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Hearty Dinners/ Spice/ Tex Mex

The ULTIMATE Veggie Chilli

November 25, 2021 (Last Updated: October 5, 2022) by Chris Collins

This 3 bean chilli is packed with veggies, absolutely loaded with flavour and so easy to make. It’s also 100% meat eater approved!

Yep, and that’s coming from me! The guy runs a blog with the word bacon in it 🤣 But for real though this chilli is super hearty and you certainly won’t miss the meat. Follow me…

close up overhead shot of chilli in white bowl

The BEST Veggie Chilli Recipe

As I was developing this recipe I was conscious of a few things:

  • Flavour – a chilli, be it vegetarian or not, is the perfect opportunity to pack in flavour. The difference between a good chilli and a great chilli is huge, and a lot of that comes down to flavour. In this recipe we’re using large quantities of spices to bring out the best in the veggies.
  • Consistency – a lot of chilli recipes are served watery, almost verging on a soup. Vegetable chillis tend to fall victim to this the most. This chilli has a nice thick, rich sauce.
  • Hearty – feat not, this recipe is hearty as hell. 3 cans of beans and a sweet potato? You know we love carbs around here!

close up shot of ladle scooping up veggie chilli in large pot

How to make Veggie Chilli

This is actually a really simple recipe and is conveniently all made in one pot. Just a few things to mention:

Frying most of the veg

We’re going to fry a lot of the veg, not only to cook out the moisture, but also so they can pick up a bit of colour. Caramelizing the veg will add more flavour to the chilli.

Tomato Passata

This is a key ingredient. Tomato passata is essentially pureed strained tomatoes, and has a nice thick texture. Instead of crushed or chopped tomatoes, which have a much more watery texture, tomato passata helps create a thick, rich sauce.

Simmering the sauce

Simmering the sauce is crucial for a few different reasons:

  • Gives time for the flavours to marry together.
  • Reduces and thickens the sauce.
  • Allows the sweet potato and beans to cook through.

Process shots: fry peppers, onion, carrot and celery (photo 1), fry garlic (photo 2), add passata and veg stock (photo 3), add beans and seasoning (photo 4), mix then simmer (photo 5), stir through coriander/cilantro (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make vegetable chilli

close up shot of ladle scooping out 3 bean chilli from large pot

Serving Veggie Chilli

The chilli is great by itself, but every chilli deserves a few toppings! Here’s my faves:

  • Cheddar
  • Sour Cream
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Avocado
  • Jalapeños
  • Coriander/Cilantro
  • Lime Wedges

Process shots: add cheese (photo 1), add sour cream (photo 2), add avocado (photo 3), add jalapeños and coriander/cilantro (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to serve vegetable chilli

Veggie Chilli FAQ

What kind of beans to use?

Most kind of canned beans will work. Here I’ve used kidney beans, black beans and borlotti beans. Haricot, butterbean and pinto all work well too.

Can I add meat?

If you’re after chilli recipes with meat check out my Beef Chilli Con Carne, Chili Mac and Slow Cooker Turkey Chili!

How long does vegetable chilli last in the fridge?

Tightly stored in the fridge this will last 3-4days. Reheat on the stove or microwave.

Can you freeze vegetable chilli?

Yep! Just thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this veggie chilli shall we?!

vegetable chilli served in grey bowl with toppings and second bowl blurred in background

How to make Vegetable Chilli (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of ladle scooping out 3 bean chilli from large pot

The ULTIMATE Veggie Chilli

This 3 bean chilli is packed with veggies, absolutely loaded with flavour and so easy to make. It's also 100% meat eater approved! Makes 4 hefty portions or 6 smaller.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 6
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories per serving: 259kcal
Cost per serving: £1.50 / $2


  • Large Pot & Wooden Spoon
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Colander or Sieve (for beans)
  • Jug (for stock)
  • Ladle (to serve)

Ingredients (check list):


