Chilli Non Carne

Average: 3.6 (21 votes)

This Martin Shaw recipe is a Viva! classic - it's been fed to tens of thousands of people at Viva!'s Incredible Veggie Roadshows and ticks all the boxes: cheap, easy, freezes well and is enjoyed by meat eaters and veggies alike! The original recipe uses frozen veggie mince, widely available. Make it mild for kids/chilli-haters by using just a small amount of mild chilli powder and serving hot pepper sauce on the side for heat-lovers. Budget options: use dried savoury TVP (soya mince) and/or cooked whole lentils.

Serving suggestions

  • Guacamole - mash up 1-2 ripe avocadoes with a little salt, a little crushed garlic and a squeeze or two of lime or lemon juice - taste as you go! A little chopped chilli; chopped tomato; fresh chopped coriander also good... Or try our Pea Guacamole recipe!
  • Brown or white rice; quinoa; tortillas or wraps
  • Tomato salsa, from a jar, chilled tub or home-made


  • Omit veggie mince and use a tin of lentils/beans (approximately 250g drained)
  • Replace wheat tortillas with Warburton's GF wraps or a similar GF and vegan product


  • Use lentils/beans, as with GF option


  • Omit peanut butter


  • Replace oil with oil spray or use 1 teaspoon oil only
  • Omit peanut butter - but remove about a small ladle's worth of chilli from the pan, blend it then return to pan - this will thicken it and make it a bit more creamy
  • Replace frozen veggie mince with dried veggie mince or lentils/beans
  • Omit guacamole - replace with our Pea Guacamole recipe: low-fat, protein-rich and budget


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium courgette, chopped in half lengthways, then sliced
  • 100g/4oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 225g/8oz veggie mince (eg Fry's,Linda McCartney or supermarket own-brands in the freezer - not Quorn as it's not vegan. See note above about alternatives)
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp vegan bouillon powder OR 1 Green Oxo
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp paprika OR smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter - magic ingredient. Try it. Really. Other nut butters are good too, eg cashew or almond
  • 100g/4oz sweetcorn, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tin (100-120g cooked) of beans: kidney beans or pinto
  • Salt if required (bouillon/stock cubes are quite salty)

Plus any of the serving options above


1. Fry onion and red pepper in oil until soft.

2. Add garlic, courgette and mushrooms and cook till mushrooms are golden brown.

3. If using veggie mince option, add it now plus the spices and fry 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. (If mixture sticks, add some of tinned tomato juice.)

4. Add peanut butter and stir until it has melted in. Add the tinned tomatoes, stock cube/bouillon and tomato purée, stir well and simmer for 10 minutes over a low heat.

5. Add lentils (if using instead of veggie mince) plus sweetcorn and kidney beans to chilli and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

6. Serve hot with options of your choice.


A bit lacking in complexity and strength of flavour for me. I added some ground cloves and more cumin and paprika

Good idea - we always encourage people to make recipes their own! I like allspice for a bit of depth of flavour too.

I always add green beans and an entire tin of kidney beans. I don't add the mince, courgette or sweet corn.
I'd like to know, if you could tell me how much calories a serving has?!

Re the different veg you use, that's up to you but the recipe is a good way of getting several servings of different vegetables and protein sources in one dish. However, if you don't like veggiemince, try using whole cooked lentils or home-made seitan chopped into chunks. Both of these should be added nearer the end of cooking to retain their texture.


No idea about calories but it's pretty low-fat and you could reduce the oil to virtually nothing if you use oil spray. It's also full of good fibre and nutrients in the form of the veggies and pulses.

Can I use lentils and veggie mince together instead of either? Love lentils and veggie mince.

Of  course you can use a combo of lentils and veggie mince! It's your dinner ;o) Seriously, it's brilliant to experiment and make it your own. But whole, pre-cooked lentils (on the stove or tinned) are best. Enjoy!


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