Vegetable Chilli

This is another recipe for when you’re craving something comforting and warm but don’t want to over indulge. I love beef chilli, but only when it’s slow- slow-cooked and melty. This vegetable chilli has just the same favours without the long cooking, is much better for you, and costs barely anything to put together a huge potful!

I don’t think chillies should be hot – I think they should contain lovely warm flavours without burning spice and so this is what I’ve done here. Feel free to add a few dried chilli flakes if you prefer some spice, or top with a big spoonful of pickled jalapeños!

Of course, I topped mine with cheese and soured cream, and served it with white rice, but you could just as easily miss off those elements to make it vegan, seriously healthy and low in calories.

Give this a go – it’s packed full of smoky flavours and I guarantee you’ll love it.

Ingredients, Substitutions and Variations

  • Olive oil – you could also use vegetable oil.
  • Onion and garlic – staple flavours! Use white or yellow onion and don’t skip the garlic!
  • Fresh coriander – I adore fresh coriander and I think it adds something special to a vegetarian chilli like this. If you don’t agree, you can leave it out.
  • Ground cinnamon and smoked paprika – these two spices together create such an incredible depth of flavour. You could also add a touch of ground cumin.
  • Chopped tomatoes– passata would also work if you prefer a smoother sauce.
  • Chickpeas and borlotti beans – this is where you can get adventurous! Substitute these with any tinned beans you have in your cupboard (not ones in sauce). Kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans and butter beans would all work. My suggestion, though, is to use two different ones to get that variety in taste and texture.
  • Courgette and red pepper – perfect vegetables for this dish. You could also add a handful of spinach and some mushrooms.

Top tips

  1. Good to freeze

    This recipe serves six when eaten with white rice. It freezes really well so pop any excess in the freezer for another time. Also a great batch cooking meal!

  2. Mix up the toppings

    Get creative with your toppings – I already mentioned soured cream, grated cheese and pickled jalepenos, but what about avocado, crumbled tortilla chips, feta cheese?

  3. Enjoy the crunch

    Adding the red pepper right at the end means it keeps its texture and adds crunch to the chilli. If you would prefer it softer, just simmer the chilli for ten more minutes before serving.

Vegetable Chilli

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
A veg-packed vegetarian chilli that can easily be made vegan.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
  • 1 x 400g tin borlotti beans
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • 200 g white rice cooked, per person to serve, plus cheddar cheese and soured cream to dollop on top


  • Finely chop your onion, garlic and the stalks of the coriander. Put in a large pan with the oil and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and smoked paprika, then tip in the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and borlotti beans.
  • Chop the courgette and add this to the pan too. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Finely chop the red pepper and coriander leaves and stir these into the chilli. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, and add more cinnamon and smoked paprika if it needs it too.
  • Serve on a pile of white rice, topped with grated cheese and soured cream. Yum!
Keyword chilli, vegetarian

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12 responses to “Vegetable Chilli”

  1. Oh definitely time for nice warming recipes, this looks really good and nice and light too.

    1. Thanks Janice! I completely agree – comfort food is so necessary at this time of year 🙂

  2. M gonna make this one 🙂

  3. Looks great!! I’ve been wanting to try a chili recipe! & thanks for the follow! 🙂

  4. Looks delicious. Always looking for a good chili recipe. So many things you can do with chili. Definitely, tring this one. Have you ever thought of dry browning your onions instead of using oil. I don’t use oil when browning. This is a video that helped me learn how to do this with out burning the onions.

  5. 5 stars
    Lovely meal, enjoyed by everyone. Smoky and delicious, and easy to make! And the leftovers that were frozen tasted just as nice a couple of weeks later!

  6. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. Simple, light and flavourful too.

  7. 5 stars
    I really enjoyed how tasty and flavorful this meal is! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    I love a good chili recipe! So many veggies in this delicious one!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this chili for dinner last night and it was fantastic! The whole family enjoyed it!

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Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.