Vegetarian Chili With Meat Substitute (Dried Soya Chunks) | Girls Mag

Vegetarian Chili With Meat Substitute (Dried Soya Chunks)

Vegetarian chili is a simple but great go-to meal for many people. It can be taken as an individual single meal, especially in cold weather to give your body (and stomach) a touch of warmth.  The meal can also be taken as a protein addition to other starchy mains. For example, you can have it in your quesadilla or burritos. You may also have it as a dip for your dry crunchy snacks such as crackers and tortilla chips. Adding a meat substitute to your vegetarian chili adds a touch of flavor to it, and makes it an appealing meal for even non vegetarian persons.

But first, here’s why you should definitely add vegetarian chili with meat substitute to your preparation:

  • It adds a rich meaty feel to your meal. This way, it appeals to vegan, vegetarian, and carnivore eaters
  • It adds to the bulk of your meal. Taking it is therefore more filling and satisfying.
  • It Increases nutrition value and adds variety to the nutrient source. A substitute on its own has its individual nutrients. Adding it to the meal brings in additional nutritive value. More specifically, it adds extra protein to the dish.
  • It adds more flavor. Most substitutes for meat are tasty. Adding them to the meal adds more flavoring to the already savory dish.

Dried soya chunks and crunchies are the most common substitutes for ground meat.  This recipe shows you how to use them in your vegetarian chili. 

Some common brands that you could use are Jalpur and Nutriel, both of which are 100% vegan.  You can find the brands in a local shop near you, or make a purchase online. Here are other few things you could use as meat substitutes 

Required Ingredients

    • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil of your choice)

    •  ¼ cup celery (chopped)

    • ¼ cup carrots (diced)

    • 2 medium-sized red onions (diced)

    • 2 garlic cloves (ground or grated)

    • 1 can red kidney beans and 1 can of black beans (both small)

    • Cilantro (finely chopped)

    • 2 packs 500g dried soya chunks

    • ½ red and ½ green bell peppers

    • 1 tbsp. ground chili pepper 

    • ½ tsp paprika

    • 1 tsp cumin seeds (ground)

    • 1 can fresh tomatoes

    • 2 cups water

    • 1 tbsp. salt

    • 1 tbsp. tomato paste

Pre-preparation Steps

    • Gather ingredients together.

    • Wash, cut and, grind ingredients as necessary.

    • Mix the ground chili pepper, cumin seeds, and paprika together.


  • Put two tbsp. olive oil into a large pot
  • Add the dried soya chunks and fry until golden brown. Remove from the pot and set aside in a bowl.
  • Add 2 tbsp. olive oil into the pot again. Add onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and bell peppers, in that order. Cook for five minutes or until they are well cooked.
  • Add the fresh tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Once cooked, add the canned kidney beans followed by black beans. Stir thoroughly until well mixed. Add 1 cup of water. Stir then cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the fried soya chunks into the mixture. Stir to mix then add the remaining cup of water and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  • Add salt, and the mixed spices (ground chili pepper, cumin seeds, and paprika). Stir and cook for five minutes. Check and adjust seasoning as required.
  • Once cooked, take about ¼ of the prepared vegetable chili and blend using a food processor or blender. Add the blended mixture back into the cooking pot. This step gives the food a thick porridge-like consistency while maintaining the solid-like feel at the same time.
  • Add the chopped cilantro to the season. Click here to see how vegetarian chili can help you burn some fats.


Adding dried soya chunks as a meat substitute to your vegetable chili is the perfect way to add bulk, flavor, and nutrition to it while still keeping it vegetarian. Remember the recipe is not rigid and written in stone. Try to play around with your favorite spices and amounts until you find the perfect fit for you. For example, you may add ground black pepper or bay leaves. Also, consider portioning the meal into several different portions and refrigerating. You may eat your portions on different days, in different ways, and with different toppings. Some of the toppings you could use include sliced avocados, cheese, and crackers.