Great Meals for a Change

A fun way to taste, talk and learn about sustainable food

Hearty Chilli Vegan Gluten Free

Makes: 8-10 servings

Spicy chilli filled with beans, meat, squash, corn and mushrooms to keep you warm and moving throughout the day.


  • 1 lb dried beans (any combination of kidney, pinto, black, etc)
  • 2-3 lbs ground meat (local/antibiotic-free beef or wild game)
    (substitute with addition 1 lb dried beans for vegan version)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated or very finely chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash or turnip (or combination), peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 3-4 carrots, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 2 tbsp chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 to 3 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp honey or molasses (vegan option)
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  • fresh chili peppers (optional)


  • Soak dried beans overnight. Cook in a pot of water until they are tender then drain.
  • In a large Dutch oven or thick-bottomed pot, heat the oil. Add the onions, ground beef (if using) and garlic and cook over high heat, stirring, until onions are slightly softened or beef is cooked (3-5 minutes). Add the squash/turnip, carrots and chili pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cumin and season with salt. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, honey, mushrooms, corn and beans and bring to a boil. If the chili is too thick, add water as needed and stir it in well.
  • Cover the pan partially and let the chili simmer over a moderate heat until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until ready to serve. Season with salt. Serve with corn bread.
  • Slow cooker version:
  • Brown ground beef with onions and garlic in a large frying pan.
  • Add beef mixture and all other ingredients (except mushrooms and corn) to a large slow cooker. Cook on low for about 8 hours. During the last hour, add mushrooms and corn.
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