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Chickpea and Kidney Bean Chilli (Vegan)

Chickpea chilli con (sans) carne with kidney beans is a gloriously dark, rich and spicy vegan meal that is the perfect winter warmer.

Using tinned chickpeas and kidney beans allows this dish to cook in under 45 minutes but it’s packed with flavours that make it taste like it’s been cooking for hours.

Overhead vegan chickpea and kidney bean chilli served with coriander and rice.

Vegan Garbanzo Bean Chili

This chickpea and kidney bean chilli recipe is not the first “chili sans carne” dish to appear here on my website.

Alongside my beefy slow cooker chilli con carne I also have a wonderful vegetarian butternut squash chilli.

This version goes to town with chilli using fresh chillies, dried chipotle and ancho chilli flakes and more chipotle in the form of some chipotle paste.

The flavours are rounded out with some pretty common additions like cocoa, oregano and cumin.

Then we get some very British additions that serve to add a roundness a depth of flavour to this dish. The magic that is Marmite and Henderson’s relish turns the flavours in this recipe up to 11!

And unlike a beef chilli this dish cooks in around 45 minutes which makes it a perfectly achievable midweek meal!

Vegan chickpea and kidney bean chilli served with coriander and rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use dried beans and chickpeas?

Yes, but you will need to cook them before you start this recipe because there is not enough moisture here to cook dried beans or chickpeas.

You can soak both overnight and then boil them in water. You can cook beans in an Instant Pot, and chickpeas in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker without soaking them.

What is Henderson’s relish?

Henderson’s is an old British condiment similar to Worcestershire sauce but unlike Worcestershire sauce it is vegan.

It is widely available in most of the major British supermarkets, if you are not trying to keep this chilli vegan or vegetarian feel free to use Worcestershire sauce.

What does the polenta in this recipe do?

The polenta (aka cornmeal) in this recipe acts as a thickening agent and it is borderline genius. I much prefer it to using cornstarch or flour in chilli recipes.

Do I have to use Marmite?

No, it can be omitted. However, do not worry if you are not a fan of Marmite (I don’t like it either), in dishes like this it is a seasoning and flavour enhancer and not a major flavour.

Overhead close-up vegan chickpea and kidney bean chilli served with coriander and rice.

Serving Suggestions

I’ve served this chickpea chilli with brown rice, some vegan sour cream and a generous sprinkling of coriander. You could add a little more citrus if that is your thing with a wedge of lime!

I also love to serve chilli spooned over a “buttery” jacket potato… incidentally I’ve taken to baking my jacket spuds in an air fryer recently.

In its “homeland” chilli is often served with cornbread. In keeping with the veggie theme, this vegan cornbread would be ideal.

However, I like to serve chilli with a cheesy polenta “porridge”, my version is not vegan but you could use vegan butter and vegan cheese if needed.

If you cook this dish down a little more so that it is a little less moist it also makes a great filling for a vegan burrito.

Close-up vegan chickpea and kidney bean chilli served with coriander and vegan sour cream.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Stirring and serving spoon.
  • Sieve or colander.
  • Weighing scales and or a combination of a measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Spicy vegan chickpea and kidney bean chilli served with brown rice and coriander.
Yield: 2 Servings

Chickpea and Kidney Bean Chilli Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This vegan chickpea and kidney bean chilli or chili is loaded with big bold flavours and wrapped in a wonderfully thick and unctuous fiercely spicy sauce.


  • 400g (14oz) Tin Chickpeas
  • 400g (14oz) Tin Kidney Beans
  • 200g (1 Medium-Large) Onion
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Medium Hot Chilli Peppers
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 25g (2 Tbsp) Polenta or Cornmeal
  • 1 Tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ½ Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Ancho Chilli Flakes
  • ½ Tsp Chipotle Chilli Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Chipotle Chilli Paste
  • 2 Tbsp Henderson's Relish
  • 1 Tsp Marmite
  • 500ml (2 Cups) Vegetable Stock
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • Vegan Sour Cream to Garnish
  • Coriander to Garnish


  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and kidney beans.
  2. Cut the onion in half then cut it into half-moon shapes 2-3mm (⅛") thick.
  3. Heat the cooking oil in a 28cm or 11" frying pan (not nonstick if possible) over a medium heat and add the onions. Cooking them whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients, make sure that you stir them occasionally, this should take around 12-15 minutes. The onions should just be starting to become golden at the edges.
  4. Peel and dice the garlic cloves as fine as you can.
  5. Cut the chilli peppers into a fine dice.
  6. Add the fresh chilli, garlic and tomato puree to the pan and cook for a minute or two.
  7. Sprinkle over the polenta and stir for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the cocoa, cumin, oregano, brown sugar, ancho chilli and chipotle chilli flakes and stir everything together.
  9. Pour in the vegetable stock, Henderson's relish, and add the chipotle chilli paste and marmite then give everything a stir.
  10. Have a taste and add the salt if required, then add the beans and chickpeas, stir, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 644Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 1432mgCarbohydrates: 96gFiber: 21gSugar: 20gProtein: 26g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

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