The ultimate vegan chilli

Give me this chilli over its meaty cousin all day long. It’s flavoursome, hearty and full of goodness – a proper winter warmer that packs a punch. A great one to batch cook too.  

Cooking tip: You can substitute the grains with others that you like (although steer clear of cous cous, as it cooks too fast.

Ingredients (serves 8-10): 

  • Olive oil 
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped 
  • Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped 
  • 3 teaspoons chilli powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, bashed 
  • 1 tablespoon Chipotle paste 
  • 3x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes 
  • 300g Puy lentils or dark green speckled lentils 
  • 100g bulgar wheat 
  • 100g quinoa (red or white) 
  • 1x 400g tin of small beans (I like black beans)
  • 1 litre vegetable stock 
  • 1 tablespoon cacao 
  • Sea salt and black pepper 

To serve:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Avocado (I like mine smashed with a bit of lime juice and olive oil)
  • Handful of coriander
  • Grated cheese (optional)


Place a very large pot on a medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil and cook the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger for around 10 minutes, until soft.

Add the chilli powder and cumin seeds and stir for a minute or two.

Add all the other chilli ingredients, and give it a good mix.

Add 1 litre of stock. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down to low and leave to simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring every now and again so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If the chilli starts to look too dry at any point, add a bit more stock. 

Once the lentils are cooked and the chilli tastes deep and flavoursome, turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper if you like.

Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of yogurt and avocado. Freeze any leftovers for a quick, easy supper.

Adapted from Anna Jones’ Proper Chilli recipe, from ‘a Modern Way to Eat’.