Smoky Three-Bean Chilli


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


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The wonderful richness of this spicy chilli makes the absence of meat irrelevant. I’ve used three different types of beans here because the contrast looks and tastes wonderful. It’s quite spicy.

PREPARATION: 15 minutes, plus 20 minutes soaking
COOKING: 40 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped or 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 chipotles, rehydrated in hot water for 20 minutes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 x 400 g (14 oz) tinned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400 g (14 oz) tinned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400 g (14 oz) tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) porcini mushroom or vegetable stock, plus 150 ml (5 fl oz) more if needed
  • juice of ½ lime, plus lime wedges, to serve
  • sea salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • dairy-free sour cream, to serve


In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the onion over a medium heat for 7 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the oregano, cumin, paprika, chilli powder and chipotles. Stir and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Gently simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Keep tasting to make sure the seasoning is right as beans need lots of salt.

Serve topped with a splodge of sour cream and lemon wedges. Fantastic with steamed rice.