Campervan Recipes: My Famous Chilli Con Beanie

This is a really easy, one-pot recipe that is great for a weekday meal as well as in the campervan. And you can do lots of funky things with the leftovers that are almost as good as the main meal…

I adapted this recipe from the traditional Chilli con Carne (‘Chilli with Meat’) when I spent a few years as a vegetarian. It is so delicious and popular with my friends that I still cook it now that I am an omnivore again.

Meaty Version Too

If you want to make the meaty version you can replace the tin of mixed beans with mince but you will need to brown the meat first and drain off the fat. Some of the tastiest and most nutritious meats to use for a chilli are venison and bison mince. We get our bison mince from Bush Farm Bison Centre near Warminster in Wiltshire. See: You can also camp at the centre and walk around the farm to see the happy bison grazing!

This recipe makes enough for 4 people and takes around 5 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook in total.



  • Oil for frying (2 tbsps.)
  • 1 large green pepper (chopped in to small pieces)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped in to small pieces)
  • I can of plum tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 packet of Chilli con Carne spice mix
  • 1 can kidney beans (400g)
  • 1 can mixed beans (400g) or any other beans that you like: haricot, black-eyed etc.)

How to Cook

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the chopped pepper. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped onion and fry until both are soft.
  3. Add the tin of plum tomatoes. Cook a little and break them up until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the Chilli spice mix, stir and add some water if it is too thick.
  5. Let this mixture cook gently for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the drained can of kidney beans and the drained can of mixed beans. (If you are doing the meaty version, you can add the browned mince at this stage to replace the can of mixed beans.)
  7. Let this cook gently for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Serve with a dollop of natural yogurt and a sprinkling of grated mature cheddar. You can eat it by itself or with rice or on a baked potato (if you are cooking it at home). It also freezes well.

Fun with Leftovers

Quesadillas with Chill con Beanie filling

It’s also great the next day in a quesadilla with some grated Cheddar cheese or try it in a Taco shell or on toast! (I added some sweetcorn to this Chilli con Beanie).