Chilli was probably the first meal I learnt to cook from scratch and really “perfected” (there’s always room for improvement, but my chilli is pretty damn good I’ll be honest) and it’s still my favourite home cooked meal. 🌶️
It started with beef mince, then I moved onto using Quorn or mince alternatives to experiment with different versions of my most cherished recipe. I fancied trying something new, so I thought I’d have a go at making a bean chilli which bursts with colour, flavour and texture, as well as being an excellent choice for vegetarian or vegan meals.
You could make this recipe even easier by just buying a couple of tins of mixed beans rather than buying each individually – this will shrink both the cost and ingredient list – but I prefer choosing which beans go into my chilli and having the option to chop and change each time I make it.
Beans are honestly so, so good for you. First off they count as one of your ‘Five A Day’ so, along with the carrot, onion, pepper and chopped tomatoes, you’re well on your way with this recipe! Beans also help with heart health, are a good source of protein and fibre, and keep you fuller for longer. They’re cheap, too, so make a great base for eating on a budget.
So, this is how I did it…
1. Heat up a large pan with a touch of oil (or some light cooking spray) and gently fry the onion and carrot on a low heat for 10 minutes.
2. Pretty much everything else goes in once the carrot and onion have softened. Add all of the beans (make sure you drain the ones in water), chopped tomatoes, chopped pepper, a crumbled stock cube, tomato puree and the seasoning.
3. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, giving the flavours a chance to develop.
4. Serve with a jacket potato, rice, flatbreads, whatever you fancy! 🍚
The prices below are the cheapest I could find when doing a comparison and are accurate at the time of publishing!
1/2 Tin of Baked Beans – Reduced Sugar & Salt Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce – 30p – Sainsbury’s
Tin of Cannellini Beans – Cannellini Beans in Water – 42p – ASDA
Tin of Black Eye Beans – Black Eye Beans in Water – 55p – ASDA
Tin of Pinto Beans – Pinto Beans in Water – 55p – ASDA
200g Tin of Kidney Beans in Chilli Sauce – Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce – 40p – ASDA
Tin of Chopped Tomatoes – Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice – 29p – ASDA
1 Carrot, Chopped – Carrots, Loose – 6p – Tesco
1 Onion, Chopped – Grower’s Selection Onions by Weight – 15p – ASDA
1 Bell Pepper, Chopped – Red Pepper – 41p – Tesco
Vegetable Stock Cube – Stock Cubes, Vegetable – 39p – ASDA
1tsp Tomato Puree – Double Concentrated Tomato Puree – 37p – ASDA
When you start frying off the vegetables, throw in some dried garlic flakes along with them. Then, once you’ve added the beans and tomatoes, season with a generous helping of paprika and cumin, a pinch of dried chilli flakes and salt and pepper to taste.