What’s not to love about this Gluten Free Vegetarian Chilli Bake? It’s easy, doesn’t take too long and is very, very filling. Delicious goes without saying! It’s yet another one of my cannot be bothered today meals. Huh, maybe I ought to turn that into a category – “Can’t Be Bothered Today Recipes”! What do y’all think? All there is to do in this recipe is cook the chilli (10 minutes), cook the starch of your choice, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Easy right?
Another good thing about this gluten free recipe? Its versatility.
How versatile is the Gluten Free Vegetarian Chilli Bake?
** Make it Vegan Chilli Bake
Or more precisely, Gluten Free Vegan Chilli Bake! Just loose the cheese. Baking it in the oven without the cheese topping gives you a lovely lightly crispy top that adds to the final flavour.
** Play with the Filling
You can use any vegetables you fancy, any beans you fancy, however many beans you fancy and of course, you can make it however hot or however mild you want it to be.
** My favourite vegetables for this:
Capsicums (bell peppers) any colour
Sundried tomatoes, along with the sundried tomato paste, add depth to the chilli. These are my “secret ingredients” in many tomato based dishes, and some not tomato based. If you get the tomatoes that are in jars soaking in oil, pat dry, then slice. If you get the dried ones, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes, then slice them up if you find that cutting them up dry is too fiddly. I just slice them and add them to the chilli while they’re dry.
Roasted vegetables: if you can be bothered and have the time, chop your vegetables up and roast them for 20 minutes in a hot oven (200˚C/400˚F). I love roasted vegetables in mine. One of my favourite shortcuts is this bag of frozen pregrilled vegetables you see below. They are very handy for when I am short on time or cooking something unplanned. I use them in stews, curries, dals, pies, quiches – endless possibilities! Take a look where you are to see if you can find anything similar.
I always have both the dried and the canned varieties. The dried ones are for preplanned recipes, when I know what I’m cooking the next day, so they get an overnight soaking. The canned varieties are very, very handy for quick and on the spur of the moment recipes.
Kidney beans , of course
Fava and many more
** Chillies and heat
When we cook chillies, vegetarian or not, we tend to drop a red habanero or scotch bonnet in, sometimes two. In the summer, when I grow crazy spicy chillies like Nagas or Scorpions, we even drop one of those in (instead of the habanero) for a very hot experience!
So you go with what you fancy. If you like it just a little hot, I suggest going for jalapeńos, if you want a little more kick, add a Thai type chilli. Mixing your chillies is pretty fun.
For this vegetarian chilli, I like to add some smoked chillies too, for added depth and a wonderful smoky taste and aroma. If you have access to them, add one or two chipotles (dried jalapeńo) or anchos. These chillies are now widely available in some of our bigger supermarkets here in the UK. I just cut up the dried chillies as they are, letting them soften as they cook in the chilli mix. However, the standard practice for using dried vegetables and like, is to soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes to soften, for better handling.
So a combination of fresh and dried smoky is best, if possible. If you can only get fresh, substitute the dried with a tsp of chilli powder, to get that deep smoky, almost bitter hint. Mild or hot chilli powder, your choice. You may even find smoked chilli powder, or just use smoked paprika.
In the recipe that I give you here, I’ll use potatoes as the starch, roughly about 1 medium – large potato per person. But there are so many other options too. I have previously used:
ordinary cooked rice, brown, white, wild or a mix
leftover risotto (a personal favourite)
corn tortillas, cut up
non wheat noodles like rice noodles, soba, dang myun, etc
So there you have it folks, all the different ways that you can make this recipe your own. Of course, you could always just make the chilli and serve it on the side with rice or tortillas! Do let me know if you make it, how you make it and what you thought of it by leaving a comment below.
If you fancy, you might want to check out my Chilli con Carne recipe.
Many thanks, catch you soon,
- 4 large potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium courgette (zucchini)
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
- 1 green capsicum
- 1 medium aubergine (eggplant)
- 2 - 5 red chillies, to taste
- 2 chipotle or 1 ancho
- 2 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes
- 200g red kidney beans
- 200g cannellini beans
- 3 heaped tbsp sundried tomato paste
- 4 sundried tomatoes in oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil and a little bit more for greasing
- small handful of fresh coriander
- 250g - 450g/half - 1lb cheddar cheese, grated, how much is up to you
- Heat half a pan of water to cook the potatoes. Add some salt.
- Scrub the potatoes clean and chop them up into bitesized pieces, about 2 inches or less.
- Cook the potatoes in the boiling water for 10-15 minutes until just done. Don't overcook, you don't want them to turn to mush.
- When done, drain and keep aside until the chilli is done.
- While the potatoes are cooking, halve the onion, then slice into rings.
- Slice the garlic.
- Cut up the rest of the vegetables into roughly the same size, about 2 inches. You could just the cut the carrots and courgettes in rings of about 1cm/half inch if it's easier.
- Heat the olive oil on medium high heat and sauté the onions and garlic for about 1 minute.
- Tip in all the vegetables and stir to coat with the olive oil.
- Next, add the chillies, chopped tomatoes, the beans, tomato paste, sundried tomatoes and cumin. Stir to mix thoroughly and bring to boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 - 15 minutes until the courgettes and aubergines are done.
- Preheat oven at this point to 180˚C/350˚F.
- Chop up the coriander.
- When the chilli is about done, with 2-3 minutes to go, lightly grease a large oven proof dish with some olive oil.
- Arrange the cooked potatoes all around the base of your dish.
- Take the chilli off the heat, stir in the chopped coriander and top the potatoes with this chilli, going for an even spread.
- Sprinkle the grated cheddar all over the chilli and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes until the cheese is all melted and brown.
- If not using cheese, do the same, bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes until you have a slightly crispy top.
- All you need with this is a green salad which in my books, is always need to balance the chilli heat.
If using pre grilled vegetables, add them after the chopped tomatoes have had a chance to cook and reduce slightly for 10 minutes. Heat the vegetables through for 5 minutes and you're done.