Search Cool of the Wild Start typing...

Vegan Camp Food: Mushroom and Aubergine Chilli Recipe

Vegan camp chili

Sometimes, cooking vegan food can seem daunting, especially if you are new to including more vegan meals in your diet. Getting the flavours and cooking techniques right can seem like the least of your worries when there’s nutritional value and unfamiliar ingredients to contend with. So you can forget about vegan camp food, right? Wrong! Choose the right recipes, and vegan camping food can actually be easier and more convenient than cooking vegetarian camping food or meaty meals.

This vegan camp chilli recipe is the perfect example of how vegan camping food can be a preferable option that is just as tasty (if not more so) than a chilli con carne. Plus, camping just isn’t camping without a big one-pot chilli for your family to tuck into round the campfire.

So if it’s a hearty, simple, healthy but delicious camp meal you’re after, then gather up your veggies and tuck in!

Chili in bowl and pot

5 reasons why vegan camp chilli should be on your camping menu

Vegan chilli is a staple meal in our household. We always cook double to have leftovers the next day, which always seem to be even more yummy! And on the days when we’re needing a little extra protein we turn it into a vegetarian chilli and top it with real cheese.

When it comes to camping trips, making vegan chilli is a no-brainer, especially when camping with a group. Here’s why we think it should be on the menu of every camper:


You don’t need to be particularly skilled at cooking to make vegan camp chilli a success. So long as you don’t burn it and are patient enough to let the simmering juices work their magic on the ingredients, then very little can go wrong. It also doesn’t need much preparation – just some chopping. Plus, you don’t need to do anything ahead of time or at home before you go camping.

02Great for a group

The below recipe serves 4. But if you have a larger pot, or two pots, then you can easily double it to feed more mouths. It’s also not fiddly to serve. Just slop it into a bowl and serve with your favourite side: a big pot of rice or hunks of bread are easiest for groups.

03Ingredients keep for ages

So long as the fresh veggies are kept out of the heat, they will last for up to 5 days without needing refrigeration or storing in a cooler. That means that at the end of your camping trip you don’t have to settle for a bland pasta dish that no-one really wants.


The beauty of camping chilli is that it goes with so many sides. Cook potatoes or sweet potatoes in the campfire and dollop your chilli on top. Serve with rice, mop it up with campfire bread, cover your corn chips in it to make nachos, or serve with polenta for a super easy option. Plus, if you have leftovers then it makes one heck of a breakfast burrito the next day!


The ingredients needed to make vegan camp chilli are all inexpensive. Depending on where you live, the aubergine is probably the most pricey, and even that just doesn’t come close to the price of meat.

05Nutritious and healthy

Lastly, vegan chilli is an excellent source of nutrition. You’ll get a load of vitamins and minerals from the veggies, protein from the beans and you’ll also gain some immunity boosting benefits from the herbs and spices. Serve with a protein rich carbohydrate like rice or quinoa, and you’ve got yourself a balanced and healthy camping meal.

Eco friendly camping gifts

How to cook vegan chilli: video

Mushroom and Aubergine Chilli Recipe

A hearty vegan camping meal with a meaty texture that feels as filling as it is!

Bowl of vegan chili

Serves 4


  • ½ a red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 thumb of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 medium aubergine, cubed
  • 10 button mushrooms, diced
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • Vegan cheese / sour cream or cheddar cheese (optional)


  1. Add a splash of oil to a large saucepan, allow to heat then add the chilli, ginger and spring onions. Cook gently on a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the spices to the pan, stir and add a splash of water to create a paste.
  3. Stir in the aubergines and add a cup of boiling water with the stock cube dissolved into it.
  4. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer on a medium heat for 5 mins.
  5. Add the mushrooms to the pan, and splash of red wine if you happen to have some to hand! (optional). Stir and leave to cook for another 5 mins.
  6. Add the canned beans and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and leave to simmer without the lid until the liquid has reduced slightly, around 10 mins.
  7. Top with vegan cheese, or sour cream / cheese for the vegetarian option.
  8. Serve with rice, polenta or warmed pita bread.

TOP TIP: If you are cooking this at the end of your camping trip, consider using tinned mushrooms instead of fresh mushrooms so that you don’t need to worry about them spoiling.

About the author


Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

Open Menu