Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Con Carne (Vegan)


Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Con Carne (vegan) #veggie #chili #concarne |

There was once a time when I was afraid of being vegetarian. Scared of not eating meat. No more grilled bacon, no more crispy chicken wings, no more melt-off-the-bone ribs. But bollocks to that – of course that was silly, and things have changed now. Definitely in part thanks to meals like this meatless chili.

I often found meals that were heavily meaty 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 no longer! This meatless (aka vegan) chili proves that you can still enjoy your favourite meals, but in a new, animal friendly way.

Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Con Carne (vegan) #veggie #chili #concarne |

The lentils and beans ensure the chili is hearty and filling, while the peppers, onion and corn give it that real chili con 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. 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 – Meatless Chili Con Carne

It’s not just tasty – the dish is a nutritional powerhouse. Who said meat free recipes can’t deliver? One small serving of this packs 10g of protein. Add iron and vitamin A and vitamin C to your daily count – 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 person gets waaaay below the optimal amount (fantastic fibre). But it’s really easy to add to your intake, and this dish does that. Half a  day’s worth in one serving.

Fibre protects against heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease and others. Time to get munching.

Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Con Carne (vegan) #veggie #chili #concarne |

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4.82 from 16 votes

Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Con Carne

Who said meat free recipes can’t deliver? This meatless (aka vegan) chili proves that you can still enjoy your favourite meals, but in a new, animal friendly way.
Course Mains
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan
Time 30 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 300kcal


  • 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



  • Dice the onion, garlic, bell pepper, chilli and dried tomatoes into small pieces.
  • 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. Let it all simmer on medium heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
  • Optional but really nice: add maple syrup.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve with toasted bread on the side and a dollop of (vegan) sour cream and guacamole if desired.


TIP: You can use dried lentils too! For one up of cooked lentils, just add 1/2 cup of dried lentils. Also add roughly 1/2 cup extra water. Cook it all at least 10 minutes longer.
GOES WELL WITH: Serve with whole grain bread, tortillas, or brown rice. Yum!!
IF YOU LIKED THIS RECIPE: then this Fake Lo Mein might be right up your street - it’s another classic dish done meatless. And it’s wicked. This high-fiber Pea and Lemon Pulao is really worth a make too!


Nutrition Facts
Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Con Carne
Amount Per Serving (319 g)
Calories 300 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 1.8g11%
Sodium 465mg20%
Potassium 589mg17%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 11.5g48%
Sugar 11.2g12%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 1600IU32%
Vitamin C 63.5mg77%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 3.1mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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!

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  1. I was actually going to make chili today, then realized I was low on beans. Now I have a new recipe to make tomorrow so it all worked out. Looks delicious!

  2. This sounds delicious! I love a good chili recipe, I love loading mine up too. Avocado, cilantro, corn chips and of course a sauce!

    • Leonard Cooper

      5 stars
      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 ingredients

  3. I LOOOOOVE chili! This one looks so hearty and delicious! And I’m really liking the addition of sun-dried tomatoes…super yummy!

  4. this is such a great recipe..this can be made in bulk and used throughout the week right? its so hearty..

  5. The lentils really add a great mouthfeel, so I can see how this recipe would translate really well. And its quick too!

  6. 5 stars
    That chili looks amazing! I have it down on my menu plan for next week and I can hardly wait to try it.

  7. What a great looking chili recipe. Love that yummy avocado on the top!

  8. LOL I don’t even need to watch that Eddie clip, I know it so well. “Because there’s a f-ing H in it!” High five fellow Izzard fans! Chili looks nom. Healthy, filling and great flavors!

  9. I love chili! It’s the ultimate comfort food. Yummy! 🙂 What a great recipe!

  10. this looks so awesome! i know what you mean when it comes to eating sans meat. I used to be obsessed with chili and thought the world was over once i became pescetarian. but you’re right, the veggie kind is just as good if not better. I also love how you added lentils to this, rather than 5 different types of beans (which is what i usually just do haha)

  11. Great recipe. Will surely try it.

    However, the title should be ‘sin carne’ and not ‘con carne’

    (I am a beginner at learning Spanish 🙂 )

  12. It must me CHILI SIN CARNE 🙂 Thanks for the recipe! I will prepare this as soon as I can!

  13. Cumin is TOTALLY a game changer!! I love adding it to beans, soups, curried veggies, etc. This chili looks delicious!!

