This comforting veggie chilli is a healthy dinner recipe made with lentils and sweet potato. Vegan chilli con carne is spicy and filling and makes the ideal vegetarian comfort food!
Introducing the vegetarian chilli we’ve been making on the regs for the past few months…
Chilli is one of those meals I’ve always been obsessed with. I distinctly remember requesting it for my birthday dinner several years in a row when I was a kid.
I’ve shared our classic beef chilli con carne recipe on the blog before and it’s one of our favourite things to make on a weeknight when we’re in need of comfort food.
At least it was before we started cutting down on meat. It’s crazy to me that a year ago we would never do a food shop without buying at least one batch of beef mince (ground beef) ready for a chilli or spaghetti bolognese.
It’s so nice to only buy meat on rare occasions now, it makes it feel much more special.
So now we needed to find a veggie version of our favourite food that was going to be just as good. And we totally managed it.
This veggie chilli is spicy and filling and full of all kinds of good stuff. We’ve got your Mexican food staples of onion, garlic, chilli powder, cumin and tomatoes but instead of the meat I like to use some green lentils which are the perfect amount of texture to bulk out the chilli and still keep it feeling hearty.
I add sweet potato for an extra bit of nutrients and a tin of kidney beans for even more texture and because they’re a chilli classic!
Once you’ve got your chilli ready to go you can serve it however you like. I had mine with rice and topped with sour cream, coriander, radish slices and some of our favourite quick pickled red onions.
We’ve also tried it in wraps with a sprinkling of cheese and it’s been a great one for meal prep and then taken for lunches throughout the week, it’s hearty enough to eat on its own for lunch.
Why we love this veggie chilli:
- It’s hearty enough that even meat eaters will love it thanks to the lentils, beans and sweet potato
- It’s super healthy because there’s so much good stuff in there and it’s bound to make you feel good!
- This vegetarian chilli is also perfect for meal prep because it lasts amazingly well in the fridge and ends up tasting even better once the flavours have developed
- It’s also gluten free and vegan which makes it perfect for feeding a crowd
Lentil Chilli Ingredients:
- Spices: I used chilli powder, smoked paprika, cumin and cayenne for a super flavourful and spicy sauce
- Sweet Potato: This becomes all soft and sweet in the sauce. Use up leftover in this sweet potato mac and cheese
- Lentils: I use green lentils because they hold their shape really well and keep that little bit of bite which makes the chilli extra hearty
- Beans: I used kidney beans but you could chuck in whatever you have on hand, black beans would also be good
- Liquids: I used a mixture of chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock, the chilli needs enough liquid so that the lentils can cook and absorb some of the liquid. Add extra vegetable stock to this vegetable stew
- Toppings: I like to add a dollop of sour cream, some fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, sliced avocado, radish slices and some pink pickled onions
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Vegetarian Chilli with Lentils & Sweet Potato Instructions:
- Cook the onion and spices: Heat the oil and add the onion followed by the garlic then the spices and cook until super fragrant.
- Add everything else: Add the sweet potato, chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and lentils then bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Add the beans and serve: Top with all your favourite toppings!
Equipment you need to make this recipe…
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Vegetable Chilli with Lentils and Sweet Potato Variations:
- Add more veggies: You could really add anything to this chilli, stirring through some spinach or kale at the end of cooking would be awesome
- Adjust the spice level: Add more or less cayenne depending on how spicy you like your chilli
- Bulk out with more beans: If you need even more then add in another tin of beans to bulk out the chilli
Is vegetarian chilli con carne healthy?
This vegetable chilli is so healthy! It’s full of lentils and beans and sweet potato to make it a super healthy and hearty vegetarian main course.
Can you freeze veggie chilli?
This vegetarian chilli freezes so well. We’ve actually taken to making a batch regularly and storing it in the freezer for quick weeknight dinners when we don’t have time to cook and it tastes even better after it’s had time for the flavours to develop.
Is vegetable chilli vegan?
This vegetarian chilli con carne (or sin carne!) is also a vegan chilli! If I’m not trying to keep it vegan then I’ll serve it with soured cream but without that it’s great for vegans.
What to serve with vegetable chilli?
I like my veggie chilli served with rice and then plenty of toppings from radish to quick pickled onions to lime to coriander to sour cream. Let’s be honest, any chilli is about the toppings!
Want more? Try these other lentil recipes!
- Mediterranean Vegetable Lentil Soup
- Pressure Cooker Smoky Lentil Stew
- Crockpot Curry with Red Lentils and Peppers
- Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad with Sesame Dressing
- Italian Lentil Meatballs
- Baked Halloumi with Winter Panzanella
Veggie Chilli with Lentils & Sweet Potato
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic crushed
- 3 tbsp Chilli Powder
- 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Cayenne
- 2 Sweet Potatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 litre Vegetable Stock
- 2 400g tins Chopped Tomatoes
- 400 g Green Lentils
- 1 400g tin Kidney Beans drained and rinsed
- Sour Cream, Coriander Leaves & Avocado to serve
- Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes until softened then add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. When everything is really soft add the spices and stir to coat.
- Add the sweet potato, stock, chopped tomatoes and lentils to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are al dente and the sweet potato is cooked. Add the beans and serve.
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