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Easy Vegan Chilli

Easy Vegan Chilli Recipe

Warming, hearty and good for the soul. You just can’t beat a classic chilli.

Well maybe you can… by making it vegan, grain free and allergen friendly. This Easy Vegan Chilli recipe is so easy to make and unbelievably tasty. Great for dinner, delicious for lunch, and super handy as a meal prep supper. Win-win!

Vegan Chilli – The Ultimate Classic Dish

Don’t you just love cooking up a big batch of chilli? It’s so much fun to play around with the spices, especially in a dish that calls for such a range of them. Chillis are fantastic for sneaking in those nourishing little extras too – feel to dice up and throw in whatever vegetables you have lying around, or an extra helping of beans or lentils for good measure!

This plant based chilli freezes well too, for those of you that are all over your meal prep. Serve with brown basmati rice or cauliflower rice, or just tuck into a big bowl of it on its own and top with some big juicy chunks of creamy avocado – whatever tickles your fancy!

Environmentally Friendly

Sunflower seed mince is also great for the planet, and not just because it’s vegan! Made from a natural by-product of sunflower oil, makes it even more environmentally friendly. For my fellow eco-warriors; this vegetarian chilli isn’t just good for you, but it helps fight food waste too!

The Best Tasting Vegan Chilli

All the sciencey bits aside; it tastes AMAZING guys! Sometimes all you need is a wholesome meal with a good kick of spice to brighten up your day, and this plant based chilli has exactly that. Cayenne, paprika and cumin give that classic, spicy flavour profile. Similarly, the coriander, apple cider vinegar and coconut aminos provide that unami ZING to really lift the tomatoey base. Throw some black beans and lentils into the mix and you’ll be dancing around the dinner table. Your taste-buds will think you’ve thrown a party.

The texture of this mince is absolutely unmatched (no mushiness in sight), just make sure you add it in at the end and it absorbs flavour so well. No soaking required either! If I hadn’t converted you already; this recipe is as easy as it is tasty. My hunch is that sunflower seed mince might be the next big thing in the vegan/ vegetarian worlds. It definitely is in my kitchen anyway!

vegan chili, Modern Food Stories
Vegan Chilli Recipe, food photographer

Why is sunflower seed mince a great vegan mince alternative ?

I don’t know about you, but I’m not crazy about processed meat alternatives. Textured vegetable protein / wheat proteins and all the additives that come with them just don’t sit right with me. I don’t like them, and more importantly, my gut definitely isn’t a fan either. Natural, whole-food plant proteins are much more to my liking. Exactly why sunflower seed mince is the perfect plant-based alternative. Made from 100% sunflower seeds; so absolutely no nasties, and plenty of nutrients, it’s low in fat, high in fibre, and packed full of plant-based protein. The perfect veggie-swap to make you feel good.

Don’t mistake it for sunflower seeds though. They are different. Sunflower Seed Mince has a meaty texture, although crispy and light before you cook it. It absorbs a lot of water / stock when added to dishes like my Easy Vegan Chilli and softens when cooked. Sunflower seed mince is also free-from soya and gluten, so it’s a great way to add protein variety if you’re following a vegan or plant based diet or simply are cutting down on your meat intake.

Vegan Chilli Recipe

A vegetarian chilli is a classic vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian option. It’s a great place to start if you’re trying to eat more plant-based, or if you’re trying out meat-free Mondays. I get that veggie isn’t everyone’s vibe though. You might have different dietary requirements, goals, or you just need an adaptation to suit the ingredients you have on hand. Here’s a few variations, incase you want something to suit you better…

White Chilli

Not big on the tomatoes? No dramas! Try swapping them out for some extra stock and make a white chilli instead. White chilli typically uses white beans instead of black, and green chillis, but you can keep the rest of the spices the same. Make this with the sunflower seed mince if you want to keep it vegan, or swap that out for some chicken mince, breasts or thighs. Add the chicken first before adding the veggies until almost cooked through.

Chilli con Carne

Are you a meat lover? Feel free to use beef mince for a truly classic chilli con carne. The beans and lentils will still make a great addition to the texture and flavour alongside the mince, as well as being a nourishing boost to your dinner. Add the beef first before adding the veggies until almost cooked through.

Sunflower Mince Substitute

If sunflower seed mince isn’t so accessible for you, or if you just have different preferences, this recipe will still taste fantastic without, just add a little less stock or  throw in some extra beans and make this a 3 bean chilli. Whatever works for you!

Vegan Chilli Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4
5 from 5 votes


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced small
  • 1 large carrot, diced small
  • 3 - 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground corriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cyenne pepper
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cup veggie stock (or chicken if not vegan)
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos (I like Coconut Merchant Savoury Sauce)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tin (400g) black beans, drained + rinsed (I like Biona Organic Black Beans)
  • 1 tin (400g) green lentils, drained + rinsed
  • 1 cup sunflower seed mince (This is not the same as sunflower seeds)

To serve


  • Heat the olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Add the onions, celery and carrot and saute for 3 minutes on a medium heat until slightly soft.
  • Add the garlic, spices, bay leaves, salt and pepper for 1 more minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, beans and lentils. Simmer for about 15 minutes on a low / medium heat until it starts to thicken (but not super thick - when you add the sunflower mince it will soak up all the moisture).
  • Add the sunflower mince and cook for 1 - 2 minutes until warmed through. Option to add more stock until to the vegan chilli is nice and thick but not dry. Adjust seasoning and spices to taste and serve with toppings of choice and rice, quinoa, baked sweet potato or cauliflower rice.
Print Recipe

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