This one-pot bean chilli with macaroni will warm you from head to toe

What’s for Dinner?: A store-cupboard, meat-free chilli mac that's pure winter comfort food

Santis O'Garro is a money-saving mentor and self-confessed frugal foodie. You can follow her budgeting tips and recipes on

This chilli mac is one of my favourite dishes, because it is so comforting and moreish. Its creation, however, was a total accident on my part.

The ingredients were what I had in the house one winter day when I was feeling in need of some comfort food. I rummaged through my cupboards and pulled out whatever was to hand. Now it’s a staple, so I try to make sure I have all these ingredients in the house.

However, the tinned beans I use can change each time, so don’t be afraid to use others. I can’t get over the fact that there is no meat in this dish; it warms you from your head to your toes.


What you’ll need

Serves four
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground coriander
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 small sweet potato, diced
1 tsp oregano
1 green pepper, chopped
400g tin tomatoes
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400g tin baked beans
400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
25g dark chocolate (optional)
300ml boiling water
100g macaroni
200g medium cheddar cheese (any cheddar will do)
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1 tub sour cream

How to cook it

1 Heat the oil in a large pot on a medium heat.

2 Add all the spices; cayenne, coriander, paprika, chilli flakes and toast for one minute.

3 Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the sweet potato and keep stirring.

4 After one minute add the oregano. Then add the green pepper.

5 Pour in the tinned tomato, drained and rinsed kidney beans and chickpeas, and the baked beans, season with salt and pepper and grate in the chocolate if using.

6 Add 300ml of boiling water and combine. Then add the macaroni.

7 Turn the heat down to medium and leave to cook for 15 minutes.

8 Take off the heat, add 150g of the cheddar and stir.

9 Serve with avocado, sour cream and the rest of the cheese.