Super Speedy ‘SOS’ Mixed Bean Chili (VG, GF, Oil-Free Option)

You know when you find yourself in that classic situation, when your sister and brother-in-law are getting a new kitchen put in, and they don’t have access to a cooker / stove / hob, so you offer to cook and drive them loads of food and then you remember at the last minute, feel terrible and want to make something really nice to make up for it?


ian somerhalder oops GIF

Well ok, maybe you’re not in that situation, but perhaps you are in any of these situations:

  • You just got in from work and realized you have very little food in the cupboards, and you don’t have time to go to the shop
  • You invited people over and you’ve just realized they’re coming to spoil your peaceful Friday night in front of Netflix, and you haven’t prepared anything
  • You want a snack, but Nachos simply topped with vegan cheese just won’t cut it
  • Those pesky Vegans have invited you over for pot-luck dinner and you have to bring something, but you can’t think of what to make instead of just a bag of spinach leaves

Need I continue? We all end up in these situations or similar and at all times our minds turn to the one food in the world that is so very difficult to get wrong. Chili. It forgives all sins and if all else is failing, there’s always BBQ to throw into the mix, am i right?

I have wanted to make chili for a long time now, and I have made a few for Andreea, some with fake meat, others with beans and they’re always so… elaborate. Either they’re cooked quite quickly in a pan, but it always ends up being a bit too runny, or its slow cooked all day and if you’re using a slow cooker or crock pot, who are we kidding? You could make chili with ANY ingredients and it’ll always come out tasting of “slow-cooker chili”.

No I needed the perfect recipe. One that I can make VERY quickly, and then leave to cook for basically as long as I like whilst I do other things.

That day, was today.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I adore this chili. They say sometimes when you’re just not thinking about EVERYTHING you’re doing, you make the best decisions and I’m hoping that’s what this was.

Today I gave a lightning talk at work about introspection, self-awareness and feedback and I’d been preparing pretty hard for it; I had the hour beforehand booked out for the final preparations and then all of a sudden I found myself in the aforementioned scenario of needing to cook something and not being able to wait until I’d already eaten dinner at like 6pm!

So with 45 minutes until my talk, I just set to work – I had done a lot of prep and could spare some time to quickly make something and the result was ultimately preparing and cooking things for about 15-20 minutes, and then just leaving it on the lowest heat for about an hour and a quarter! It sat quite happily bubbling away with 1 stir from Diana as she walked through the kitchen, whilst I got on with the talk.

It went from start:

To finished and ready for delivery to hungry family:

In no time at all. So here it is, my ultimate chili recipe to get you out of a tight spot at a moments notice, using ingredients most of us have around the house in some shape or form!

Chuck it all in Chili

  • Servings: 4 portions with rice
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
  • Print

Like many of our recipes this is cheap, easy and healthy whilst being simple to make at a moments notice.



  • 1 large Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large Brown Onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 medium Chili Peppers (1 Green and 1 Red preferably), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh Ginger, peeled and finely chopped (or 3/4 tsp Ground/Dried)
  • 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tin Black Beans, rinsed (sub for Kidney beans to be cheaper)
  • 1 tin Mixed Beans, rinsed (add a second to scale the recipe up a little)
  • 1 tin Borlotti Beans or Kidney Beans, rinsed
  • 3 heaped tbsp Tomato Paste/Puree
  • 1 tsp English / Hot Mustard
  • 4 tbsp Maple Syrup (or your sweetener of choice)
  • 4 tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp Liquid Smoke (Optional)
  • 1 tsp Marmite / Yeast Extract
  • 250ml Mushroom Stock (or Vegetable/Umami/ Savory Vegan Stock)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp Neutral Oil, like Rapeseed (Optional)


  • 1 heaped tsp Cocoa Powder
  • 3 heaped tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 3/4 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 2 tsp Garlic Granules
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Chili Flakes


  1. Heat the oil a pan over a medium high heat and add the red onion, stirring frequently – if not using oil, cook in a non stick pan and transfer over to a pot when adding the liquids
  2. Mix all the spices together in a jar or cup and set aside
  3. Add the garlic, chili pepper and ginger to the pan and cook for a further 3 minutes (until the air is rich with the lovely aroma!)
  4. Throw the spices in and stir, once combined add the Maple Syrup, Cider Vinegar and Tamari or Soy Sauce and allow to cook for no more than a minute
  5. Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, hot mustard, liquid smoke (if using), yeast extract, mushroom stock and the rinsed and drained beans to the pot and stir through
  6. Optionally at this point I like to taste and adjust the flavor if necessary, on this occasion I added an extra sprinkle of cumin, chili powder and garlic granules
  7. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and leave partially covered (to prevent spitting) and allow to cook for a minimum of 30 minutes, but for best results around 75-90minutes, stirring very occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom (add a tiny bit of extra water if needed)
  8. About 10-15 minutes before the end, stir in the lime juice
  9. Serve hot with rice or on top of (vegan) cheesy Nachos. Noice.

Buon Appetito!

The world is a pretty crazy place at the moment so hopefully this post inspires you, and we would love to hear what you’re cooking and also we’d love to see your attempts at the above dish and how you change it to be yours, so tweet us @rockinblues and @PlantBasedSQL on Twitter and let us know your snug story!