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Pinto bean chilli

You can adapt this easy, fiery chilli to the seasons, swapping summer’s courgettes and peppers for autumn’s mushrooms and squash, for instance. And you can easily double or triple the quantities if you want to feed a crowd (it’s perfect for bonfire night), or lay some down in the freezer.


Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the onions and sweat, stirring from time to time, until very soft and just starting to take on some colour. Add the chillies, garlic, cumin, cayenne and allspice and stir for a minute.

Add the courgettes and red pepper and stir to coat in the spices. Add the tomato purée, tinned tomatoes with their juice, pinto beans, red wine, parsley, coriander and oregano. Pour over 200ml water and add some salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 25–30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the veg are all tender and everything is thick and saucy. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more salt and/or pepper if you think it needs it.

To serve, put the guacamole, shredded lettuce, soured cream and cheese, if using, into small serving bowls. Scatter more chopped coriander over the chilli and accompany with rice and/or flatbreads or tortillas and the various toppings, for everyone to help themselves.

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  • 2 tablespoons olive, sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2–3 green chillies, to taste, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 courgettes, cut into 1cm dice
  • 1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes,roughly chopped, any stalky ends and skin removed
  • 400g tin pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 100ml red wine
  • A good handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • A good handful of coriander, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
  • A handful of oregano, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Lemony guacamole
  • Shredded lettuce

Non vegan options:

  • Soured cream (optional)
  • Grated Cheddar (optional)

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Veg Every Day!