  14. 5 stars
    absolutely delicious!!
    Greetings from down under

  15. Is vegetable broth stock

    • Hi Suzanne, yep! Although technically there are some tiny differences between them (meat vs bones), we use the terms interchangeably – especially as veggie ones use neither meat nor bone of course!

  16. 5 stars
    If you would like even more vegetables in the dish I would like to recommend that you make cauliflower rice.
    Just take a cauliflower and grind it with a grater and then fry it on a pan with oil and seasoning of your choice for 3-4 minutes and then you have a really delicious alternative to rice. 🙂

  17. Maverick Roberts

    5 stars
    Just made this. So easy, so delicious. Thank you!

  18. This looks lovely. Do you think it wold freeze well? I am thinking to make it on the weekend for a mid- week dinner.

  19. 5 stars
    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!

  20. 5 stars
    Made this on the weekend using the slow cooker. I made double the recipe and put it all in.the slow cooker. I did cook the onion and garlic first. Cooked on low for 6 hours as we went out for an amazing picnic and drive in the Australian outback. The end result was so delicious. Another wonderful recipe

    • Hi Annemarie! Good to hear from you. Ha awesome!!! That sounds so cool. A picnic and a drive through the outback, then home for meatless chili. I won’t say I’m not jealous!

  21. Erene Schwartz

    Hi, I made this today. It was so good. I could not get lentils so added chickpeas. Was a good swap. Thanks for this receipe

  22. 5 stars
    I tried it a few times with great results 😀

  23. Made this for my dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious!

  24. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe a couple of times now, and I absolutely love it, it’s far better than the meat version.

  25. 5 stars
    I just made this and it is really delish, easy, healthy and inexpensive. I doubled the ingredients, added one extra teaspoon of cumin and used one chili and 6 jalapeño. I liked the touch of maple syrup and served with rice. avocado and fresh oregano. Thanks from Melbourne Aus. Adding it to my camping cookbook too.

    • Really glad you enjoyed it, Leanne! Sounds like some great additions too. Yay for Melbourne – the three of us were all there for several months way back in 2007. LOVE that city, so much!

  26. Hi what kind of lentils did you use?

  27. 3 stars
    125ml liquid for all that food?!?! Burned a bit of it. You need to add more liquid like. I’m sure I’ve added a pint of water so far and I’ve still ten minutes to go!!

    • Hi Alan, thanks for the feedback. So far half a cup was the magic number for us (and we’ve made it a fair few times) but I guess there can always be variations due to heat and so on. Also to check – did you use dried lentils? They would soak up a LOAD of water!

  28. Rachel Arnold

    So you use the liquid from the canned tomatoes, right?

  29. I am planning to make this tonight. It looks awesome!

  30. 5 stars
    Made this but made it kid friendly no hint of spice
    I will definitely make it again as it was a hit with everyone

    • Cool! Yes, great idea. We do the same here too, with spices. Or at some in afterwards, when the kid’s portions have been taken out. Glad you enjoyed!

  31. Hi! Pardon my ignorance: but chopped tomatoes would be the same as diced, correct? And not crushed? Those are the options out here at the local market…thanks!

  32. Hi! Not sure if my previous comment got posted…I was wondering if chopped tomatoes are the same as diced? I assume that’s more accurate than crushed? Those are the options here at the local market…thanks!

    • Hi Sara! Let’s see if we can clear it up 🙂

      Yes, I think diced or chopped are both perfectly fine – from a can. They have lots of liquid with them then, which is important for the sauce in the sin carne. If you really do need to use ‘real’ tomatoes instead of cans then probably about 2 cups would be right (and probably a bit of extra broth). I hope that helps!

      Edit: I’m sure crushed would be fine, they sound juicy too!

  33. Made this today, it was good but could use more spices.

  34. Try 1 cup of brown beans (and molasses or plain) instead of lentils

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