This mushroom and black bean chilli is perfect for students or anyone cooking for one – it’s easy to make, with only a few ingredients, and makes two perfect portions. Simple and tasty!
I think I’m officially ready to admit that it’s autumn. The schools have gone back, the sun has disappeared, and I’m finally starting to look forward to cosy evenings curled up with some kind of warming autumnal dinner. This mushroom and black bean chilli is a great place to start. It only really has 4 main ingredients (plus a couple of spices), so it couldn’t be easier to make, but it’s rich and comforting – it’s surprising how effective simplicity can sometimes be!
Perfect student food!
I pretty much learned to cook when I was at university. I may not have used my Psychology degree since the day I graduated (no, I can’t read your mind), but I have definitely used all those skills that came from cooking for myself for 3 years! And this is just the kind of easy recipe I wish I’d had when I was at uni.
You don’t need a cupboard full of ingredients, or any particular cooking ability – just a few simple ingredients, and the strength to stir a spoon in a pan.
The recipe serves two, so you can either cook for a friend, or just stick it in the fridge and have a portion left over for the next day (saves you cooking again!). It reheats really well – just add some fresh toppings and you’re good to go.
Mushrooms, black beans, onions, and tomatoes. That’s almost everything you’ll need to make this chilli.
I did use three different spices in this mushroom and black bean chilli, but they’re the same spices I use all the time – smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne. Literally, look at pretty much any of my recipes that use spices, and it will probably be these three… I’m not particularly experimental. You can keep them in the cupboard, and they’ll see you through all kinds of recipes – it’s definitely worth the tiny investment of a few decent jars of spice to lift your cooking to the next level!
Feel free to add some extra veggies to this chilli if you have something in the fridge that needs using up – maybe add a chopped pepper along with the mushrooms, or a handful of spinach along with the tomatoes. Chilli is a great fridge-clearer!
How to serve black bean chilli
One of my favourite things about a good chilli is that it can be served in all sorts of ways, so even if you have leftovers, it doesn’t have to feel like you’re eating the same meal again.
Serve it in the classic way, in a bowl with rice.
Make a chilli burrito by wrapping it up in a big flour tortilla.
Spoon it over tortilla chips for chilli bean nachos!
Even add it to hot dogs or burgers to make them extra special.
Whatever you do, just don’t forget plenty of cheese and sour cream on top!
Easy mushroom and black bean chilli
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 225 g mushrooms, diced (~ 3 cups when diced)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 400 g tin black beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne chilli pepper (or more to taste)
- 1/2 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- Black pepper
- To serve: rice, sour cream, grated cheese, fresh coriander (cilantro), etc. (optional)
- Heat a dash of oil in a saucepan, and add the onion. Cook for a few minutes over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook for a further 5-10 minutes, until soft.
- Add the tin of black beans, the spices, and the crumbled stock cube. There should be a bit of moisture in the pan from the mushrooms, but you can add a tablespoon or two of water if needed. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 5 minutes, until the mixture looks thicker and richer.
- Add the diced tomatoes, and season to taste. You can also add some extra spice if needed. Cook for a few more minutes, until the tomatoes have softened.
- Serve with your choice or sides and toppings - I used rice, sour cream, grated cheese, and chopped coriander (cilantro).
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/2 the recipe.