3 bean chilli – recipe

We are being vegetarian for January, we love chilli, so tonight was a meat free 3 bean chilli, what beans you use in your 3 bean chilli is up to you. What follows is more a guideline, something you can tweak to your own taste to create your own perfect 3 bean chilli.


3 Bean Chilli


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 375g (unpeeled weight) onions, peeled and fine diced
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 red peppers chunky diced
  • 1 400g can tomatoes
  • 2 tsp each ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika, dried oreegano.
  • 1 tsp each smoked paprika, chilli powder
  • 1 veggie stock cube
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 cans of beans, I used cannolini, borlotti and black beans
  • salt and pepper




  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat, once hot add onions, garlic and peppers, stir, turn to low heat, cook for around 30 minutes or until everything is soft.
  2. Add all dry ingredients and tomatoes, plus one can of water. Stir, cook for another 30 minutes on low.
  3. Taste and season. Leave to cool then remove about half of red pepper pieces.
  4. Blitz remaining sauce with hand blender. Add tomato puree.
  5. Chop peppers you set aside and add back to pot.
  6. Add all beans and reheat gently. Do not let it boil or beans can become tough.
  7. Taste and season, add fresh coriander and serve.




Taste this often as flavours change a fair bit whilst cooking.

If you can grind your own spices, they have a much more pronounced flavour.

You can easily bulk this out with sweet potato or squash and it will feed a lot of people. We got 9 hearty portions out of this recipe.


Serving suggestions

Serve with plain boiled rice or baked sweet potato/regular potato.

This is great as an alternative shepherdess pie filling.

Blitz a portion down add more cumin and serve as part of a fajitas meal – it is like refried beans.




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