Vegetarian Chilli Con Carne (V)

Veggi Chilli Con Carne

This recipe went down a treat with everyone and fit in rather nicely with my vegetarian evenings. A delicious meat-free chilli con carne with a little beanie twist. I substituted the kidney beans for butter beans. There wasn't any particular science behind the substitution. It was partly because the hubby isn't too keen on kidney beans, and the other part - I didn't have any kidney beans in my food cupboard!

I have to say the butter beans were a great call! They worked really well in this chilli. Butter beans themselves are rich and creamy and add a lovely taste - a taste different to kidney beans. Whilst I love a conventional chilli con carne, I would definitely recommend cooking this version as an alternative.

Only taking around 30 minutes to prepare, I decided to cook this family meal up early afternoon and serve it to my little one as an after school snack. Both after school snack and family meal cooked in one go! Aaliyah loved it so much she had no issues eating some more for dinner.

Serves family of 3-4. Total preparation and cooking time: 30 mins.


  • 1 onion - peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick1 red bell pepper - washed, de-seeded, cubed
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt to taste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 300g (11oz) Quorn (meat-free) mince
  • 1 x 400g tinned Italian peeled plum tomatoes - roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 x 400g tin of butter beans (in water) - drainedweaning
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp hot paprika


Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add onions and a cinnamon stick. When the onion turns golden add the bell peppers and garlic and stir-fry for a further 5 minutes. Then add salt, cumin, cayenne pepper and quorn mince - cooking continuously breaking the mince with your spoon. As soon as the mince has browned, add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, butter beans, black pepper and paprika. Then fill the empty tomato tin 3/4 full with water and pour it into the frying pan. Stir and leave to simmer for 10-15 mins until the mince and beans are both tender. and the sauce thickens.

Serve warm with basmati rice or long grain rice and a dollop of Greek style yogurt, or guacamole.

For your toddler (12 months up)

If you are feeding this meal to your toddler you may want to cook the recipe following the method above but by excluding the salt, cayenne pepper and hot paprika. Then remove a serving for your little one and set aside. Add the remaining three seasonings into the main pot and stir. Cook together for 2-3 mins and serve.

Note: this chilli isn't overly hot for my taste buds (or my family's) but if you want to cool it down, I would recommend leaving out the cayenne pepper. Whilst the 'hot paprika' claims to be 'hot' - it really isn't.

Eating CCC

You can find more delicious kids meals and family meals in my weaning and family cookbook - Easy Indian SuperMeals for Babies, Toddlers and the Family. Available to buy now from Amazon. Prima Baby Awards 2015 - Silver Award-Winner! Best Family Cookbook

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