Vegetarian Red Lentil Chilli Con Carne and Rice

Red Lentils Chilli Con Carne Recipe

55 Minutes
Serves: 2

This delicious vegetarian lentil chilli is made with red lentils, red peppers, kidney beans and tomatoes, flavoured with a spicy mix of chilli, garlic, coriander, cinnamon, cumin and a small square of dark chocolate. Serve this simple lentil chilli on a bed of white rice with sprinkle of lightly chopped coriander

Recipe Ingreds


  • 1 whole bell pepper (red)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 5 grams dark chocolate
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp oregano (dried)
  • 1 whole fresh chilli
  • 4 sprig fresh coriander
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tin tinned kidney beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole onions
  • 200 grams red lentils(dried)
  • salt (to taste)
  • 0.25 cube stock cube veg
  • 1 tin tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300 ml water (boiling)


  • 1 packet microwave white rice

Recipe with pictures Steps

Step 1

  • heat the frying pan with a little oil
  • peel and chop the onion(s) finely
  • add to the frying pan
  • cook for 3 to 4 mins

Step 2

  • peel and crush the garlic using the garlic crusher or chop finely
  • add to the frying pan
  • wash and finely chop the chilli
  • add to the frying pan
  • cook for 3 to 4 mins

Step 3

  • add the spices to the frying pan
  • cook for a minute or two
  • wash and slice the peppers into strips
  • add to the frying pan

Step 4

  • add the lentils to the frying pan
  • add the tinned tomatoes and the tomato puree to the frying pan
  • cook for a minute or two

Step 5

  • Drain the beans and wash in cold water
  • add to the frying pan
  • add the stock cube to boiling water
  • add the stock to the frying pan
  • add the oregano
  • cook slowly
  • for 20 minutes
  • add the chocolate to the frying pan
  • stir till chocolate has melted
  • taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary

Step 6

  • warm the precooked rice by following the instructions
  • place one serving of rice onto a plate

Step 7

  • wash and finely chop the fresh coriander
  • place the chilli on top of the rice
  • sprinkle with coriander
  • serve immediately

Step 8

  • if cooking extra for the freezer store the extra chilli in a freezable container allow to cool and then place in freezer

Recipe Utensils

  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 Garlic crusher
  • 1 jug
  • 1 large frying pan
  • 1 large knife
  • 1 sieve

About our Vegetarian lentil Chilli Recipe

This recipe is the perfect veggie or vegan lentil chilli con carne recipe and a great alternative to the traditional meaty chilli . Vegetarian or vegan chilli can have a variety of ingredients, those with vegetables only, those containing lentils and those containing meat substitutes such as Quorn or tofu. Our full-flavoured dish has a lentil base. and is cooked with onions, garlic, tomato, kidney beans and chilli, the dish is spiced with chilli flakes, cinnamon, coriander, cumin and oregano. This dish is ideal on a cold winters night or when you need a veggie comfort food hit

How to make red lentil chilli con carne

A delicious easy lentil chilli recipe packed full of tasty lentils, kidney beans, peppers and tomatoes and flavoured with hot chillies spices, garlic and chocolate, ideal for vegetarians and vegans simple to cook and perfect for freezing, To make this recipe Lightly fry the chopped onions, chilli and crushed garlic add the sliced red peppers and spices and cook for a minute or two before adding the lentils, tomatoes, and tomato puree, mix the ingredients thoroughly and cook for a minute or two before adding the herbs, red beans and stock. Simmer for 20 minutes and then add a square of dark chocolate and season to taste. Serve with white rice and chopped fresh coriander

Vegetarian lentil chilli Ingredients

All the ingredients are readily  available at the supermarket 

Dried Red lentils - these lentils are easy to cook and don't require pre-cooking so are the only lentils for this recipe 

Red kidney beans - Use tinned beans as these are easy to use and are the perfect extra protein hit 

Bell pepper - I prefer a red pepper for this recipe, but in theory you can use any bell pepper 

Dried spices - this dish has a mixture of spices,

  • chilli flakes you can use chilli powder instead ,
  • cinnamon,
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander

You can also add some smoked paprika if you like the taste and it will add another dimension 

Fresh Spices - fresh chillies give the perfect hot it use red or green chillies I personally prefer red for this recipe. 

Dried Herbs - oregano is the herb for this dish 

Fresh Coriander / Cilantro  -  adds a lovely fresh taste to the dish 

Dark chocolate - Add just a square it has to be dark chocolate as it will add an extra dimension 

Onions and Garlic - white onions and fresh garlic give a grate savoury base to the dish you can use pre prepared garlic if you want but I prefer fresh 

Chopped Tomatoes - tinned and puree to give a strong tomato base to the dish, you can use fresh diced tomatoes if you want

Vegetable stock - This recipe will need a fair amount of liquid in order to reconstitute the lentils 

When to cook vegetarian chilli with lentils

This mouth-watering recipe is the perfect quick cook meal for those cold nights in Autumn, Winter or Spring. It is easy to make so ideal for a midweek meal, make double and freeze the extra for a quick dinner on a busy night.

Can you freeze?

Yes, this lentil chilli is ideal for freezing, pop it in a freezer-proof container, allow it to cool and then freeze, it will last up to 3 months in the freezer. To reheat, defrost and then reheat till piping hot.

Who will love this recipe?

This dish is ideal for adults and children so makes the perfect family meal, it is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans alike. It is also healthy as it is low in fat and high in vegetable proteins. It is incredibly cheap to cook so if you are on a low-budget health kick this dish is perfect.

What to do with leftover vegetable chilli

If you have leftovers then why not try one of these recipes,

  • Tacos, pack the taco shells with the lentil chilli and sprinkle with cheese, serve with sour cream
  • Chimichanga tightly wrap the chilli in a tortilla and fry in oil till crisp, serve with salad and sour cream
  • Empanadas, make some empanada dough roll it out cut it into circles, place the chilli con carne in the middle with some grated cheese, fold over crimp the edges and bake in the oven till golden brown
  • Freeze it, allow it to cool and then place it in a freezable container

What to eat with vegetarian lentil chilli ?

We serve this dish with rice and a sprinkle of coriander, but it would be just as delicious with a sweet potato jacket, or a traditional jacket potato

What makes our easy lentil Chilli the best?

Red lentils are often overlooked as a staple ingredient for a veggie meal, but while they have a milder taste than green lentils, they are perfect for a spicy dish like this. The secret ingredient that makes this dish extra special is the addition of a small square of dark chocolate it brings out the subtle flavours of the dish perfectly.

Other vegetarian lentil recipes

Chianti Baked Lentil balls

Mushroom & Lentil Burgers with Courgette Chips

Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese

Lentil Lasagne with Salad

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