Skip to main content

The BEST vegetarian chilli

vegetarian chilli
Meat-Free Chilli

There’s nothing like coming in from the January cold to a big warming dish of chilli. In our family, the favourite is a chilli without meat but one that’s packed with protein rich pulses and grains and that all important spicy kick.

Ours doesn’t just feature beans but includes grains such as bulgar, quinoa and beluga or puy lentils, all of which add texture and bite. I’m not a fan of a mushy chilli!!

You can adjust the grains to suit what you have in the house but try for a mix in roughly the ratios I give below. You can easily find jars of chipotle paste in the Mexican section of your supermarket food aisles.

Hope you enjoy it, don’t forget to let me know what you think!

Kela x

Beluga lentils, red quinoa, bulgar & kidney beans


  • Olive or sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • knob of fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1 x red or green chilli de-seeded & chopped (alternatively you can put all above in a mini-chopper / processor)
  • 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • 1/2 tblsp chilli powder (or adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tblsp chipotle paste
  • 150g beluga or puy lentils
  • 50g bulgar wheat
  • 50g quinoa (red, tricolour or regular will do)
  • 1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 x 680g bottle/jar tomato passata
  • 1 heaped tsp good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 x litre veg stock (approx)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh coriander to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 140C.
  2. Start with a large lidded oven-proof pot / casserole on the hob, adding the oil, then saute the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli until soft but not turning brown.
  3. Add in chilli powder, cumin and stir for approx 1 minute.
  4. Next add all remaining chilli ingredients in order listed above, adding the stock last. Start with approx 750ml of the stock, then add if you feel it’s needs more. Gently bring to simmer, stirring occassionaly.
  5. Place lid on the pot then transfer to the oven to cook for a further 30 minutes. Stir and check to make sure lentils are cooked, if not place in oven for a further 10 minutes. Top with chopped fresh coriander
  6. You can serve with rice but we love to add to bowls, topped with guacamole, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips and grated cheese. This stores really well in the fridge for 4 days and makes a great healthy lunch option with a toasted pitta on the side.


Food & Recipes

Gluten Free Chocolate Mousse Cake, Praline &  Frangelico Cream
Gluten Free Chocolate...

A dessert that ticks all the boxes - Gluten Free, Chocolate, Nutty, Creamy and Decadent!

Latest News

Tuscan Culinary Adventure Awaits
Tuscan Culinary Adventure...

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own fresh pasta? Uncover the secrets that make Italian food so delicious? Then…