Vegan chilli: a comforting cauliflower and bean chilli recipe

This vegan chilli recipe ticks every box on the flavour front... and makes for the perfect meat-free winter warmer

vegan chilli with beans and cauliflower
(Image credit: Getty)

Adding a great vegan chilli recipe to your repertoire is essential if you are planning to eat less meat (or none at all) in 2020. We have tried a few vegan chillis and this cauliflower and bean chilli recipe is definitely up there as one of the best. Super fragrant, packed full of gorgeous spices and herbs, it's a healthy vegan recipe that doesn't compromise on flavour. The vegetables melt in your mouth, infused with garlic and finished with the kick we love to taste in a classic chilli.

With the entire recipe created in one large pan, the melange of textures and flavours (and the ease of the process) gives this vegan chilli potential to quickly become a family favourite. Served atop a fluffy bed of basmati rice and garnished with a wedge of lemon and a little fresh coriander, or pile on a baked potato for a comforting winter dish. What's more, if you want to add a little extra depth, are you bold enough to add some rogue ingredients such as chocolate, cola or coffee? Keep reading to discover the secret to the best vegan chilli you've ever tasted.

For more recipes, check out our dedicated hub page. Find out more in our feature on how to go vegan.

  • Serves 6 people 
  • 20-30 mins prep time 
  • 1 hour 30 mins cook time


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (mild or hot, to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp Chinese five spice
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 peppers (red or orange), deseeded and finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1–2 red chillies, to taste, sliced into rings (or deseeded and chopped, if preferred)
  • 1 head cauliflower, florets diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1x 400 g | 14 oz tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 800 g | 28 oz tomatoes, chopped (or 2x 400 g | 14 oz tins chopped tomatoes)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 small handful coriander, leaves only, to garnish
  • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges, to garnish
  • Cooked basmati rice, to serve


1. In a large pan over a medium heat, warm the oil and add the spices, onion and garlic and gently fry for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. The onions should soften and the spices should become fragrant. 

2. Add the peppers, carrots, red chillies and cauliflower florets to the pan, stir everything together and cook for 5 minutes more. 

3. Next add in the kidney beans and tomatoes and bring the stew to a simmer. If you’re using fresh tomatoes, you may need to add in up to 240 ml | 8 fl oz | 1 cup water during cooking depending on how much moisture they naturally contain. 

4. Cover and leave the chilli to bubble away on a gentle simmer for 1-1½ hours, checking occasionally to give everything a stir. If you prefer a thicker stew, take the lid off for the final 20–30 minutes to allow the chilli to reduce. 

5. When it’s cooked, have a taste and season as required. Serve the chilli on a bed of fluffy basmati rice, scattered with a few fresh coriander leaves and a wedge of lemon on the side

Adding extra depth:

Chocolate: Chocolate and chilli make a fantastic odd-couple combination. Add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa or cacao powder at step two, or stir in a few squares of vegan chocolate, to give your stew an extra layer of flavour.

Coffee: Add a shot or two of strong, freshly brewed espresso (or a couple of teaspoons of dried coffee grounds) at step 3 to give your chilli some added earthiness and smokiness. It will also boost the meal's irresistible aroma.

Cola:  Replace half a tin of the chopped tomatoes (or the cup of water) in step 3 with the same volume of cola, and leave the stew to reduce as required. The unique flavour and sweetness will take your chilli to another level.

From Being Vegan | £12.99 on My Favourite Magazines

Find this recipe and many other easy, healthy and delicious vegan recipes in Being Vegan. Whether you are trying to cut down on meat, or are a vegan looking for fresh dinner ideas, here you will find over 30 recipes to try.View Deal

See more recipes and food: