Three Bean and Vegetable Chilli

A delicious, vegan chilli, loved by all the family. Absolutely packed full of vegetables to give you (almost) all of your 5-a-day in one go, and low in calories so you can have cake for pudding without feeling guilty!

Skip to the recipe

A delicious, vegan chilli, loved by all the family. Absolutely packed full of vegetables to give you (almost) all of your 5-a-day in one go, and low in calories.

In the past I’ve talked about my mission to create more free from recipes and I realised that I hadn’t shared one for a while (I got a little sidetracked with some yummy cakes and bakes – I hope you can forgive me for that!). So today I’m going to rectify this by sharing my delicious vegan three bean and vegetable chilli.

I don’t tend to cook a great deal of vegan food (we’re too fond of our meat, eggs and dairy over here) so rather than reinvent the wheel, developing a recipe from scratch I’ve simply taken my meaty chilli con carne and veganised it. Staying true to recipes I know and love has the added benefit that they’re familiar to the boys who happily eat this without noticing the lack of meat (although they’re not too impressed by the addition of the “green bits”). 

A delicious, vegan chilli, loved by all the family. Absolutely packed full of vegetables to give you (almost) all of your 5-a-day in one go, and low in calories.

In the ingredients for this recipe I’ve listed the vegetables that I’ve tested several times and I know work well, but it’s really one of those recipes you can raid the fridge for and chuck in whatever you have to hand. Just remember…

  1. Try to get a balance of flavours, don’t opt for everything too sweet or too bitter (I find it needs a mix of green and red/orange/yellow vegetables to work).
  2. Don’t chuck all of the vegetables in at once, think about how long you’d normally boil them for and pop them into the pot that far from the end of the cooking time (the cooking time is 30 minutes after adding the sweet potatoes in the recipe below).

There’s also no need to stick to the three beans suggested, I forgot to buy them once and made a lovely version with chickpeas instead.

A delicious, vegan chilli, loved by all the family. Absolutely packed full of vegetables to give you (almost) all of your 5-a-day in one go, and low in calories.

Why you should all fall in love with this chilli?

I’ll admit that the drive behind creating this recipe was my desire to branch out and be able to cook for anyone who turns up at my door regardless of the diet they follow. However, I just want to take a moment to sing it’s praises, because it really has a lot going for it.

So, here are five reasons why everyone love this chilli…

  1. It tastes good, even my boys (2 & 5) agree and happily eat it up.
  2. It’s free from lots of things (you can even get rid of the gluten by switching to using gluten-free stock, although I haven’t tried it).
  3. It’s 4.7 of your five-a-day fruit and vegetables (I was a tiny bit gutted when I did the sums and realised it wasn’t quite 5, but 4.7 is pretty good!)
  4. It’s low calorie (only 216 kcal for a generous portion) but still filling.
  5. It’s so stupidly healthy (according to my non-nutritionist opinion) that you can eat cake for pudding without feeling guilty!

A delicious, vegan chilli, loved by all the family. Absolutely packed full of vegetables to give you (almost) all of your 5-a-day in one go, and low in calories.

Three bean and vegetable chilli

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serves 4 (and they’re pretty big portions)


I know the list looks long but it’s basically just a pile of vegetables and some store cupboard essentials – don’t be put off!

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 300g)
  • A handful of green beans (about 120g)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder (we like ours mild, add more chilli powder to give it more of a kick)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp instant coffee
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g mixed beans (I use the Tesco three bean salad. I’ve also used chickpeas which worked well)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 300ml vegetable stock (or a vegetable stock cube and 300ml water)
  • Salt and pepper

This is delicious by itself or served with rice.


  • Finely chop the onion (1 onion)
  • Heat the olive oil (2 tsp) in a large saucepan.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • While the onion is cooking, peel and finely slice the garlic (2 cloves), roughly chop the peppers (1 red, 1 green) and chop the green beans into 3 (remember to discard the nasty ends!)
  • Add the peppers, garlic, paprika (1 tsp), ground cumin (1 tsp) and hot chilli powder (½ tsp) to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring regularly.
  • While the peppers, etc. are cooking, peel the sweet potato (1 medium potato) and chop it into cubes (about 1½-2cm cubes).
  • Add the sweet potato, dried oregano (½ tsp), instant coffee (½ tsp), chopped tomatoes (400g can), tomato purée (1 tbsp) and vegetable stock (300ml, or 300ml water and a vegetable stock cube). Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the mixed beans (400g can) and add them to the pan. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 216 kcal (11%), Fat: 3.7g (5%), Saturated Fat: 0.7g (3%), Carbohydrates: 33.0g (13%), Sugar: 11.5g (13%), Fibre: 11.0g (46%), Protein: 9.1g (18%), Salt: 0.7g (12%)

4.7 of your 5-a-day fruit and vegetables.

