Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne

Inspired by one of our favourite UK restaurants, Las Iguanas, here is a recipe for a vegetarian chilli con carne. Traditionally meaning “chilli with meat”, we wanted to create a meat-free 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…

vegetarian chilli con carne

How Can I Make Vegetarian Chilli Vegan?

We’ve used Quorn mince in this recipe which has a very similar texture to minced beef. There’s a number of benefits to cooking with Quorn and it makes this chilli a ‘lighter’ diet-friendly and high-protein meat-free alternative. Though Quorn isn’t vegan-friendly, you can easily make this dish vegan. All you’d need to do is swap out the Quorn mince for some high-protein legumes e.g. lentils. Red lentils take roughly the same amount of time to cook as rice, so you can add these at step 3 with some extra vegetable stock – easy peasy!

vegetarian chilli con carne

There’s lots of different ways you can serve chilli. You can simply serve it with some cumin-infused rice which is delicious. Or for those nights where you want to put more effort in for guests, you can load it 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. They’re easy and super tasty sides that really add to this meal. So get ya mates round, give it a go, and we hope you enjoy this delicious veggie “pot o’ red”…
vegetarian chilli con carne
vegetarian chilli con carne

Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
For The Chilli
  1. 1 tablespoon of Rapeseed oil
  2. 1 white onion, chopped
  3. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  4. 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  5. 1 small Jalapeño, sliced
  6. 300g Quorn mince
  7. Salt
  8. Black pepper
  9. 3 or 4 tablespoons of tomato puree
  10. 1 level tsp of ginger paste
  11. 1 level tsp ground coriander
  12. 1 tablespoon of cumin
  13. 1 level tsp of chilli flakes
  14. Juice of ½ lemon
  15. 400g chopped tomatoes
  16. 2 x vine tomatoes, chopped
  17. 100ml Water
  18. 400g red kidney beans
  19. Fresh coriander for serving (if desired)
  20. 1 x bag of plain tortilla chips (if serving the chilli as nachos)
For The Rice
  1. 200g basmati rice
  2. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
For the Guacamole
  1. 1 avocado
  2. 1/2 fresh lime juice
  3. 2 x pinches of sea salt
  4. black pepper
  5. chilli flakes (optional)
For The Sexy Salsa
  1. 2 vine tomatoes, finely chopped
  2. 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 small jalepeno, de-seeded and finely chopped
  4. A few sprigs of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  5. 1 large garlic clove, grated
  6. 1/2 fresh lime juice
  7. 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  8. 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
  9. sea salt
  10. black pepper
For The Chilli & Rice
  1. Prepare your vegetables and then add the rapeseed oil, onion, garlic, Jalapeño and red bell pepper to a large pan and cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened.
  2. Then add your Quorn mince along with a pinch of salt, a few grindings of black pepper, and the tomato puree. Continue to cook on a medium-high heat for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Next stir in your ginger, ground coriander, cumin, chilli flakes, lemon juice, chopped tomatoes (both tinned and vine). Stir all the ingredients, ensuring it's all combined well. Add a dash of water (100ml) and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. At this point, pre-heat the oven to 180° C for the Nachos. Also, begin to cook your rice following the packet instructions, using enough for how many people are eating. TIP: when basmati rice cooks, the water can become quite starchy and it can become a little stodgy as a result, so rinsing the rice a few times beforehand will prevent this.
  5. In small pan, warm the cumin seeds on high heat for a few minutes to release the aromas. Then add these to the rice.
  6. While the rice cooks, drain and rinse the kidney beans and stir them into the chilli. Continue to simmer the chilli on a low-medium heat for another 10 minutes. You can use this 10 minutes to make the homemade guacamole and salsa.
  7. Drain the rice once it’s cooked and leave to one side covered.
  8. Place your tortilla chips on a baking tray and put them in the oven for 5 mins.
  9. Once they're done, place them on a large plate and load them with the chilli. Sprinkle it with some fresh coriander and jalepeno. Then serve with sides of rice, guacamole and salsa for all to dig in.
For The Guacamole
  1. 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.
  2. Serve in a small bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of chilli flakes (if desired)
For The Sexy Salsa
  1. Using a sharp knife, prepare your tomato, red onion, jalepeno and coriander.
  2. 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.
Life Without Meat
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Post Author: lifewithoutmeat

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