vegetarian chilli - in bowls

Vegetarian Chili

A rich and smoky vegetarian chili packed with beans and mushrooms. A perfect dinner for cold evenings.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican, Vegetarian
Keyword easy vegetarian chili recipe, vegetarian chili
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 223kcal
Author Michelle Alston


  • 1 medium onion (180g) finely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (200g) pith and seeds removed then roughly chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (180) pith and seeds removed then roughly chopped
  • 3 1/3 cups brown/chestnut mushrooms (250g) wiped clean then sliced
  • 1 x 15 oz can cooked kidney beans (400g can) drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 x 15 oz can cooked black beans (400g) drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes in juice (2x400g)
  • 1 large dried ancho pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium red chilli pepper pith and seeds removed then finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 large squares dark chocolate (85%) {optional}
  • A good handful of fresh coriander + more for serving finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • First, soak the ancho pepper in warm water for 30 minutes. Remove the stem and seeds before soaking. Once dehydrated finely chop the pepper.
  • In a large saucepan heat 1 tbsp of the oil. Then add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes or until the onion is translucent and soft.
  • Add the garlic and red chili, cook for about a minute or until you smell the garlic, then add the ancho pepper, oregano and spices. Stir and cook for another minute, again, until you smell the spices.
  • Then add the bell peppers and mushrooms, add the remaining oil and then stir and cook for about two minutes. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, fill one of the cans halfway up with water and add that too.
    Add the soy sauce, bay leaf, sea salt and black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Check the seasoning, add more salt if needed.
  • Now add the kidney beans and black beans and simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce is nice and thick. Stir occasionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. 
  • Once the sauce is ready, remove the bay leaf, drop in the chocolate, let it melt then stir it in. Take the chilli off the heat and stir in the coriander. 
  • Serve with boiled rice, cilantro/coriander, lime wedges, slices of jalapeno peppers, some grated cheese and a good dollop of sour cream.


  • Calories are approximate and do not include rice or extras.
  • See the post for freezing instructions.
  • To make this vegan use vegan chocolate and add vegan sour cream and vegan hard cheese for the toppings.
  • This recipe was first posted on 27/1/2016 and updated on 30/1/19


Calories: 223kcal