Speedy two-bean chilli

Here’s a hearty and satisfying chilli—without the carne (meat)—that can be made in minutes. This version combines two varieties of beans with sweetcorn in a rich tomato sauce flavoured with herbs and fresh chilli. Serve with boiled rice or warm crusty bread.

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
  • 1 tbsp chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 600 ml (1 pint) hot vegetable stock, preferably home-made
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 can red kidney beans, about 400 g, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can cannellini beans, about 400 g, drained and rinsed
  • 200 g (7 oz) frozen sweetcorn
  • salt and pepper

To serve

  • 150 g (5 ½ oz) fromage frais
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
  • fresh oregano leaves to garnish

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes



1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and chilli, and fry over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, stiring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned.

2. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, the chilli sauce, ketchup, stock, parsley and oregano, with seasoning to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the kidney and cannellini beans and the sweetcorn. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, mix the fromage frais with the snipped chives. Taste the chilli for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve the chilli sprinkled with the oregano leaves and offer the fromage fraise mixture separately.


Some more ideas

  • Serve the chilli with baked potatoes, with couscous or with warmed flour tortillas.
  • Turn the bean mixture into vegertarian chilli burgers: cook the onion and chilli as in the main recipe, then place in a food processor. Omit the tomatoes and stock, but add all the remaining ingredients to the processor. Add 1 egg yolk and 200 g (7 oz) fresh breadcrumbs. Process until smooth, then divide into 8 portions. Shape into burgers with more fresh breadcrumbs, pressing them on neatly—you will need about 75 g (2 ½ oz). Brush each burger with a little extra virgin olive oil and cook on a griddle or in a non-stick frying pan for 10 minutes on each side. Alternatively, cook under the grill preheated to moderate.