Hot’n’spicy vegan chilli bean recipe

vegan chilli bean recipe plant-based retreat Spain

This is one of our winter favourites here at the retreat. It is wholesome, warming and big on flavour. According to wikipedia, chilli con carne is the official dish of Texas state, in the United States of America. It is traditionally made with minced or ground beef, fresh chillis and spices. Our plant-based version is so filling and tasty, you really don’t feel like you are missing out on meat in this fabulous bean chilli.

Although the recipe looks long, it is mainly due to the number of herbs and spices. We suggest that you keep a number of herbs and spices in your store cupboard as they last for many months. The core spice to use when making chilli is ground cumin – this is what really makes it taste like chilli. Paprika is another colourful spice that is useful to keep in your store cupboard. Here in Spain we can buy sweet paprika, hot paprika or smoked paprika – so keep an eye out when you are buying paprika in your local store. If you use hot paprika then reduce the amount of cayenne pepper that you add to this dish.

The fresh chilli and cayenne pepper are what makes the “heat” in this recipe – so if you do not want to have hot spicy food then reduce the number of chillis and amount of cayenne pepper that you add, or leave it out completely if your family do not like “heat”. For those of you who love hot spicy foods then add 2 tsp of cayenne pepper.

Beans are a great source of vegan protein. They are also considered a slow energy release food – this means that you will have a sustained source of energy (unlike other foods that give you a quick burst of energy then a quick fall, leading to irritation, tiredness and grumpiness). You can read more about energy release in our earlier article: what are good carbohydrates to include in a plant-based diet?

Our top tip: make a double portion and freeze the remainder. This saves you time and you know you have a healthy wholesome meal ready in your freezer!

This dish is quite low in calories, so can form part of a diet to help to reduce weight.

Hot’n’spicy vegan chilli bean recipe

Serves: 6
Calories: 753 total, 125 per serving


1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1-2 chilli (depending upon the heat!)
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup dried kidney beans, soaked overnight and cooked
4 cups chopped tomatoes (a few large tins)
4 tbsp tomato concentrate
1 bay leaf
2 heaped tsp cumin seeds
2 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice ½ lemon
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika

Handful of fresh coriander
Handful of fresh parsley


Cook the onion, garlic and celery (in one tbsp olive oil or water or vegetable stock) until soft.

Add the remaining ingredients (except the fresh herbs) and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour until the sauce becomes thicker and richer and all the vegetables are soft. Stir in the fresh coriander and fresh parsley. Serve hot.

Serving suggestion

For a quick, simple meal you can serve this with a portion of wholegrain rice or quinoa. At home I love to serve chilli on a jacket sweet potato (cooked in the oven), maybe with some guacamole. You could also serve this chilli on top of nachos, guacamole and cashew nut sour cream.

Enjoy plant-based food at La Crisalida health and wellbeing retreats

An important part of living with optimal health and wellbeing is what you feed and nourish your body with. Here at La Crisalida, we serve a plant-based diet. This means lots of pulses and beans, fresh vegetables, wholegrains, plus nuts and seeds. To read more about the food that we serve at La Crisalida, click on this link to our food page.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you want more inspiration for plant-based (vegan) recipes, check out our blog or come try it for yourself!

About the author

Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).