This vegan chilli with Guinness, chocolate and coffee is the chilli you’ve been waiting for. A rich smoky gravy with tender beans and chunks of vegetables, it’s perfect served over rice or eaten with cornbread. My first chilli experience was chilli con carne at my Nan’s house, when I was about eight or nine years old I think, and I loved it. It wasn’t a dish that my mother would cook though, so my chilli-palate remained a bit underdeveloped during my childhood.
I went vegetarian when I was 14 and kinda thought that chilli belonged to the list of things I could no longer have, and it wasn’t until years later that I discovered bean chilli “non” carne. Honestly, at first I wasn’t a massive fan as a lot of vegetarian chilli recipes are heavily tomato-based and lack depth. Beer chilli is nice but again lacks depth, beer and coffee chilli is lovely and rich but still needs a little something….
The chocolate definitely gives the chilli its extra something and I keep meaning to experiment with adding it to other savoury dishes! Some people add cocoa to their chilli, but again seeing as how I was aiming for richness, nothing but real chocolate would do. It’s kind of funny that I love coffee in my chilli seeing as how I can’t stand to drink it or smell it or eat anything remotely coffee flavoured….but in chilli it totally works, trust me.
If you can’t get a hold of Guinness, any dark lager will do. And don’t worry that Guinness isn’t vegan, as it is now – in 2017 they stopped using isinglass (a kind of gelatin extracted from fish bladders – bleurghhhhh) in the production of the black stuff.
I like my chilli with lots of sauce but if you desire a chunkier less-saucy chilli just add in an additional can of beans. You could even make it three-bean chilli by adding black beans. I’ve used pinto and kidney beans here purely out of personal preference, really any kind of beans could be used, but for me chilli is not chilli without kidney beans.
For years I had read about cornbread being a common accompaniment to chilli, but as I had never seen or tasted cornbread, I decided to do some research. I did whip up a batch of cornbread with chili peppers as a side to this dish (next time I’ll make it with jalapenos I think), and actually needed to look up on youtube how people eat it with chilli as I had no idea.
The combination of a bowlful of chilli loaded with toppings, and cornbread, was really tasty, but if you don’t have the time or inclination to make cornbread, just serve this chilli over white rice. It also freezes well and will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
UPDATE: I did make that cornbread again with jalapenos, and it was amazing! IF you’re in the mood for some fresh springy cornbread, try my easy vegan jalapeno cornbread!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium chopped onions
- 2 large peppers, 1 red and 1 green
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1.5 tbsp chilli powder or 3/4 tbsp regular paprika and 3/4 tbsp spicy smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne powder
- 800 g canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 can of Guinness, 440ml or 14 ounces*
- 1 cup of coffee, 180ml
- 40 grams dark dairy-free chocolate
- 1 large jar of red kidney beans, 400g drained
- 1 large jar of pinto beans, 400g drained
- 1 cup sweetcorn, tinned or frozen
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ vegetable stock cube
- Optional toppings: soy cream, coconut cream or sour cream (if not vegan), grated vegan cheese or cheddar cheese, sliced spring onions, lemon wedges, guacamole
- Heat the sunflower oil in a medium or large non-stick pot , and add the chopped onions and peppers. Fry until the onions are golden.
- Add the crushed garlic and spices, and fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, Guinness, coffee and dark chocolate and stir until the chocolate has dissolved.
- Add in the drained beans and stir well. Lower the heat to a simmer for twenty minutes, stirring every five.
- Add in the corn and crumble the 1/2 stock cube. Simmer for another ten minutes and serve with the toppings of your choice over rice or with cornbread.
I don't have access to chilli powder mix so I use paprika instead. In that case it's important that the spicy smoked paprika is not substituted as it really makes all the difference. I personally prefer spicy smoked Pimenton de la Vera paprika.