vegetarian chilli with guacamole, yoghurt and corn, in pots

Get the secret of the ultimate veggie chilli

Chilli is a great, versatile dish for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. And this recipe is so easy.
  Published:  22 Aug 2017    |      2 minute read

My veggie version of chilli con carne (con carne means 'with meat') will have everyone coming back for more — and with a few summery sides it will make a great addition to any barbecue.

My amazing chilli recipe uses a pile of veg including sweet potato, courgette and celery — as well as red kidney beans and chickpeas. Smoky chipotle chillies sit happily alongside dark chocolate to create a rich and warming flavour.

Accompany your vegetarian chilli with some fresh corn, guacamole and yoghurt for a cooling freshness when things get a bit too hot (or leave out the yoghurt for a great vegan chilli recipe). Don't forget, a low meat diet is better for the planet too.

How to make veggie bean chilli with fresh guacamole, coriander yoghurt and corn

Vegetarian chilli with homemade guacamole, yoghurt and sweetcorn, in pots
Credit: Harriet Owens

Ingredients for vegan chilli (serves 4):

  • 1 or 2 dried chipotle chillies – rehydrated
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • A little oil for sweating
  • 2 red onions – chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic – pressed
  • 2 celery stalks – chopped
  • 1 large courgette – diced
  • 1 red pepper – sliced
  • 1 sweet potato – half chopped, half coarsely grated
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of red kidney beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 tin of chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • A couple of handfuls of frozen peas and sweetcorn
  • 30g good quality dark chocolate – finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh coriander stalks – finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the fresh homemade guacamole:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tsp or so of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped
  • A few rings of jalapeño peppers if you fancy – finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Lime juice to taste

Ingredients for the coriander yogurt and corn:

  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped
  • 250g Greek (style) yoghurt - if you're looking for a completely vegan chilli you can replace this with soy yoghurt
  • 4 corn on the cobs
  • Butter and salt to serve

How to make your vegetable chilli extravaganza in 12 easy steps:

Chilli recipe:

  1. Rehydrate the chipotles by cutting them up (I used scissors) and soaking them in the cider vinegar and a teaspoon of water for about half an hour. You can let them rest whilst you busy yourself with vegetable chopping, grating and sweating.
  2. Sweat the onions in oil over a medium heat for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the crushed garlic and continue to sweat.
  3. Add the chopped celery, courgette, pepper and grated and chopped sweet potato and continue to sweat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  4. It’s spice time! Pop in the cinnamon, paprika, cayenne pepper and cumin and let the flavour develop for a couple of minutes. Blitz the chipotles with the cider vinegar, water and a quarter of one of the tins of chopped tomatoes. Add the puree to the chilli pot.
  5. Add the remaining chopped tomatoes, beans, chickpeas, frozen veg, coriander stalks and chopped chocolate.
  6. Gently simmer for 20 minutes or so – the main thing to watch out for is whether the sweet potato chunks are cooked.

Gaucamole recipe:

  1. Smash the avocados with a little olive oil.
  2. Add the coriander and jalapeño peppers if you’re using them and mix.
  3. Add salt and lime juice to taste.

Coriander yoghurt recipe:

  1. Mix the finely chopped coriander into the yoghurt – easy!

Corn on the cob:

  1. Boil in water on the hob for about 8 minutes. This may take a little longer if you’re cooking more than 2 cobs at once. Just give them a prick with a fork every so often. When the fork goes in easily, you’re good to go.
  2. Serve hot with a knob of melting butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Start experimenting with a few different ingredients and side dishes!