The ultimate chilli non carne

September 12, 2016

Healthy chilli con carne recipe

Chilli non carne

This is a veggie chilli that even meat-lovers will enjoy. A hearty, wholesome meal of veg, beans, lentils and delicious spices, made a little bit more special with smoky chipotle, avocado and crispy homemade tortilla chips.

Although the ingredients list looks pretty long, it’s mostly made up of storecupboard staples and fairly basic vegetables, so it’s not as expensive or time consuming as it first looks.

The spices we’ve used create a tasty, warming, smoky sauce. If you don’t have any chipotle paste, try using smoked paprika – add some extra heat with fresh or dried chilli, or cayenne pepper.

Serves 4 – 6

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 peppers (we like green and red), roughly chopped
  • 1 courgette, roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls mushrooms (around 10 small), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chipotle chilli paste*
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown or red lentils, rinsed well
  • 2 tins beans (pinto, black or kidney beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Small bunch fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a very large non-stick saucepan over a moderate heat. Cook the onion gently for about 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the rest of veg, give everything a good stir, and heat for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the spices and the cocao powder, and stir constantly for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree, then add the lentils, beans, tomatoes, stock, a good couple of pinches each of salt and pepper and mix well.
  5. Bring to the boil then simmer, with the lid on at an angle, for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and the liquid has been absorbed. If the liquid starts to absorb too quickly, put the lid on and turn the heat down.
  6. Stir in the coriander and any extra salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toppings of your choice.

Serving ideas: Sliced avocado, fresh coriander, homemade tortilla crisps, fresh lime juice, sour cream or natural yogurt, rice

See more Main Meal recipes

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