Chilli Non Carne

This chilli ‘non’ carne uses walnuts, mushrooms, and black beans for a rich and smoky meatless mexican feast- enjoy it with plenty of guacamole and tortilla chips!

Chilli plates up with rice, guac, and sour cream

I love a good vegan chilli, and it’s one of my favourite meals to cook up and pop in the freezer. It’s so easy to make and requires only a small amount of hands-on time, and then it can just be left to cook away. This recipe multiplies up really easily. If you have a big enough pot you can cook up enough to feed 12! 

What goes into a meatless chilli?

The ingredients in this vegan chilli go towards making it an amazing winter warmer that’s full of flavour but also super healthy! A lot of veggie chilli recipes rely heavily on just beans or vegetables. This recipe uses a winning combination of mushrooms, black beans and walnuts. Not only do they give a great meaty texture to the chilli, but they also make it much lower carb and higher protein than a typical vegan chilli con carne.

Ingredients for chilli non carne 2

The rich and spicy flavour of the chilli non carne comes from chilli powder, paprika, cumin and cinnamon, with a dash of soy sauce and cocoa. I know cocoa may seem like a strange choice in a savoury dish. Trust me when I say it gives an amazing depth of flavour which just can’t be matched. Just make sure you’re using the unsweetened type!

What goes with this chilli?

If you want to keep your serving completely vegan friendly, there are so many options for serving up this chilli non carne. Serve it with rice, pile it on top of nachos or a baked potato, or use it to fill up your tacos and burritos.

overhead photo of bowl of chilli non carne with guac and soured cream

When it comes to toppings, nothing beats a big spoonful of guacamole for me! I also love to whip up a vegan soured cream, by mixing dairy-free plain yoghurt with a squeeze of lime and some salt. If you’re a fan of vegan cheese, some grated dairy-free cheddar goes great on top of this meatless chilli. And of course don’t forget the coriander and a wedge of lime!

How to make chilli non carne

Making this chilli is simple and time efficient. Start by heating the oil over a medium heat in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic, and fry them off for about 4 minutes until softening and aromatic. Next, throw in the rest of the veggies and give them a further 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the spices and stir them around for 2 minutes.

Next add the mushrooms, beans, walnuts, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, water, cocoa, soy sauce, and liquid smoke if using. Give it all a really good stir to combine, then bring it to a simmer.

At this point, you can leave the chilli non carne to simmer away for half an hour. You can stir it every so often to make sure that it isn’t sticking, but it should look after itself. 

After half an hour, season well and add the lime juice. If you’d like the chilli a little thicker, you can use a potato masher to mash it up a little and create a thicker sauce. Stir through the yoghurt, and enjoy!

Can I make it in a slow cooker?

This is a recipe which I love to just throw in the slow cooker and leave to do it’s thing. If you have a multi-cooker with a sautee function, you can follow the steps above. Swap out the 30 minutes simmer, for a 4 hour slow cook on high. 

If you can’t sautee in your slow cooker, just fry off the onions and vegetables in a pan. Add them to your slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients, stir, and cook the chilli non carne for 4 hours on high.

Ingredient substitutes

To make sure this meatless chilli really is super healthy, I added some carrots and pepper. If you don’t like these vegetables, feel free to leave them out or swap them for vegetables which you prefer. You could certainly make it more wintery with the addition of some winter squash or pumpkin. Just be aware that these kinds of vegetables may take a little longer to cook. Sweet potato would also go great with this recipe!

Like it hot? If you prefer your chilli non carne a little bit hotter, add in a dash of cayenne pepper for some extra kick.

You can even make this recipe lower carb and higher protein by swapping out the black beans for extra walnuts. If you’re doing this, just swap the can of black beans for another 100g of walnuts.

Chilli non carne in pot with coriander

This recipe stays pretty cheap with the use of canned beans and tomatoes, and easily found vegetables. If you want to cut down the cost even more, swap out the walnuts for another can of beans. You can use more black beans to make a fully black bean chilli, but red kidney or pinto beans would be just as delicious.

Can I prepare vegan chilli con carne in advance?

The great thing about recipes like this, is that the leftovers taste even better. After a day or two, the flavours really come to life, so I would even encourage you to make this in advance. You can keep it for 4 days in the fridge. 

I created this recipe as a freezer filler, so of course it freezes well. You can keep it for up to 3 months in the freezer. Either heat it from frozen, or defrost at room temperature before heating. Just make sure it is piping hot through before you dig in.

If you’re looking for freezer friendly recipes, I think you’ll love these…

Chilli plates up with rice, guac, and sour cream

Chilli Non Carne

Chloe from Forkful of Plants
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
This chilli ‘non’ carne uses walnuts, mushrooms, and black beans for a rich and smoky meatless Mexican feast, a perfect comforting dinner!
5 from 11 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers diced
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp medium chilli powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 250 g chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 400g can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 100 g walnuts finely chopped
  • 1 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • ½ tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 3 tbsp dairy-free yoghurt

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic, and fry them off for about 4 minutes until softening and aromatic.
  • Next, throw in the carrots and bell peppers and cook for a further 4 minutes until beginning to soften.
  • Add in the cinnamon, chilli powder, smoked paprika and cumin and stir them through.
  • Next add the mushrooms, beans, walnuts, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, cocoa, soy sauce, and liquid smoke if using. Fill the chopped tomatoes can with water and add it to the pot. Give it all a really good stir to combine, then bring it to a simmer.
  • Leave it to simmer for half an hour, stirring it every so often so that it doesn't stick.
  • Season well and add the lime juice. If you’d like the chilli a little thicker, you can use a potato masher to mash it up a little and create a thicker sauce. Stir through the yoghurt.

Notes

This is a recipe which I love to just throw in the slow cooker and leave to do it’s thing. If you have a multi-cooker with a sautee function, you can follow the steps above. Swap out the 30 minutes simmer, for a 4 hour slow cook on high. 
If you can’t sautee in your slow cooker, just fry off the onions and vegetables in a pan. Add them to your slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients, stir, and cook the chilli non carne for 4 hours on high.

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22 thoughts on “Chilli Non Carne”

  • 5 stars
    Thank you for this wonderful option! I love all of the fresh ingredients!

    • So pleased you enjoyed it Raquel 🙂

  • Christina says:

    5 stars
    This was so delicious!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it Christina 🙂

  • 5 stars
    This looks so wholesome and delicious! I am drooling. Plus, I am a sucker for puns 🙂

    • Haha, you can’t beat a good pun every once in a while!

  • 5 stars
    thats so clever to use the mushrooms, beans and walnuts!! I love the flavors and textures it provides, great recipe!!

    • Thanks Jill, I’m glad you enjoyed the combination 🙂

  • 5 stars
    A truly delicious meal option. We all loved it very much so will make it again and again.

    • That’s great to hear, thanks Ramona!

  • 5 stars
    Rich and delicious, my family never missed the meat!

    • That’s always a good sign! Super happy your family enjoyed it Sabrina 🙂

    • So pleased you enjoyed it Karen!

  • 5 stars
    This chili recipe is perfect for a veggie lover like me!

    • Definitely one for the veggie lovers, thanks Alena 🙂

    • Thanks Leslie, I’m super pleased you think so!

  • Mama Maggie's Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    This dish looks SO deliciously good. I wish I could eat that right now!

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