vegan chilli

Sweet Potato, Lentil and Bean Chilli

This is a great chilli recipe for those who don’t like eating fake meat, or who want to get more beans and lentils into their diet. It is modelled very much on the chilli recipe from my book Going Vegan, but with a few variations. For example, there is no coffee in this one but still the rich depth of flavour provided by dark chocolate.

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I’ve used canned black beans and red kidney beans in this recipe, as well as a carton of cooked green lentils in place of vegan mince, so it is as wholesome as you could want a chilli to be without sacrificing any flavour. I’ve also incorporated sweet potato, diced small enough to be barely visible in the final dish. You can get everything you need for this recipe from your local supermarket, even the liquid smoke, which is available from Tesco. If you don’t shop at Tesco, then you can get it online easily enough and I do strongly suggest keeping a bottle in your store cupboard for use in a variety of dishes. I personally make sure I’m never without it. You can make this chilli without the liquid smoke if you’d prefer, but it does add a smoky flavour that is difficult to achieve any other way.

The recipe makes 4-6 portions, depending on how much you eat. Even if there are just one or two of you I would recommend making the full amount if you have freezer or fridge space to store it. It’ll keep happily up to five days in the fridge and you can store it in portion sizes in the freezer for 3-4 months, so you can pull some out and heat it up whenever you want to.


vegan chilli

Sweet Potato, Lentil and Bean Chilli

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Servings 4



  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato diced quite small
  • 2 small or one medium red onions diced
  • 1 yellow pepper diced
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 3 tsp chipotle chilli powder medium strength
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp jerk seasoning
  • 1 can black beans drained
  • 1 can red kidney beans drained
  • 1 carton/can green lentils drained
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can water
  • 100 g 1/2 tube tomato puree
  • 100 g dark chocolate minimum 70% cocoa solids
  • A handful of fresh parsley chopped
  • 3 tbsp liquid smoke

To Top:

  • 2-3 green chillies sliced (optional)
  • A handful of parsley or coriander roughly chopped (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a medium to large saucepan. Gently cook the sweet potato for about 7-8 minutes, until it softens slightly and begins to brown. Now add the onions and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring often.
  • Once the vegetables have softened, put in the chopped garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Keep it moving to prevent burning. Add the paprika, chilli powder, cumin, salt and jerk seasoning and stir through for about a minute, until the spices release their flavour.
  • Now add the black beans, kidney beans and lentils and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes, until you have a delicious, thick chilli sauce. Top with the sliced green chillies and coriander, if using, and serve with rice or flatbread.
Keyword chilli, gluten free, lentils, sweet potato, vegan
vegan chilli

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