Vegetarian chili

This recipe arose from my love of spicy food and Mexican flavours and desire to have some delicious meals without meat. I’m not a vegetarian, but I like to have one or two “veggie days” a week. Partly for health reasons, partly because there’s so many tasty vegetarian dishes out there that it would be a shame not too. It’s simple to make and having spices on hand means you can create a dish with lots of flavour without relying to on salt – found heavily in store-bought taco seasoning. This is my base, but I normally adjust it with a teaspoon or two or spices here and there, so taste before serving.


  • 1 can beans (red kidney, white, mixed etc), drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed or dried chilli
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 capsicum, diced 1 onion, diced
  • salt to taste


  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels

Over medium-high heat fry onion and capsicum (and zucchini if including) in an oiled large pan until tender. Add garlic and spices and fry for one minute.

Add all other ingredients and simmer covered for 15 minutes or more, stirring occasionally. Remove lid. Taste and add more cayenne pepper to reach the heat level you desire. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes to allow liquid to reduce a little. Taste and season with salt as needed.

Serve over corn chips or rice, with your favourite nacho toppings. I like grated cheese (melted with a quick zap in the microwave) and Greek yogurt or mashed avocado.


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