Plant-based red bean chili recipe

plantbased red bean chili recipe plant-based retreat

Our theme this month is health from the inside out and an important part of that is nutrition. This fabulous plant-based red bean chili recipe is oozing with nutrition and flavour and makes a delicious evening meal.

Red beans are a good source of plant-based protein, plus they are high in fibre, which is great for our gut microbiota. Red beans are also a good prebiotic, as are onion, leek and garlic, so all of this combined means this recipe really does help our gut microbiome.

We recommend that you make a big portion of this recipe – it freezes well (remember to freeze in smaller portions) and is easily defrosted to make a delicious and quick home ready-meal.

Plant-based red bean chili recipe

Serves: 8

Allergens: CELERY


2 large onions, finely chopped
1 leek, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 red peppers, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1-2 chilli (depending upon the heat!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1000g chopped tomatoes
100g tomato concentrate
1 bay leaf
Handful of fresh coriander
Handful of fresh parsley
1 heaped tbsp cumin seeds
1 heaped tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice ½ lemon
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp paprika
400g cooked red beans


Cook the onion, leek and celery (in one tbsp olive oil or water or vegetable stock) for 5-8 minutes until they are soft.

Add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peppers, chili and garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes. Stir well and add a little more water if needed to prevent sticking.

Add remaining tomatoes, tomato concentrate and all the dried herbs and spices. Stir well. Bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to a low simmer and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the red beans and half of the fresh herbs. Return to the boil, then turn down again to low and allow to simmer. The sauce should be thickening nicely. If it is too thick, add a little water and cover with a lid.

Just before serving, stir in the rest of the fresh herbs.

Serving suggestion:

Serve with herby brown rice and lightly steamed broccoli. If you want to jazz it up even more, serve with a side dish of delicious cashew nut sour cream.

Plant-based food at La Crisalida health retreats 

Nutrition and hydration are a central part of the La Crisalida holistic programme for health and wellbeing. We love to create and serve fresh, nutritious plant-based recipes, inspired by the seasons, the vegetables routinely available, bringing in flavours from around the world. If you are interested in finding out more about the plant-based food served at La Crisalida Retreats click here.   

I love this recipe and make it myself often at home, particularly during the cooler Autumn and Winter months, and when we have visitors. A version of this recipe is on our current menu here at the retreat in Spain.

One of the joys of making dishes at home is that you can make it as spicy as you like – add more chili and/or cayenne to really give it a kick!

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).