mexican Recipes
Check out more of my delicious recipes:
- Love Mexican? Arriba! – Healthy Mexican Bean Stew
- Tasty tacos! – Sweet Potato Tacos
- More vegan inspo? – 50 Vegan Mexican Recipes
- Delicious Refried Beans
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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- 1 onion
- 1 bell pepper, green
- 1-2 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 chili / 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, ground
- 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.1 onion, 1 bell pepper, green, 1-2 clove garlic, 1 chili / jalapeño, 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, 1 tbsp olive oil
- Add the broth and water, rinsed and drained beans, lentils, sweetcorn and chopped tomatoes and stir well.1 cup vegetable broth, ½ cup water, 1 cup brown lentils, cooked, 1 can kidney beans, 1 can tomatoes, ½ can sweet corn
- 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.1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp cumin, ground, 2 tsp paprika powder, 2 tsp oregano, Salt and pepper to taste, 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
- 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.1 avocado
There you have it, a vegan chili recipe that is sure to warm your cockles on a cold day (and if you like this, be sure to try our other vegetarian stew recipes here!). It really is a great recipe I’m sure you’ll agree.
Take a look at this compilation for more vegan dinner ideas.
And if you’re wondering, yes, it’s vegan and yes, that means it’s a vegetarian chili con carne too!