Simple Two Bean Chilli (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Chilli is a staple food for me – always has been, even when I ate meat. Now that I’m meat-free, not much has changed – it’s just gotten one step easier to prepare a healthy and nutritious dinner for the table. One of my favourite weeknight meals at the moment is a bean chilli – two bean chilli in this case. Not much thought or effort has to go in and you still come out with something that’s packed full of goodness to fill up hungry bellies (and our two bellies are always hungry. Heavens only knows what the product of us two will be like!). Plus, because it’s not got any particularly crazy ingredients so you can probably pull it together from the pantry!

Simple Two Bean Chili, served with rice and a simple salad

So, with that in mind, I wanted to share this little firecracker – you can turn down (or up!) the level of spice to your own tastes and chilli-powder strength. We like things with a medium-high amount of spice, so I add about 3/4 tsp of cayenne pepper most of the time – but if you prefer a milder chilli, err towards the 1/4 tsp mark. You can always add more after tasting it!

Oil-free chilli?

The steam-saute method is totally optional here – if you’d prefer to use a more traditional method, simply omit the water and add oil instead when heating your saucepan.

Cocoa… and coffee?

The cocoa powder and the coffee are a must for this two bean chilli. They really add a depth to the flavour of the dish, which you don’t really get with just a few simple spices and beans on their own. I used Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa, so something like Bournville would be along the same lines – you want something with no added sugar or milk (Cadbury’s Options is not a substitute).


Simple Two Bean Chilli (Vegan)

Adapted from 'Black and Kidney Bean Chilli' from Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward

  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 30 minutes
  • Total: 40 minutes
  • Author Luci Rebecca, Made by Luci
  • Serves 4
  • Calories 236


  • 1 medium onion (~120g), diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced/finely chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
  • 3 carrots (~240g), grated
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin black beans, drained & rinsed (240g drained rinsed)
  • 1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, drained & rinsed (240g drained rinsed)
  • 100g sweetcorn (frozen is fine)
  • 1.5 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4-3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you want a milder chilli)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 heaped tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • salt & pepper
  • To garnish: optional
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 salad tomatoes, chopped


  1. Put a saucepan on a medium heat, add a 2-3 tablespoons of water and add the chopped onion. Let it saute-steam for about five minutes, then add the garlic and chilli. Give it a good stir, and cook for another five minutes, until the onion is translucent and most of the water has evaporated. If needed, add a splash more water to stop the garlic from catching whilst cooking though.
  2. Add the grated carrots, and cook for about five minutes. Add the chilli powder, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, for another minute or two.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans and sweetcorn. Add the cocoa powder, instant coffee and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well to mix it all together. Bring to a gentle boil.
  4. Once the chilli is bubbling nicely, lower the heat, cover and let it simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Adjust according to how hungry you are, or when your accompaniments are ready - anything from 10 to 40 minutes has been done in my house! Just watch the pan and add a little water mixed with tomato paste or BBQ sauce if it's getting dry at all.
  5. A few minutes before the end, add the lime juice and stir through. Serve topped with the coriander, spring onions and chopped fresh tomatoes (if using).


Smoked garlic works really well with the smoked paprika here, but it's just a 'nice to have' - regular garlic is fine too!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 bowl
Servings Per Container 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 15.3
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.7g 3%
Saturated Fat 0.3g 2%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 275mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 32.3g 11%
Dietary Fiber 9.7g 39%
Sugars 10.1g
Protein 9.1g 18%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

All nutritional information is approximate - any exact calories will depend on which exact ingredients you use.


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