Cauliflower Chilli Con Carne

Cauliflower Chilli Con Carne is a delicious veggie chilli con carne which uses cauliflower and lentils in place of meat or a meat substitute such as Quorn mince. It was made in a slow cooker which helps cook the vegetables and lentils to perfection. 

With the over indulgence of Easter now behind us (although it was a lot of tasty fun while it lasted!), I thought I would go with a healthy cake free recipe for a change this week. 

Furthermore, I was looking through my fridge and cupboard for some meal time inspiration, to find something to combat all of the cakes and chocolates I have eaten over the last couple of weeks while the boys were off school. I found a cauliflower and some peppers in my fridge, and some kidney beans and tinned tomatoes in my cupboard, and I remembered seeing a video on Facebook a while ago showing a bolognese made from cauliflower in place of the meat. Then I had  a *lightbulb moment*. Could I make a veggie chilli con carne and use a cauliflower in place of the meat/Quorn mince? 

So I thought I would give it a go. Therefore, I blitzed my cauliflower into ‘rice’ with my food processor, and made the chilli sauce as I would if I were using meat or quorn mince. Next, I added a few lentils because I know that cauliflower rice can contain some moisture, which I thought the lentils would soak up. Finally, I transferred the meal to my slow cooker to allow the cauliflower and peppers to cook slowly and thoroughly.

Video of the Recipe

You can see a video of how I made this Cauliflower Chilli Con Carne here

Honestly, this tasted delicious and to be honest the cauliflower had a similar texture to Quorn mince, and looking at the colour of the dish I think it looks like it contains meat! However, the real test would be how it tasted.

Therefore, I served it with some rice like a regular chilli.

Finally, I topped it with some sour cream and a little grated cheese, to combat the spiciness.

Ultimately, I was really pleasantly surprised by how tasty and filing this cauliflower chilli con carne is. It tasted really delicious and almost meaty, which I know sounds strange considering this is 100% meat free.

The great thing about Cauliflower Chilli Con Carne is……

Not only is this meal cheap to make but it is packed full of veggie goodness and nutrition too. It also packs a punch with flavour, because of all the lovely spices I added.  I will be making this again for sure. Of course, now I am thinking about other dishes I can make by replacing meat with cauliflower rice, so watch this space! However, I will need to convince my family that meat free chilli is the way forward first!

Cauliflower Chilli Con Carne
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 cauliflower , blitzed into rice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 peppers, diced
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 500ml jar of passata
  • 1 tin of kidney beans
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garlic puree
  • 2 tbsp dried red lentils
  • ¾ of the tinned tomatoes tin filled with water
  1. Sauté the onion in the oil over a low heat for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened
  2. Add the cauliflower rice and cook for a few minutes
  3. Add the spices and garlic and stir well
  4. Add the peppers, tinned tomatoes, passata, water and kidney beans and mix well
  5. Transfer to your slow cooker
  6. Add the lentils and stir
  7. Cover with the lid and cook on low for about 7 hours, until the lentils are soft.


Incidentally, I am linking up to

Hijacked By Twins

Hosted this week by Jacqueline

Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes

Also linking to Lucy’s Slow Cooker Challenge

12 comments / Add your comment below

    1. Thank you Mandy. well, they tried a bit of mine and each pulled a face. I think it might have been a tad too spicy as I didn’t tell them it was not meat, which is why they tried it as they would never have attempted it if I said it was cauliflower and lentils lol. It looks like it contains meat doesn’t it? And the cauliflower has similar texture to Quorn mince, so you never know we might get there with our kids one day x

  1. It looks wonderful and it’s great to see cauliflower rice used in a dish and not just as the side dish in place of the rice. It sound lovely and easy too and I’m quite tempted to get my slow cooker out to make it as we definitely need a few more healthy days now!

    1. Thank you Corina, it was nice to eat cauliflower as the main and serve it with rice, rather than the other way round . Please ket me know if you make it and what you thought of it x

  2. Wow you have me thinking now too. I keep meaning to make more vegetarian meals but I have never been a fan of meat substitutes like Quorn mince. Making it in a slow cooker is a great idea too gives plenty of time for all those lovely flavours to blend. I’m pinning and will definitely give this a go

    1. I have a few ideas tucked up my sleeve lol
      the real test will be getting my carnivore OH to try it ! So far I have been ploughing my way through it lol x

  3. Your chilli looks really substantial and meaty Jenny! I love cauliflower but for some reason am not a huge fan of cauliflower rice (I think I like rice as a side too much to make a swap ) so it’s great to see it used in this lovely, sauce rich stew. And it’s so good for you too! One to cook for sure! 🙂

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