This family friendly Vegetarian Mince Chilli Con Carne is simple to make and healthy too! I've used a vegetarian mince and kidney beans, plus plenty of vegetables and spices to create this delicious chilli con carne. It's very versatile and can be enjoyed with rice, potatoes, nachos... it's up to you! It's also very easily made vegan by using a vegan mince.
What's great about this recipe
- It's a filling family friendly recipe
- You can adjust the spice levels to suit your needs
- It's healthy and low fat
- It provides a great source of protein
- It's really delicious and versatile!
What you will need
- Red onion - I love using red onion in chilli con carne, but you can use white onion instead too
- Celery - If you don't have any celery you can leave this out, or add an extra half an onion
- Carrot - adds a little sweetness and a lot of goodness to this recipe
- Garlic - Fresh garlic adds the best flavour, but you can also use frozen garlic, or a ready made garlic puree
- Peppers - I use two bell peppers in this recipe. Either red, yellow or orange are the best ones to use
- Vegetarian mince - I used Quorn, but you can use any vegetarian or even vegan mince. If you don't want to use the mince, you can use mushrooms or crumbled tofu instead
- Passata - This recipe uses passata for a lovely smooth tomato sauce
- Tomato puree - enriches the tomato flavour, if you don't have any the recipe will still be delicious without it
- Vegetable stock - My favourite brand is Oxo, but you can use any brand you prefer
- Smoked paprika - Adds essential smoky flavour that transports you to the campfire! You can use plain paprika as it still has lovely flavour, but only smoked paprika will give you that smoky BBQ taste
- Cumin - A warming spice that makes this chilli con carne extra yummy
- Mixed herbs - I used a dried herb mix containing thyme, marjoram, parsley, oregano, sage, basil. If you can't find a mix, oregano or thyme would be best in this recipe
- Chilli - You can add fresh chilli or chilli powder if you like your chilli con carne spicy
- Kidney beans - canned kidney beans are the traditional beans in chilli con carne, but you could also use pinto, haricot, cannellini or black beans instead
How to make Vegetarian Mince Chilli Con Carne
Start by cooking the red onion, garlic and celery (and fresh chilli if using) in a pan with a little oil. Once they have softened, add the carrot and bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes. Then add the vegetarian mince and cook for another 5 minutes.
Next, add the passata, tomato puree, vegetable stock, cumin, smoked paprika, mixed herbs, sugar and chilli powder (if using) and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the drained kidney beans and cook until warmed through. Finally, add salt to taste if you like.
How long does the chilli last for and can it be frozen?
Once fully cool, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or you can freeze it for up to 3 months. This recipe freezes really well and I often make extra to stock up my freezer for those nights when I don't feel like cooking.
Can this recipe be made vegan?
Yes! All you need to do is use a vegan suitable mince, or swap the mince for chopped mushrooms or crumbled tofu. When serving, use a dairy free sour cream. Most nachos are vegan, but any with a cheesy flavour may contain milk so always check the label.
What can you serve with this recipe?
- Any kind of boiled or steamed rice
- Cous cous, barley, bulgar wheat or any other whole grain
- Tortilla chips
- Jacket potatoes
- Sweet potato wedges
- Sour cream
- Guacamole or sliced avocado
- Cornbread or crusty bread
- Corn on the cob
More tips for making Vegetarian Mince Chilli Con Carne:
- Instead of individual spices, I sometimes use a fajita spice mix to add lots of flavour and spice to the chilli. It's such a handy shortcut!
- You can use the chilli to make burritos, to top nachos, or to top a jacket potato. Or you can even serve it with pasta
- You can add other veg to the chilli con carne, such as mushrooms, spinach, sweetcorn, courgette or leeks
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- Chefs knives
- Chopping boards
- Kitchen scales
- Garlic press
- Cheese grater
- Can opener
- Measuring spoons
*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting Kat's Veg Kitchen!
Vegetarian Mince Chilli Con Carne
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 Red onion chopped up
- 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 2 sticks Celery chopped up
- 2 Fresh red chillies optional, finely chopped
- 2 Bell peppers (red, orange or yellow) chopped up
- 2 medium Carrots Finely chopped or grated
- 500 g Vegetarian or vegan mince I used Quorn
- 690 g Passata
- 1 tbsp Tomato puree
- 2 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Cumin
- ½ tsp Mixed herbs
- 2 tsp Chilli powder optional
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 150 ml Water
- 1 Vegetable stock cube I used Oxo
- 480 g Red kidney beans I used two 400g tins, once drained the beans weighed 480g
- ½ tsp Salt to taste
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan on a low-medium heat
- Add the red onion, garlic, celery and (if using) the fresh chilli. Cook for around 5 minutes, until softened
- Add the carrots and peppers, cook for a further 5 minutes
- Add the vegetarian mince, stir it in and cook for a further 5 minutes
- Add the passata, tomato puree, water, vegetable stock cube, smoked paprika, cumin, mixed herbs, chilli powder (if using) and sugar. Stir everything together and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes
- Add the drained red kidney beans and stir in. Cook for around 5 minutes, until the beans have warmed through
- Add salt to taste
- Serve immediately with boiled rice, nachos, sour cream, guacamole... you decide!
- Allow leftovers to cool completely. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days or the freezer for up to 3 months