By Andy Tipp
A lot of people worry if they go vegan they won’t be able to enjoy the same things they used to. Take chilli, for instance. How good can chilli con carne be without, you know, the carne? Well, as it turns out: very good.
That’s because the essential flavours in chilli are not the meat, but the spices. There’s a reason it’s called chilli with meat. This means you can cook up a cracking vegan chilli, because the key ingredients are all plant-based.
This is my vegan chilli recipe, and it rocks. It’s everything I love about what vegan food can be: it’s cheap, easy to make, tastes great, it’s packed with protein and it’s great to share.
If you want a meatier flavour profile, you could swap the red lentils for a beef mince-like protein. In fact, you can use this recipe as a template and change whatever you want to give this chilli non carne your own twist!
About an hour
For the chilli
- 200g red lentils
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 400g tin of kidney beans
- 200g tin of sweetcorn
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 onions
- 2 red peppers
- 2 chili peppers
- 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- Red wine
- Salt and pepper
- A splash of oil
To go with the chilli
- 200g pouch of microwave rice
- Vegan cheese (optional, recommendation: Violife Epic Mature)
- Vegan ‘sour cream’ (optional, recommendation: Oatly Crème Freche)
- Guacamole (optional)
- Tortilla chips (optional)
- Start with the prep: chop up the onions and red peppers (roughly), the chilli pepper (finely), and rinse the red lentils.
- Put some oil in a large pan and cook your onion and red pepper on medium heat until both are soft and glistening.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, lentils, spices, chilli peppers, bay leaves, crumbled stock cube and a glug of red wine and give it all a stir. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 40 mins until the lentils are soft and sauce-y.
- Drain and wash the kidney beans and sweetcorn and add them into the mix. Give everything a good stir and leave to bubble for another five minutes.
- While the chilli is finishing off, heat up your rice. (You can boil some rice if you like, this is just quicker and uses fewer pans).
- Check the heat and flavour of your chilli – add extra spice or seasoning if you want more of a kick, or more wine if you need more liquid.
- Once everything is done, serve up the chilli and rice with the guac and sour cream and grate on your cheese. Whack some tortilla chips in a bowl on the side and you’re good to go. Enjoy!
This recipe easily scales up, so you could cook up a big batch and freeze 2-4 more portions for a quick, easy dinner in the future.