Chilli is one of those meals which you can enjoy literally any time of the year. In the winter, it’s a warming bowl of comfort food; in the summer, it’s a spicy fiesta – perfect for alfresco dining. This vegetarian Chilli recipe is one of my favourites. Packed with vegetables, you will be surprised that something this delicious can be so healthy. Even meat free, it’s just as hearty and delicious as the original.


  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1-2 red chillies, thinly sliced. If you’re feeling timid, then you can take the seeds out,
    but don’t expect to get invited to any fun parties.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped roughly
  • 1 large onion, cut into thick slices
  • 1 punnet of white mushrooms, thinly sliced. This might sound like a lot, but they shrink very quickly. Remember to buy your mushrooms a few days before you cook this dish; you want them feeling slightly tacky to the touch and with a slightly stronger smell. This doesn’t mean they are “off”, it just means they are ready to cook with. They will add a lot of subtle notes to the dish and really make it something special.
  • 1 tsp garlic paste. Paste is much better than diced garlic for this recipe, but if you don’t have any, a couple of cloves sliced very finely will still work.
  • 1 can of mixed beans, drained. You can use kidney beans if you prefer, but we like variety.
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes with chilli oil. Normal chopped tomatoes still work, but it’s well worth spending an extra 50p for that extra kick.
  • 2 squares of extremely dark cooking chocolate. Trust us on this one.
  • Fresh coriander to garnish
  • Butter
  • Oil


  1. Melt a knob of butter over a low heat and sauté the mushrooms with the garlic until soft and delicious. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, fry the carrots, onion, celery and peppers over a medium heat until slightly soft.
  3. Stir in the beans, tomatoes and mushrooms, being carful not to mush up the vegetables too much.
  4. Add in the paprika, season well keep it on a low to medium heat for about 20 minutes to let the flavours infuse.
  5. Grate the chocolate into the vegetarian chilli. It will probably melt over your fingers a little, but that’s a perk of the job…
  6. Serve your vegetarian chilli with a sprig of fresh coriander.

Top Tips:

  • Add in a TBS of clotted cream when sautéing the mushrooms for added decadence.
  • Chilli goes well with white rice, of course, but have you considered pairing it with pilau or basmati? Both of those grains of rice are perfectly suited for spicy sauces.
  • Layer the chilli on some tortilla chips and top with shredded mozzarella and red leister. Bake in the oven until the cheese melts for some truly spectacular nachos!

For more top tips, check out our top 10 incredibly useful cooking tips!

Vegetarian Chilli recipe by Jack Shannon