Inspired by one of our favourite UK restaurants, Las Iguanas, here is a recipe for a vegan chilli con carne. Traditionally meaning “chilli with meat”, I wanted to create a vegan alternative to your fiery favourite.
There’s some contention surrounding its origins with some believing it to originate from Mexico, whilst others believe it’s from Texas. Either way, it’s a great dish to serve with friends for a casual get-together and always goes down well…
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How have I made vegan chilli con carne?
If you’re currently on a vegetarian diet then you could use Quorn’s mince as there’s a number of benefits to cooking with Quorn. However, there are now tonnes of vegan minces on the market.
For this, I’ve used Plant Pioneer’s vegan soy mince, and Sainsbury’s sell Granose soy mince which is a great and very cheap choice too.
If you don’t have soy mince to hand, you could use red lentils instead. Lentils take roughly the same amount of time to cook as rice, so you can add these near the beginning with some extra water for them to soak up – easy peasy!
Either way, by going vegan, you’ll make this chilli a ‘lighter’ diet-friendly and high-protein alternative to the classic.
What makes this chilli so healthy?
I have packed this chilli with lots of extra vegetables to enhance both flavour and nutrition. Sticking to the traditional inclusions of onion, tomato, red pepper and red kidney beans the rest are optional. By adding more, I’ve included lots of sources of vitamin C and E which are both excellent for your immune system. Plus, fresh ginger and garlic both offer lots of medicinal properties.
What’s the best way to serve vegan chilli con carne?
There are lots of different ways you can serve chilli. You can simply serve it with some cumin-infused rice which is delicious.
For those nights where you want to put in more effort, you can load the vegan chilli con carne onto a tray of warmed nachos with sides of homemade guacamole and salsa dips for everyone to dig in. The guacamole and salsa take no more than 5 minutes each to make and I’ve included how to make these in the recipe below. They’re easy and super tasty sides that really add to this meal.
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So what are you waiting for? Give it a go and I hope you enjoy this delicious veggie “pot o’ red”!
For the chilli:
- 1 tablespoon of rapeseed/olive oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 small Jalapeño, sliced (optional on spice preference)
- 1 knob of ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 vine tomatoes, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 courgette, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 handful of mushroom, finely chopped
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- 300g soy mince
- Black pepper
- 1 low sodium stock cube
- 1 level tsp ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- 1 level tsp of chilli flakes
- Fresh coriander
- 3 tablespoons of tomato puree
- 200ml Water
- 400g red kidney beans
- Fresh coriander for serving (optional)
- 1 x bag of plain tortilla chips (if serving the chilli as nachos)
For the Rice:
- 200g basmati rice
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
For the side of guacamole:
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 fresh lime juice
- 2 x pinches of sea salt
- black pepper
- chilli flakes (optional)
The Side of Salsa:
- 2 vine tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small jalapeno, de-seeded and finely chopped
- A few sprigs of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, grated
- 1/2 fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
- sea salt
- black pepper
For the chilli and rice:
- Put your pan onto a medium heat and drizzle in a little oil. Prepare the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeno (optional) and add them to the pan and fry off with a dash of water.
- Following packet instructions, put your rice on to cook with a pinch of salt and the cumin seeds. Allow that to come to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your veggies. Then stir in your vine tomatoes, soy mince, stock, salt, black pepper and your can of chopped tomatoes. Add 200ml of water (fill the empty can of tomatoes with water).
- Next, add your red bell pepper, courgette, carrot and mushrooms. Then stir in your spices (cumin, ground coriander and chilli flakes), fresh coriander, tomato puree and fresh spinach. Combine well.
- Finally, rinse and drain your red kidney beans and add to the pan along with the juice of one lime.
- Continue to simmer the chilli on a low-medium heat for another 10 minutes. You can use this 10 minutes to have a quick tidy or make the homemade guacamole, salsa dip and warm tortilla chips if this is your serving preference.
- Once cooked, drain the rice and leave covered to one side until you're ready to serve with the chilli and fresh coriander.
- If you've chosen to serve the chilli with nachos, place them on a large plate and load them with the chilli. Sprinkle over some fresh coriander and jalapeno. Then serve with sides of rice, guacamole and salsa for all to dig in.
For the guacamole:
- Mash your avocado in a bowl using a fork, keeping it slightly lumpy for some tasty texture.
- Then squeeze and mix in the fresh lime juice along with the sea salt and a few grindings of black pepper.
- Serve in a small bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of chilli flakes (if desired)
For the salsa:
- Using a sharp knife, prepare your tomato, red onion, jalapeno and coriander.
- Then combine them together in a bowl. Add the grated garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar, fresh lime juice, sea salt and black pepper.
- Combine all the ingredients together well. Then serve in a small bowl with a sprig of coriander.
Allergens: Wheat, Celery, Soy
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