Aubergine mushroom and lentil chilli – a warming, smoky, spicy vegan chilli that is pure comfort food on a cold night!
If you’re looking for a recipe that will make you feel all warm and cosy (and aren’t we all in need of that right now) but full of goodness, then stop looking!
This chilli is packed full of lentils, beans and veggies. It’s delicious and good for you!
the perfect meat free chilli recipe
I’m a big chilli fan and I can eat lots of this. I first made this recipe last March and it’s become one of my favourite recipes – and that’s saying something as I’m not normally a huge fan of aubergine (although I do love it in this roasted ratatouille quiche.)
I’ve got to say, as a meat eater, I don’t miss the meat in this chilli one little bit. It’s hearty, chunky and full of flavour.
In fact, I think I actually prefer this to a meat chilli. I am also a big fan of this sweet potato and black bean chilli.
ingredient list for vegan aubergine chilli
I know the list of ingredients seems long, but it isn’t really – it’s just all the spices that make it seem that way. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Oil to fry the onions and garlic. You can use olive oil, a flavourless cooking oil such as sunflower or vegetable, or coconut oil.
- Aubergine/Eggplant. You will need one medium aubergine, cut into medium-sized chunks.
- mushrooms. You can use any type of mushroom in this recipe. I usually go for chestnut mushrooms or closed cup mushrooms.
- red bell pepper, deseeded in cut into chunks.
- onions (red or brown) and garlic. If you’re out of fresh garlic, jarred garlic paste is a good shortcut.
- I use dried chipotle chillies in this chilli. A chipotle chilli is a dried, smoked jalapeño. They have a rich, smoky flavour and a medium heat. You can also buy dried chipotle chilli flakes which work well in this recipe. I also use them in my classic beef chilli con carne recipe I posted a few years back.
- Many supermarkets stock chipotle chillies now, but if you can’t get them, you can just use normal chilli powder instead
- dried spices – oregano, smoked paprika, cumin coriander and a cinnamon stick.
- tomato puree and a tin of chopped tomatoes
- Lentils. I use a can of green lentils as well as a handful of dried red lentils in this dish. The lentils add bulk to the chilli and add great texture.
- vegetable stock – I use a cube or stock pot. I like the Kallo organic brand.
- A squeeze of fresh lime juice just before serving the chilli adds a lovely zing and brings out the flavours of the spices.
how to make it
Step one: Heat some oil in a large non stick pan. Add the onions, sprinkle over a little salt and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, or until they have softened but not coloured.
Step two: Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Add all of the spices and the tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Step three: Add the aubergine, red pepper, lentils, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and salt. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop on a lid and simmer gently on a low heat for about 40-45 minutes, stirring every now and again.
Step five: After 40 minutes, add the mushrooms to the pan, then continue to cook for a further 20-25 minutes. If you added the mushrooms at the beginning of cooking time, they would overcook and turn mushy.
serving suggestions for vegan chilli
This aubergine chilli is perfect with:
- chunky Guacamole, or sliced avocado
- tortilla chips
- plant based sour cream and grated cheese
- Basmati rice
- sweet potato wedges or fries
- a sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves
- Serve in taco shells for vegan tacos!
Leftover chilli should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat in a saucepan over a low-medium heat until piping hot.
can i make aubergine chilli in advance?
Yes – in fact, it’s much better if you can make it ahead of time. The flavours in the chilli will develop overnight, giving them a chance to mingle and get to know each other.
Transfer the cooled chilli in airtight freezer-safe containers or medium freezer bags. Freeze for up to three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
did you make this reciPe?
I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you thought of it by leaving a comment below and rate the recipe by clicking on the stars in the recipe card.
If you’ve recently switched to a vegetarian/vegan diet, doing veganuary and looking for inspiration or you just love a decent chilli – I highly recommend you give this recipe a go. If you make it, let me know what you thought by leaving a comment below or you can contact me via my Facebook or Instagram.
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- One tablespoon cooking oil, such as vegetable, sunflower, olive or coconut
- One large onion, diced
- Two cloves garlic, crushed
- One dried chipotle chilli OR 1/2-1 teaspoon chilli powder, soaked in just boiled water for 10-15 to rehydrate then chopped very finely OR 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder, depending on your chilli tolerance level!
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
- One medium aubergine, chopped into 3-4cm dice
- 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 390g can green lentils, rinsed well
- 30 g red lentils, rinsed well
- One small tin of kidney beans, roughly 200g
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- 400 ml vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 125 g mushrooms, halved
- Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions have softened.
- Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, stirring. Stir in the ground cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander, chilli powder or soaked and chopped chipotle chilli, dried oregano, black pepper and the cinnamon stick. Stir for a couple of minutes to release the fragrance of the spices.
- Add the diced aubergine, red pepper, lentils, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, vegetable stock and salt.
- Stir to combine, then pop on a lid and gently simmer on a low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Add the mushrooms in the last 30 minutes of cooking time. Once you’re ready to eat, taste the chilli to check if you want to add any extra salt or pepper.
- Serve over rice or potato wedges and the usual accompaniments if you like – I love it with sweet potato wedges, grated cheese, sour cream (or plant based alternatives) and sliced avocado.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 499Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 1265mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 17gSugar: 13gProtein: 29g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.