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Chilli Tips - Make it Veggie, Vegan, or Classic


Recipe Name:  Chilli Tips - Make it Veggie, Vegan, or Classic


Meal Type: Dinner
Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook time: 40 Minutes

Servings: Depends on how hungry you are!

Chilli is a recipe that I turn to again and again. It is cheap to make, great as a slow cook, just as delicious as leftovers, and is a base for many meal variations. I use mine as a 'straight' chilli, in enchilada, served in tacos, or piled on a comforting jacket spud at work for lunch. I make a kid friendly vegetarian version for my non meat eating kids and they gobble it up in enchilada, which helps me use up any wraps left over if I have stocked up too much for packed lunches. I also keep wraps in the freezer as they take no time to defrost, so this is good for those 'scratchy head', 'what on earth do I cook for them today?' moments!

This recipe is the perfect fit for freezing, making vegan, and slow cooking. 


  • Vege/Vegan - for a big meal 3 tins of beans, mix it up! Kidney and black eyed (rinsed)
  • Meat - A good mince, and 1-2 tins of beans (as above)
  • A good stock - I use Kallo 
  • 2 Tins of the best chopped tomatoes that you can afford
  • A generous squeeze of tomato puree
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of a good cocoa powder, nothing sweet! or..
  • A few squares of 80% or more dark bitter chocolate (I would use this for dinner parties, cocoa for everyday)
  • A teaspoon of Cumin Seeds
  • Smoked paprika, 1/2 - 1 Tsp (for me less is more, or not at all! But it is 'authentic') 
  • A Cinnamon stick, or around 1/2 a teaspoon of powder, careful it can get too sweet
  • Two finely chopped brown onions
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 2 Birdseye dried chilli, or chilli powder (leave out if making for the kids)
  • For the kids - tinned sweetcorn, adds bite, vegetable content, and a pop of colour!
  • Salt and Pepper to taste ( ease off for kids version )
  • To dress - Fresh coriander, soured cream (Vegan recipe below) and fresh chopped chilli, I also like a squeeze of lemon and goats cheese! Make it your own!

Vegan Soured Cream to top it off? Just whizz these ingredients up! 

  • Soaked Cashews
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • A dash of white vinegar
  • Some good seasalt to taste


1. In a hot pan with a little oil toast your cumin seeds, careful not to burn, they will be bitter. Soften your chopped onions, with the salt (helps the softening process), the cinnamon, start on the hob, move to the oven. If you are wanting the V option move onto stage 3.

2. Then add your meat, coated in the chilli powder or whole chilli, paprika, and cocoa (leave out chilli for kid friendly) - let this brown in the roasting oven, taking out (close the door!) to stir occasionally, once brown move onto stage 4.

3. If you are Vegetarian/Vegan, stir in the chilli powder or whole chilli, paprika, and cocoa, add your drained and rinsed beans ( & sweetcorn for the kids ), and let them cook through for a few mins in the oven.

4. Now add your stock to the hot pan, then quickly after the tomatoes and puree, salt and pepper, and then let it bubble away happily in the simmering oven until thickened and rich. Keep and eye and lift from the oven to stir occasionally. Although if it does catch on the bottom, this is no bad thing as it can add to the richness. If it thickens too much, just add water! 

4. Serve as you wish, here is Sarah's Whitaker's recipe for rice! Her 'Confident Aga Cooking' book is full of great tips like this!

Rice - 

  • Long grain rice, enough to fill up to the 300ml mark in a measuring jug, feeds 4 (rinsed)
  • ¾ pint / 450ml of water

Method - 

pop you rinsed rice into the water and bring to the boil in a pan that you can move to your oven, cover and transfer to the simmering oven. It should be cooked through after 12-15 mins, when all of the water is absorbed. Do not be tempted to stir. 

To make Enchilada - 

Take your chilli base, and place around 2 tbsp in the centre of a tortilla wrap with cheese if you wish. Wrap, folding in the ends as tightly as you can. Place a layer of your sauce, padded out with passata if you need, along the base of a tray. put your wrap on this, repeat until you have a tight row of parcels. Cover in more of your mix and cheese. Grill/ cook until a little crunchy and brown on the top and edges. Serve with soured cream, coriander and chopped fresh chilli. 

Let me know if you enjoy it! Katy x


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