Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Con Carne | Vegan

Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Con Carne (Vegan)

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Meatless Chili Con Carne is served in 2 bowls with tortillas and sliced avocado |

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.

2 bowls of vegan chilli made with beans and lentils, served with tortillas, avocado and chilli pepper on the table |

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.

Bowl of chilli sin carne topped with avocado |

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 ingredients

Leonard 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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Print Pin
4.79 from 78 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 367kcal


  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper, green
  • 1-2 clove garlic
  • 1 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.


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
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Show us your version!Tag @HurryTheFoodUp on Instagram and hashtag #hurrythefoodup.

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.

About Dave

From the UK to Germany with many stops along the way. Food without meat is the best type of food. And I plan to share it!

This article has been medically reviewed by James Bell

Healthy, nutritious and absurdly tasty food? That’s what I’m all about. I love recipes which are full of flavour but are good for you too. My job in family medicine led me to become a nutrition professional as well, with an aim to get people healthier just by the food they eat.


  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!

    • I made this and it was absolutely delicious! Just as a side not not sure if you noticed but the recipe name says “mouthwatering meatless chilli with meat/con carne” just didn’t make sense to me that it’s meatless but with meat? Thank you! 🙂

      • Hey Maya! Glad you enjoyed it!! Haha yes, we called it that on purpose :). A lot of peeps were asking for chili con carne without meat, so we obliged 🙂

  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!

    • I was gonna say same thing like HELLO “con carne” literally means “with meat” so just call it meatless chili and be on your way FFS

  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

  35. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time tonight and served it as nacho topping with cheese, sour cream and of course corn chips. Kids loved it and both asked for seconds. Both us adults really liked it also. If I was doing this just for me I’d add another chilli (I love spicy food), but this was good for everyone else.

    Really great recipe.

  36. 5 stars
    use smoked paprika and a bit of smoked tofu – so good!

  37. 5 stars
    This was the best vegetarian chili I ever had. I added some liquid smoke, chili powder, ancho pepper, chipotle pepper and smoked paprika to add some heat I’ll be making this over and over again! So good topped with sour cream, shredded cheese and avocado.

  38. I’ve got this chilli simmering away in my slow cooker, can’t wait to try this

  39. Candice Pankhurst

    5 stars
    Absolutely loved this!!
    I added some meat-free soy “mince,” fresh cooked corn, and precooked my soaked dried lentils separately and then added them so that I didn’t overcook the peppers and corn. These were the only changes. I think the sun dried tomatoes and stock makes this dish! SO GOOD

  40. Please add me to your mailing list. Cheers

  41. 5 stars
    This is fabulous! My 9-year-old recently became vegetarian for ethical reasons. As a result, the whole family is eating mostly vegetarian. It has been a struggle finding recipes for the food she loves that tastes the same as it used to and is also acceptable to the non-vegetarians in the family. I told her it would be a lot of trial and error until we figure out what works and what doesn’t. This is now our go-to chili recipe. Even my 4-year-old, who was never very fond of chili, loves this! He requested it only a few days after I made the last batch. The sun-dried tomatoes were an inspired addition as was the maple syrup. And I love that you called it “chili con carne” because that was exactly what we were looking for — a vegetarian recipe that had the same mouth-feel and flavors of chili con carne. My only change was the addition of a tablespoon of chili powder (I have never had chili without chili powder before and it felt like something was missing to me without it). We serve ours with cornbread. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • That is AWESOME, Amanda! Firstly, great to hear your nine year old is getting so much support from everyone – and that the whole family enjoyed the recipe. I hope you find many more on the site, too! The sweetcorn fritters tend to go down well with families ( – would probably make a double batch. There’s lots more to explore as well, the veggie food world is so wide and varied. Keep enjoying, see you around!

  42. 4 stars
    Howdy Dave, My 15 year old son wans to become a vegetarian but he’s a lazy B. As we’ve finished eating the dog and there was no more meat left around, we tried this one. He did the cooking and prep-or-asian and it worked wonderfully. The meal was a suck-cess and it arms him for trying to convince his mother that you can live normally whilst being a vegetarian.
    Plus points monsieur.
    Gonna try another one or two recipes later on also
    Irish doodle in Stockholm

    • Wonderful comment, Fran! I enjoyed reading it. Probs to your son for taking over the kitchen! Keep him at it 😉

  43. 5 stars
    Lovely chilli recipe. I’m only in my second week of eating plant based food, but this is definitely the best recipe yet! Thank you 🙂

  44. I’m so happy I found your website. I can get excited about food again. I’m GF free (2years)but decided to also become vegetarian after an eye to eye occurrence with some squashed in sheep in a big metal truck on a sweltering hot day trying to put their noses through very thin slits to get air. Said to my husband as we passed gosh that’s awful “ what the heck, is that acceptable care of those hot squashed sheep” he said oh that’s normal they are on their way to the slaughter house down the road. Ok so rude awaking I mean it’s obvious they were gonna be driven there in a taxi but So been a vegetarian since approx 5 weeks. Also got my daughter and husband interested and eating several vegetarian dishes a week. So thank goodness for your website needed more yummy ideas with awesome recipes, makes my life so much easier. So many to choose from yaaaahhh

    • Hi Karen, I’m very happy you found us too! And welcome to the veggie side :). Yes the transportation of animals can be absolutely awful, no doubt about that. Really glad you’re finding the recipes excitable – I’ve never enjoyed food more than I have know. Once you start eating vegetarian you realise how many other ingredients are out there, and in my opinion, some truly fantastic ones. Keep enjoying the site!

  45. AWESOME !!!!!!!!! Thanks a lot for this !!!

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