Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Three Bean Chilli for the Whole Family

After the excesses of my son's birthday, something better for the body and soul felt in order.  This met with approval from the wee man; the exact quote was "It's yum!"

Ok, you're thinking I'm giving my (only just) three year old chilli.  Yes I am and have been giving him a toned down version since before he was one!  There is really no need to completely avoid spice with kids.  If you want to tone it down, reduce or miss out the chilli but leave in the paprika so there is still some flavour but trust me, a bit of chilli is not bad thing.  This was warming and tasty enough for me but if you like it spicier as an adult, add some salsa or pickled jalapenos, that would be great if you then served it with grated cheese and tortillas... Hmm, I think we can see how I'm going to be eating the leftovers.

Use the mix of beans you prefer but I think pinto are needed as they help thicken the sauce.  If you're using dried beans remember to soak overnight before using and follow pack instructions to cook first.

Three 'Bean' Chilli - serves 2 adults and a toddler with leftovers


1 Tin of pinto beans (175g, 6oz drained weight)
1 tin of Red Kidney Beans (240g, 8.5oz drained weight)
1 tin of Chickpeas (I used brown chickpeas) (240g, 8.5oz drained weight)
2 Cloves of garlic
2 tsp Smoked Sweet Paprika
1 Small dried chilli, seeds removed (optional for babies)
1 400g, 14oz Tin of chopped tomatoes
1 Red pepper (capsicum)
1 Bay leaf
Pinch of cumin seeds
Seasoning to taste (optional)


I made this in a slow cooker but it was purely for convenience, stick it on, leave it, go to parent and toddler group and come back to a hot lunch!  Yay!  But equally you could make this on a hob.

Empty the beans and chickpeas into the pan or slow cooker.  Add the chopped garlic, paprika, dried chilli, tomatoes, chopped red pepper, bay leaf and cumin seeds.  Simmer for 30 mins or so or 2-3 hours on high in the slow cooker making sure you stir if you cook on the hob as it will catch.  Add seasoning to taste if using (remove baby or toddler portions first if using salt).  Remove the bay leaf and serve with cooked boiled rice, soft tortillas or tortilla chips if liked.  Add salsa, pickled jalapenos and / or cheese if you feel in the mood!


  1. Love the look of your chilli, I could just eat some :)

    Thanks for sharing :)

    1. My son was properly impressed with it too. Not an obvious 3 year old lunchtime choice but why not? Gets some pulses in them too which is no bad thing.

  2. Completely agree, my 14 month loves chilli!


I would love to read your comments but please don't include links in them.