Chili Sin Carne

Chili Sin Carne

What is Chili Sin Carne?

It is quite the feat when we see plants begin to conquer the space of the Con Carne signature entree. Meet chills-sin carne a humble stew with bold beginnings.  

Chili-sin carne literally translates to chills with no meat.  That’s the way we like to keep things around here! 

So what, you may ask, is the secret ingredient of this non-carne  chilli dish?

Flavor, spice,  protein, and a promise for goodness not pumped with animal origin products.  

mixed beans in dish
Beans a core ingredient for plant based gluten free chili
mixed yellow red and orange bell peppers

Is Vegan Chili Good For You?

There’s plenty of reasons to eat plant-based chili in place of all that con-carne hype. Here’s a few. 

  • Beans are cool. And dirt cheap. They also come out of dirt. Not from an animal.  And this can be really awesome if you’re friends with anyone with a face (like me). 
  • You can cut some calories while still getting in a protein packed dish!
  • You need some Iron! Iron deficiency anemia occurs in about 10% of American citizens.  Kick your chances of developing this deficiency by indulging  a bowl of this chili! 
  • Lower saturated fat than its con-carne competitive, this plant-based chili is a real advocate in reducing risks for heart disease, obesity, and type II diabetes. 
  • Plant based chili is an AWESOME way to use up all those veggies about to go bad in the fridge in a savory way! Chop chop and toss to prevent food waste.
create the perfect chili sin carne

Why do They Call Chili Chili?

When you become a vegan, sometimes you just get used to things not making sense.  

Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a shock we call this festive dish “chili” when in fact it is not cool at all but rather piping hot if all things go according to plan! 

It appears that the origin of chili may come from Texas, or settlers in the west. Some sources even state that chili Is popular amongst the original  cowboys of Texas. 

Origins of the term chili are associated with the term “con carne” meaning “meat.” I don’t know about all that- but I’m changing the rules of chili- right here. right now!

And since it appears there are no official rules of “chili” I’m going to go ahead and call myself a cowboy- with or without the con-carne in my bowl! 

What is the Best Secret Ingredient for Chili?

Personally, I use heat and a perfect combination of spices to create this non-carne chili recipe. 

Using a crock pot to create chili really allows the spices and veggies to marinate together and create the perfect flavor and texture blend. 

I personally believe the key secret ingredient in this recipe is Cholula hot sauce. 

I don’t know what it is about this stuff but it’s really the shit! I’ve accidentally forgotten it a few times, and my chili life really is just left lacking!

I have experimented with other combinations including adding Mexican chocolate and oregano to dish! These are bomb variations to 

The hardest part in sin carne chili for me is actually the fact that I can’t load it with cheese and sour cream!  This nooch sauce can really help with that! 

What are the best secret chili ingredients?

What can I put in Chili Instead of meat?

This particular plant based chili is loaded with nothing but beans, veggies and spices. However, there are many other ways to include protein in this dish.  For example you may use 

I want to note that I have NOT added a meat substitute to this dish.  I find the flavors more elaborate without it. However, it is easy enough to add a meat alternative and will bolster up the protein content even further. It is also NOT necessary!

Adding a soy based product or bulgar adds a complete protein to your dish.  However, if this dish is topped with chips or includes a side of corn bread, you will still have complimentary proteins in the entree. 

This means having soy based product which includes all 9 essential amino acids is not critical to include int he crock pot.  

Adding a soy-based protein to this vegetarian gluten free chili can also create a more “meaty” texture, for those of your still a little attached to the traditional dish!

How Long can Vegan gluten free chili Last in the Fridge?

Typically this concoction is god to go for about 4 days refrigerated.  In that time, I enjoy a little of my own experimentation with the leftovers! Plant-based chili quickly evolves into 

  • Chili omelette 
  • Quasadilla
  • Loaded Nachos
  •  Chili Mac
  • Chili Burritos 
  • Loaded baked potato 
  • Chili Joe’s (sloppy joe)

You can also freeze this plant-based treat for a quick and easy grab and go!  

This chili is an awesome easy to prep and cost savvy dish.  It stores well and has many versatile future functions as you can see! Do you have any multi-use chili hacks I have yet to sink my teeth into? If so please share!

spices in bowl
Chives and garlic on cutting board
Chives and Garlic

Does Vegan Chili Taste as Good as Chili Con Carne?

In my humble opinion, absolutely! I would choose this plant based chili over any con-carne chili, even if I did partake in beef on occasion. 

The flavors in Chili sin carne are not overloaded with the con-carne afterthought.  In too many dishes, meat is the forefront and all else goes to the wayside. 

This vegan chili allows flavors to really marinate!  Is there any preference you have for your vegan chili?  Any crazy ingredient  that you think would make this recipe even more stellar? Drop your ideas in the comments below! 

Print Recipe
2 from 1 vote

Chili Sin Carne

Plant based chili combining spices and produce for a powerful flavor.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Chili sin carne, Plant based Chili, Vegan Chili, Vegetarian Chili
Servings: 8 People
Calories: 340kcal
Cost: $10


  • Crock Pot


  • 2 cans Tomato sauce
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 cup Green onions chopped
  • 1 whole Jalapeno chopped
  • 1 whole Red bell pepper chopped
  • 1c whole Yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 1 whole orange bell pepper chopped
  • 1 can Red kidney beans 150z
  • 2 cans Black beans 15oz
  • 1 cup Corn frozen/canned/or fresh
  • ½ Cup Cholula Hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper


  • Add all ingredients to crock pot. Mix together.
  • Cook on low heat for 7-8 hours (the longer it is cooked the thicker the sauce will get and more savory the flavors).
  • Top with cilantro, chips, vegan sour cream and cheese if desired



Serving Size: 1.5 cups Protein 20.6g Fat 6.2g Carbohydrate: 60.2g
*calorie content does not include toppings. 
create the perfect chili sin carne
Crock Pot Vegan Chili

Shena Jaramillo. Registered Dietitian

Hi I'm Shena. I'm an eating disorders dietitian in Washington state. I hold bachelors degrees nutrition & dietetics, cultural anthropology & psychology. I believe in honoring your hunger, having your cake whenever you want it, and that critically analyzing diet culture can change the world!

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