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Vegetarian Chilli

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Sorry to remind you about this, but winter is approaching, and nothing warms you up like a nice chilli.  Vegetarian chilli goes so well with carbohydrates like potatoes, pasta and rice and keeps you going on those cold days in the garden.  I’m not a massive fan of red-hot food, so I made this quite mild, but you can crank up the heat until it blows your head off if you like!


400g canelloni beans (1 tin)

400g red kidney beans (1 tin)

400g tinned tomatoes (1 tin)

300g Quorn mince

1 large onion (about 200g)

1 pepper (I like to use a yellow pepper because it adds a different colour into the mix)

Vegetable stock cube / melt

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

3 garlic cloves

Olive oil

How to make:

Like my vegetarian lasagne, this is another of those dishes where you just throw everything into one pan and let it get on with it.  Being a lazy vegetarian, these dishes are my favourites.  And less washing up, though if you’re like me and find washing dishes worse than watching paint dry, you will have a dishwasher.

Firstly chop your onion(s) and fry for 10 or 15 minutes in a little olive oil.  When they have gone just a little soft I add the tinned beans and tomatoes.  I use canelloni and red kidney beans because I like the colour contrast.

I always wonder if draining the beans and tomatoes means that vitamins and minerals are lost, so I add all the juice as well.  This means that when you add a vegetarian stock melt you don’t have to make it up in water – I just add it into the mix and stir in well.

I like to add a yellow pepper because I think it makes the dish look mroe colourful, but any you have to hand will do.

Bell peppers

The last main ingrendient is 300g of Quorn mince.  It loosk pretty uninspirational, doesn’t it?  It always makes me laugh when companies name their vegetarian products the same as their meat equivalents, when in fact they are usually nothing like each other.  I think it is best to think of them as stand-alone products.  The good thing about Quorn mince is that it takes on whatever flavours are in the dish.  To be honest by itself it doesn’t taste of much, but neither does rice or pasta.  So if you’ve never tried it, maybe now is the time.

Quorn mince

Now for the seasoning.  I was never a massive fan or garlic, but as time goes on I’m getting more use to it.  It seems to be in just about every vegetarian dish served up by uninspired restaurants (that and goat’s cheese – ugh!), but as long as it’s not too overpowering (like in garlic mushrooms) I can deal with it.  Everything in moderation and all that.  I use about 3 cloves in this recipe, but please feel free to use more if you are a fan.


For the spicy taste, I added half a teaspoon each of paprika (back), mild chilli powder (left), cumin (right) and two bay leaves.  And lastly a vegetarian stock melt / cube.

Chilli spices - paprika, chilli powder, cumin, bay leaves

Now sit back and relax and leave your chilli on a low heat, stirring occasionally for about 1/2 hour to an hour.  I leave it to cook down and when some of the juices have evaporated it’s time to eat!

Vegetarian chilli

My favourite way of eating this chill is over an oven-baked jacket potato with copious amounts of red Leicester cheese sprinkled over the top! Let me know what you think!


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