Mushroom and kidney bean vegan chilli

I love chilli – its smoky warmth is perfect as the nights come on earlier, the leaves fall and there’s mist and woodsmoke on the air. This vegan chilli is just that ticket – smoky, savoury and super comforting.

As you’ll know from my instagram feed and past posts I’m reducing my meat intake, especially red meat. But, like the roasted veggie lasagne, as time has gone on I’ve started to prefer the veggie versions of things far more than their meat counterparts, especially when that meat is minced beef or lamb.

I made this vegan chilli to eat on my lap, snuggled up in blanket and pjs whilst I watched a film (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban FYI). I serve this with nachos rather than rice, but feel free to add whatever carbs you like (a roast sweet potato is also an ace combo here). .

I’m not vegan, so served this with cheese and sour cream, but feel free to serve with guac, vegan cheese or anything else you like.

If you fancy some vegan baking, check out my chocolate and cranberry free from cookies here (they’re also dairy, egg and gluten free!)

Mushroom and kidney bean vegan chilli

Serves 4 – takes 45 minutes


1 ancho pepper, stalk removed

100ml boiling water

1 punnet of portobello or chestnut mushrooms, diced

1 onion, diced

2 red peppers, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, diced

1.5 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp dried thyme

1.5 tsp sweet, smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp hot paprika

1 standard tin/400g chopped tomatoes

1 tsp tomato ketchup (or puree with 1/2 tsp caster sugar)

1 can of cooked kidney beans, drained

10g 70% cocoa dark chocolate or 1/2 tsp cocoa powder (check vegan)

1 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

1 bay leaf

Shake of Tabasco

Oil for cooking

Salt and pepper


  1. Boil a kettle and rehydrate the ancho pepper in a small bowl, put to one side until needed.
  2. Over a high heat put a large heavy bottomed pan and add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt – give them space as you want to cook the water out, so if your pan is a little small, then cook in two batches. Cook the mushrooms until they start to brown at the edges – like browning meat this adds an extra savouriness to the finished dish.
  3. Once the mushrooms have reduced, softened and started to brown, take them off the heat and keep in a bowl on one side. Put the pan back on the heat, drop to medium and add a glug of oil. Add the onions and peppers then cook until softened (about five minutes) – drop the heat if they’re starting to brown – then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  4. Add the mushrooms back in and add the herbs and spices, stir to combine.
  5. Once combined add the beans and tomatoes, the bay, soy, ketchup, vinegar and chocolate/cocoa. Slice the ancho chilli and then add with the water it was soaking in. Stir, taste and add tabasco and extra seasoning to taste.
  6. Cook over a medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the beans are soft and the chilli has thickened slightly. Check the seasoning again and serve with rice, nachos, guacamole, jalapeños (cheese, sour cream – for the non-vegans!)  or whatever else you love with your chilli.

I’d love to know if you make this – comment below or holla at me on Insta, Twitter or Facebook.