Salt excludes any seasoning added during cooking.

This is the estimated nutritional information per serving of chilli and excludes any rice or other side dishes. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you want to learn more about how this is calculated.

Free From/Suitable For…

  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Soy-Free
  • Nut-Free
  • Egg-Free
  • Dairy-Free
  • Corn-Free

The ingredients for this recipe are commonly available free from all these allergens. However, please ensure you double-check allergen information for all ingredients.

A delicious, vegan chilli, loved by all the family. Absolutely packed full of vegetables to give you (almost) all of your 5-a-day in one go, and low in calories.

Tasty Tuesdays on Link up your recipe of the week CookBlogShare Free From Farmhouse


  1. This chilli really does look great (I swear I commented about it earlier – evidently not!) – have pinned, yummed, stumbled, and scheduled for tweeting!

  2. Wow love that and as I’m trying to eat vegan as much as possible, it’s going on my to make list. Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

    • Thanks Vicki. I keep thinking about trying the veganish concept, but I’m having trouble with the idea of giving up butter and milk.

      • But you don’t have to give those up – just have vegan versions! Admittedly, plant milk doesn’t taste the same as dairy (although vegan butter does) but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. And of course, it’s cruelty-free!

  3. This sounds delicious. I’m a very lazy veggie who rarely cooks but I will definitely give this a go!

    • Aside from a bit of veggie peeling this is really easy so there’s no excuse not to try it (and you can make a big batch to freeze for later for when you want to be really lazy!)

  4. What a lovely, warming, recipe for autumn – it looks delicious! Thank you for linking to #cookblogshare

  5. Reading your posts always make me hungry! This looks delicious, I love to create meat free meals out of traditional meat based ones. This is definitely going to be pinned on my “to try” board! x #CookBlogShare

  6. This looks really tasty and would be a great way to use up those butter beans I have lurking in the cupboard. i think they would work well

  7. This looks amazing Charlotte. Chilli is one of my sons favourite dishes so a veggie alternative will be great to try. I’m sure it will be a hit with them x

    • Thanks Amy. My boys can be a bit fussy with vegetarian meals but because the flavours of this one were familiar they really enjoyed it.

  8. It looks really delicious, Charlotte. We love our meat, too around here, but whenever we have vegetarian friends coming round, I always go for the same recipes so it will be nice to have an alternative. Chilli rocks!

  9. I cooked this today, loved it.. 🙂 I took some pictures and put a link up on my site, (hope it’s ok to put a link for it up..?) you can see the result here..

  10. Looks awesome! Will definitely give this a go. Cheers Charlotte!

    • I’m glad you approve! I suspect you’ve been frowning at how terribly unhealthy my selection of recipes has been recently 🙂

      • Not at all 😛

        In fact I’m just waiting for an excuse to make the chocolate orange meringues, I bet they’re fantastic. I picked up a couple of chocolate oranges when I was back in Britain the other week…they didn’t last long!

  11. I love meals like this – I often throw a chilli like this together when I have lots of vegetables that need to be used up. I can then not waste them and it freezes well. I like the idea of adding a little instant coffee – I’ve never done that before but I might try it next time!

    • It’s a great way of using up veg isn’t it! I figured out the coffee trick for my meaty chilli as it was too sweet and needed a tiny touch of bitterness. I tried so many things and found that coffee worked best. I always add a little now.

  12. I’m really impressed with your chilli recipe, a brilliant way of achieving your 5 a day.

    • Thanks Julie. I love being able to sneak as much veg as possible into dinner. I was a little disappointed not to quite get all 5 of the 5-a-day in though!

  13. I love a good veg chilli, and not because I’m vegetarian. This sounds super tasty and is a recipe I’ll be saving for later!

    • There are a few foods that just taste great with veg aren’t there, I think veg lasagne is another one.

      I hope you enjoy this one x

  14. This sounds delicious – have pinned 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *