This veggie & vegan lentil & bean chilli uses array of fresh veg & store cupboard ingredients to create easy midweek family meal in just over 30 minutes. Bursting full of flavour and really nutritious, what else to ask for?
Since we’ve started trying to eat a little bit less meat this delicious and protein packed veggie and vegan lentil & bean chilli has become something of a staple in our house! We all absolutely love good, old-fashioned chilli con carne and thought this veggie version will leave us somewhat unsatisfied. We couldn’t have been further from the truth!
This delicious veggie chilli is:
- Full of flavour
- Filling but without that heavy feeling afterwards
- Wholesome & packed with veggie goodness
- Full of healthy protein from beans & lentils
- Easy to adapt to what you have in your fridge and uses lots of store cupboard ingredients too
- Quick & easy to throw together and on your table in just over 30 min so perfect as a midweek family dinner!
- Ideal for spot of batch cooking
Ingredients used to make Easy Veggie Lentil & Bean Chilli
I’ve used mix of fresh & tinned kitchen staples. In veggie department I went for classic onion, garlic, red pepper combo with less classic courgette/zucchini which I grated coarsely and which added extra veggie boost. I have also added some tinned sweetcorn which added colour, flavour and extra wholesomeness to the mix.
When it comes to pulses I went for green lentils, black beans and mixed beans. As I wanted this chilli to be truly quick to make I opted for tinned/canned versions of all three.
For my meaty chilli con carne I usually use sweet paprika together with chilli powder but here I decided to go for one of my favourite kitchen staples – smoked paprika. I absolutely adore its gentle smokiness which also helps this super quick and light dish taste deeper and richer (as if it’s been stewing for hours and not only half an hour)! You can of course use regular sweet paprika if you prefer.
I’ve also added a teaspoon of raw cacao powder for that extra umami flavour. You can substitute it with regular cocoa powder, small square of good quality dark chocolate or leave it out completely.
To make this veggie chilli family friendly I was really conservative when it comes to use of chilli powder and haven’t used any fresh chillies at all so feel free to make some adjustments in this department if you wish. ***My American readers especially might find this chilli really mild as US chilli powder tends to be substantially milder than that in the UK so please taste and adjust accordingly.***
Serving and toppings suggestions!
This lovely veggie chilli is naturally vegan, dairy and gluten free so if you want to keep it this way you will need to be careful with your toppings and use vegan/dairy/gluten free alternatives for some of the suggestions below.
Our favourite veggie chilli toppings are:
- Sliced avocado
- Lime wedges
- Tortilla chips
- Sour cream or Creme fraiche
- Grated mature cheddar
- Freshly chopped coriander/cilantro
As for the side dish we like it served with simple wholegrain rice and sometimes also make my delicious creamy coleslaw as additional accompaniment which is not at all authentic but we love it!
How To Serve Leftover Chilli?
This chilli is really flavourful and tastes fantastic straight after you’ve cooked it. However, as with all stews, chillies and curries if you prepare them in advance and let the flavours mingle, they will taste even better the following day! It rings true for this gorgeous veggie chilli too! It will make great leftovers which you can serve over jacket potato, as a taco or enchilada filling or (I’m going to be quite controversial here) with pasta (I blame my kids lol)!
You could also use it as a delicious topping for nachos or in quesadillas – both perfect and substantial party snacks with nicely chilled beers!
Can I freeze this Veggie Chilli?
This chilli will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Make sure you chill it quickly once cooked and transfer to the fridge as soon as possible.
If, however, you’d like to store it for longer, perhaps you’ve cooked a double batch (this chilli is perfect for that), simply transfer it to freezer safe container or bag and freeze for up to 6 months. You can then defrost if in a fridge overnight or slowly on the hob/stovetop or in a microwave.
Easy Veggie Lentil & Bean Chilli – Step-By-Step
Easy Veggie Lentil & Bean Chilli (Vegan)
- 1 large onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped, minced or grated
- 1 red pepper deseeded and roughly chopped into chunks
- 1 courgette (zucchini) washed and coarsely grated
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 veggie stock cube + 200 ml freshly boiled water
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cacao or cocoa powder optional
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 400g tin green lentils drained and rinsed
- 1 400g tin black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 400g tin mixed beans (or kidney beans) drained and rinsed
- 1 340g tin sweetcorn see notes
- small bunch fresh coriander (cilantro) chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a large lidded pan and fry chopped onions until softened but not coloured approx 5 min.
- Add chopped pepper and grated courgette (zucchini) and continue frying for another 5 minutes until vegetables soften quite substantially.
- Add chopped/minced garlic and all dried herbs and spices (with the exception of cacao/cocoa powder) and fry for a couple of minutes until nice and fragrant.
- Add chopped tomatoes and rinse the tin with a little bit of water and add that too.
- Crumble in your veggie stock cube and pour in 200ml freshly boiled water. Mix well and bring to boil.
- Add drained and rinsed beans and lentils, mix well, cover and let it simmer for approx 5 minutes.
- Add teaspoon of cacao or coca powder (if using) and follow with sweetcorn.
- Cover and let the chilli simmer for approx 5 minutes after which time take the lid off and let it simmer (covered) and reduce slightly for another 5 minutes or so.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper to your taste and garnish with chopped coriander (cilantro).
- Plate up and serve with a side of brown rice, tortilla chips and your favourite sides/garnishes!
- Nutritional information is approximate and should be treated as a guideline only.
- Cacao/cocoa powder can be left out completely or substituted with a square of good quality dark chocolate.
- Chilli powder in the US is much less potent than the one used in the UK so adjust quantities according to your taste and type of powder you're using.
- Tinned sweetcorn can be substituted with frozen which can be added at the same time and cooked until defrosted/warmed through.
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