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Vegetarian Chilli Recipe

This vegetarian chilli recipe is full of beans…literally. Hearty beans meet diced tomatoes, a swirl of spices, garlic, onions and a little red wine to create a beautiful, easy mid-week meal.

By Jennifer Curcio


This year is all about carving out more time. Although I love cooking, a quick list of what I do each day made me realise that I am spending a lot more time cooking during the week than I need to. If a dish is a little bit involved or takes more than 30 – 45 minutes of active preparation (not including cooking) then I’ve decided it can wait until the weekend.

So it’s no surprise that this year I’ll be adding a lot more one pot dishes to our table, where everything can be thrown together and ideally there’s plenty left over the next day (and maybe even the next). Introducing the most recent dish on heavy rotation at our place – a vegetarian chilli recipe. This one-potter is nourishing, warming and filling. It can also be used SO many ways. Let me list them: on top of roasted sweet potatoes, as the flavour packed protein in a rice or quinoa bowl, as a base in a burrito, with nachos, on toast with avocado, served with a six minute boiled egg, and that’s just a handful.

Sounds good? It is, and this vegetarian chilli recipe is a dish that keeps giving for many days.

Enjoy and if you make it I would love to hear what you served it with.

Note: this is a thick style vegetarian chilli recipe not a liquid soup style.


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Vegetarian Chilli Recipe

Makes six generous servings



120g Spanish onion, finely diced

3 x 400g cans of black beans or kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 x 400g can of diced tomatoes

2 x large garlic cloves, finely diced or pressed through a garlic press  (around 10-11g total)

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground piment d’Espelette (or paprika)

1 tbsp ground coriander

2 tbsp quality olive oil plus extra for drizzling

3 tbsp red wine


Salt and pepper to taste



Heat the olive oil in a medium to large sized lidded pot (ideally heavy bottomed) on medium heat and add the finely diced Spanish onions


Once the onions pale in colour (just under ten minutes), add the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds then add the ground cumin, piment d’Espelette or paprika and coriander, and stir together well


If the mixture looks dry add a little extra olive oil here, then add the beans. Stir everything well then add the diced tomatoes – please keep the can aside


Half fill the diced tomato can with water and add it slowly to the mixture making sure to just cover the beans with the water, then stir well (note: ensure the beans are only just covered by the water, more than this and it will prolong the cooking time needlessly, unless you prefer a soup style vegetarian chilli)


Raise the heat to high and allow the mixture to boil, add the red wine, stir once more then lower the heat to a simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes


Be sure to stir the chilli occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once the beans have cooked, add salt and pepper and more of the ground spices (if needed) to suit your taste, and serve!


Serving suggestions: Avocado, soured cream, fresh herbs like hand torn coriander and finely sliced spring onion, jalapeños, fresh diced tomatoes (not out of a can) and grated cheddar cheese. As mentioned above, this vegetarian chilli recipe can be added on top of roasted sweet potatoes, in a rice or quinoa bowl, in burritos, with nachos, even on toast with avocado, and on their own with a six minute boiled egg – just to name a few options!


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