20 January 2019

Ultimate 5 Bean Chili

There's something so comforting about a bowl of chili and having not eaten meat in over 12 years, bean chili was always something my mum would cook when I was growing up, we'd serve it with some nachos, sometimes guac or sour cream too and dig in! This is my ultimate 5 bean chili, served with crispy tortilla pieces, guac, cashew sour cream and fresh coriander! 

My mum's chili, or chilli (regional spelling differences) has a secret ingredient that, in my opinion makes the whole dish; a humble can of baked beans. It adds a unique flavour and sweetness that perfectly compliments the smoky, spicy flavour. You can whip this meal up in 20 minutes if you're in a rush, or sit back and let it simmer away, after all, meals like chili, casseroles and curries always taste better as leftovers! When all the flavour has been cooked off for longer and just marries together perfectly. This is definitely more of a milder chili, but there's nothing stopping you adding hot chili powder, extra chipotle flakes, or even serving up with jalapenos if you're a spice lover!

The great thing about a bean chili is all the protein, fibre and nutrients loaded in the beans. Beans contain a type of fibre called insoluble fibre, it's not broken down in your digestive tract, but helps your intestines to do their job more effectively, it also helps to control your blood sugar response and provides a slow-release of energy, keeping you fuller for longer. Most of us don't eat nearly enough fibre and that's why eating plenty of legumes, whole fruits and veg (not just the juice), as well as wholegrains is so important, for our heart health, digestion, and by keeping us fuller for longer, it helps us to ensure we're eating the right amount of food for us - rather than burning out with fast-release sugars and feeling hungry soon after a meal. Our gut health is also closely linked to mood, I'm sure you've all heard by now that a healthy gut significantly helps towards a healthy mind and that's why foods high in fibre, as well as probiotics (good bacteria found in fermented products such as raw kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and vegan yogurts) are so important to include in our diets! 

Ultimate 5 Bean Chili | Serves: 4 | Time: 1 hour

You'll need

  • Large saucepan/casserole pot
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups + spoons
  • Baking tray 
  • High-speed blender - I used a nutribullet 


  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 mild tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can mixed 3 beans in water
  • 1 can black beans in water
  • 1 can baked beans
  • 20g 70% vegan dark chocolate
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup sweetcorn
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Tortilla chips
  • 2 corn and wheat tortillas
  • 2 large avocados
  • Juice 1/2-1 lime
  • Good pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • 1 salad tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly diced
Sour cream
  • 1/3 cup cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
To serve
  • Coriander, torn
  • Red onion, finely diced
  • Tomato, diced
  • Lime wedges
  • Jalapenos (optional)


  1. Peel and thinly slice a red onion, add to the pan with a splash of olive oil and fry off on a medium heat for a few minutes until it starts to soften, then crush in the garlic and stir to ensure it doesn't burn.
  2. Lower the heat and add the smoked paprika, cumin, paprika, oregano, chili powder and chili flakes, keep stirring and allow the spices to toast for a few seconds, then add the tomato paste and stir. 
  3. Add the entire contents of the cans of the chopped tomatoes, beans in water and baked beans and stir. Then add the dark chocolate, a good pinch of salt and pepper and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Keep an eye on the water content and add a splash more if required. Just before serving, taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if required, along with a cup of frozen sweetcorn, stir and allow it to heat through. 
  4. Meanwhile, to prep the extras, pre-heat the oven to 180C. Cut the wraps in half, then into 2cm strips and each strip into 4cm long pieces. Spread out on a baking tray and toast for 5-7 minutes in the oven, until golden and crisp. 
  5. To make the guac, mash the avocado with the lime juice, salt and pepper, then mix in the chopped tomato, coriander and red onion.
  6. For the sour cream, add all the ingredients from the cashews down to the salt to the blender and blitz until smooth. 
  7. Serve up the chili with a handful of tortilla chips, a drizzle of cashew sour cream, a scoop of guac and a handful of coriander, red onion and tomato. Squeeze over the lime wedge and serve up with jalapenos if desired and enjoy!
Cassidy xx