Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne (or rather Chilli Sin Carne to be precise) for vegans and vegetarians. It is made with mushrooms instead of meat but thanks to the spices and chocolate it tastes authenticly Mexican.
By 8 years ago


My Way To Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne


It was ages ago when I cooked Chilli Con Carne for the first time. And it was so easy back then!

At first, I fried some beef. Next, I opened a pack of seasoning mix, added it along with tomatoes and red beans and done!

Yes, however much I am embarrassed to admit to it now, I have to make this confession. In the past, I used a shop-bought mix to make that dish.

And there is something even more embarrassing. When that ready to prepare packet wasn’t available anymore… I stopped cooking this dish.

It took me some time to realize I could make it myself from scratch and it would taste equally good or even better.  And furthermore – I would exactly know what was in it.

When I started preparing proper Chilli Con Carne, it soon became one of our family’s favourites.

So when my daughter decided to go on a plant-based diet, I knew I had to face another challenge. I had to cook a meal that is based on meat without the meat.

And obviously, I had to make it taste like a real thing.


Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne Recipe – How to Achieve the Authentic Flavour


Finding a replacement for meat wasn’t that difficult.

Just as it was in the case of vegetarian Bolognese Sauce, I used mushrooms. In my opinion, it is quite easy to achieve a texture and look of fried minced meat when you use thinly chopped champignons instead.

But I still had to get the same taste of the vegetarian dish as we knew from the meaty version.

I decided to take the easiest route and to use for my Veggie Chilli Con Carne, the same ingredients and spices as I did for the original dish.

I think this strategy worked incredibly well. There were quite a few people who couldn’t believe it was indeed Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne.

P.S. If you would like to have a Vegan Chili Con Carne, either omit the sour cream or replace it with a vegan equivalent.



Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne (vegetarian/vegan)

Agnieszka Weiner
Chilli Con Carne for vegans and vegetarians: made with mushrooms instead of meat, with a bit of chocolate for the great taste.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500 g mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (approx. 400 g)
  • 200 ml tomato passata
  • 1 tin red beans
  • 5-10 g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)

To serve:

  • sour cream (or vegan substitute)
  • Cheddar cheese (or vegan substitute), grated
  • cooked rice


  • Heat the olive oil in a big frying pan; add the onions and garlic, sweat on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cumin and chilli, fry for a minute.
  • Add the mushrooms and fry for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, passata, salt and fry for 10-15 minutes till the sauce thickens.
  • Add chocolate, red beans and adjust the seasoning. Serve on a bed of cooked rice with a dollop of sour cream and grated cheese on top.
Keyword chilli con carne vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!




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