Step by Step Chilli

This vegetarian chilli recipe is so quick and easy, it’s not really cooking at all, and it’s hard to believe how healthy it is.  It’s a favourite in our house – super quick to make, and so filling.  You can serve it with rice (I prefer brown rice), but a bowl of it is quite substantial by itself for lunch or dinner. There’s no meat in it but you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy it.  The lentils and beans provide protein so you’re not missing out on this important nutrient, and there’s certainly no harm in having a couple of meat-free days every week.


The recipe is also packed with vegetables, providing up to 2 portions of veg per portion.  It’s also high in fibre, which is recommended by the FSAI to help prevent and manage constipation during pregnancy.


It’s suitable for during pregnancy, breastfeeding and for toddlers.  You can adjust the chilli strength to your family’s taste.  If you and your partner prefer spicy food, you could remove a portion for your toddler/children before adding more chilli powder for your own serving.




Vegetarian Chilli


Make 4-5 portions.  Cost per portion (based on 5 portions): €1.00


Suitable for freezing




  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin green lentils (Epicure is a good brand – available in most supermarkets.  They may also be called Bijoux Vert lentils)
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 pack green beans
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil


  1.  Chop the onion and place in a large saucepan with the oil.  Fry over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, crush or finely chop the garlic and add to the saucepan with the onion.
  2. Chop the red pepper and green beans (into ½ inch pieces) and add to the saucepan.
  3. Add in the chopped tomatoes and sugar.  Stir to combine the veg and tomatoes, then turn the heat up slightly and bring to a simmer with the lid off.  This means the tomatoes should be bubbling slightly.  Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Meanwhile, open the tin of lentils and tip into a sieve.  Rinse the lentils under the tap and allow to drain over a bowl.  Add to the saucepan and then repeat this with the kidney beans.
  5. Add in some chilli powder – as much or as little as you like.  It’s best to add small amounts at a time, mix well, then taste to check.  If you want a little more spice, add a little more chilli powder.
  6. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes with the lid off, stirring often.  The tinned lentils and kidney beans are already cooked so you really just need to allow then to heat with the sauce.
  7. Serve in bowls (with rice if desired).


Nutrition information per serving (based on 5 portions): 167 calories, 1.7g fat, 0.2g saturates, 11.5g protein, 10.7g fibre

High in Fibre, Beta-carotene.  Source of Vitamin C.

Kellie, Nutritionist

I'm a Registered Nutritionist with an honours degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Ulster in Coleraine. Originally from Armagh, I now live in Wicklow with my husband. We live on a big sheep farm so there is never a dull moment! Mum to 1 year old- Ellen. I love trying out new recipes so my pregnancy is giving me a whole new opportunity to experiment with recipes and make them even healthier. I hope you enjoy trying some of my recipes!

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