  • 2 1/2 cups / 625ml Vegetable Stock
  • 2 cups / 500g Tomato Passata (Pureed Strained Tomatoes in US)
  • 3x 14oz/400g cans of Beans, drained (see notes)
  • 1 small Sweet Potato, peeled & diced into very small bite sized pieces (weight around 9oz-10oz/250-300g unpeeled)
  • 2 Peppers, finely diced (one red one green)
  • 1 medium/large Onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium/large Carrot, finely diced
  • 2 ribs of Celery, finely diced
  • 3-4 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp EACH: Paprika, Cumin, Chilli Powder, or to spice preference (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Salt, Sugar, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp finely diced Coriander/Cilantro (can omit if you don't like it)
  • Olive Oil, as needed

Ideas to serve

  • Cheddar (highly recommend)
  • Sour Cream (highly recommend)
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Avocado
  • Jalapeños
  • Coriander/Cilantro
  • Lime Wedges


  • In a large pot over medium-high heat add a drizzle of olive oil along with the onion, carrot, celery and peppers. Fry until they begin to soften and take on colour, then lower heat to medium and fry the garlic for another minute or so.
  • Pour in passata and vegetable stock, then add in sweet potato, beans, chilli powder, paprika, cumin, salt, sugar and pepper. Give it a good stir then simmer until the sauce thickens and the sweet potato is cooked right through, around 30-40mins depending on the size of your sweet potato chunks. If the sauce reduces too much before the sweet potato cooks, just add more stock or water. If you go overboard with the stock just gently simmer to your desired thickness.
  • Stir through coriander/cilantro then taste test for seasoning and adjust with chilli powder, salt and sugar if needed. Serve up with your favourite toppings. Enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!


a) What kind of beans to use? - Most varieties of canned beans will work just fine. I normally use kidney beans and black beans, then switch up the 3rd can each time (borlotti beans is what I used to shoot this, pinto and haricot also work nicely).
b) Chilli Powder - I typically use 1 tbsp mild chilli powder and 1 tbsp hot chilli powder and find that to offer the perfect amount of spice. If at all weary just use 2 tbsp mild and adjust at the end (can make spicier with chilli flakes, cayenne pepper or more chilli powder).
c) Storage/reheating - Allow to cool and tightly store in the fridge for 3-4days or freezer for 1 month+. Reheat from the fridge on the stove on low heat (add a splash of water or stock if you need to loosen up the sauce). Or reheat in short bursts in the microwave, stirring in-between.
d) Serving - Will make 4 big portions or 6 smaller portions.
e) Calories - based on 9oz/250g sweet potato, 1 tbsp olive oil, no toppings and shared between 6:

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
The ULTIMATE Veggie Chilli
Amount Per Serving
Calories 259 Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value*
Fat 3.57g5%
Saturated Fat 0.523g3%
Trans Fat 0.001g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.856g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.771g
Sodium 627mg26%
Potassium 1126mg32%
Carbohydrates 47.69g16%
Fiber 11.9g48%
Sugar 7.35g8%
Protein 12.7g25%
Vitamin A 9289IU186%
Vitamin C 125.3mg152%
Calcium 93mg9%
Iron 4.42mg25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

Looking for more ways to pack in your veggies? Check these out:

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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    May 8, 2024 at 2:17 pm

    5 stars
    Fabulous recipe I omitted the sugar and added a tiny (fingernail size) piece of dark chocolate. It turned out really well. However, it was fiery hot in taste. I used Waitrose own brand chilli powders – a mix of hot and mild. I don’t know if Waitrose own brand chilli powder is hotter than other brands, as it’s the first time I’ve used them… just a word of warning if anyone reading this uses their spices. I calmed it down with home made guacamole (omitted the fresh chilli to keep the guacamole less spicy) and dolloped 5some almond cream cheese on top. I also spooned out a ladle of the chilli and liquidised it as on this occasion I wanted to serve it on top of jacket potatoes and use leftovers in a quesadilla, so I needed a thicker consistency. No one missed the meat in the chilli… Will adjust spices for the recipe and will make again. Thank you Chris!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 8, 2024 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks so much for the review, Nina! I’m not too familiar with Waitrose chilli powder, but it’s always great to start off with less and work up. Great to hear it went down well either way 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2023 at 10:49 am

    5 stars
    so so nice, you don’t miss the meat at all!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 23, 2023 at 11:37 am

      Thanks for the review, Maggie! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2022 at 12:13 am

    5 stars
    So good!!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 21, 2022 at 11:07 am

      Thanks, Jeremy!