Zero Waste Mung Bean Chilli (gf, ve)

Prep: 20 minutesCook: 45 minutesTotal: 65 minutes
Yield: serves 6Category: Dinners
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This tasty chilli recipe is a staple in our house, not only because it is delicious but because it is the go to meal when we have lots of vegetables in that need using up.

The ingredients listed below are the ones that usually end up in the chilli so I have used this as the base, however, as long as the mung beans and the seasoning remains the same anything goes!

Mung beans have gained a bad reputation over the years as a boring health food but they have a great texture and, if seasoned well, they make a great substitute for mince meaning they work brilliantly in chillis. Weirdly enough, the real star of the show in this chilli is the courgette. I have made versions of it with the courgette in and versions without and the tastiest, juiciest chillis have all been the ones that contain the courgette so don’t be scared to throw one in.

As mentioned, this is the perfect meal to make to reduce food waste and I have also added leftover salsa, butternut squash, spinach and sweet potato to this before and they all work well.

I usually just use chilli powder in this recipe and then add fresh chilli on top or stirred through a few minutes before serving, however, if you prefer a spicier taste you could add the fresh chilli at the beginning of the cooking process for a richer flavour. You can amend the amount of chilli used to suit your own personal preference.

You may have noticed I use a pinch of cinnamon in this recipe which may seem odd but it really does just add an extra depth to this so I would highly recommend using this no matter how strange you may find it!

I normally cook this in my slow cooker on high for 5 – 6 hours, however, for those of you who don’t have one I wanted to write out the hob method. If you prefer to use the slow cooker for this just keep all the amounts the same and omit the oil.

I make a large batch of this that should serve approximately 5 – 6 people when paired with rice, wedges, nachos etc making this the perfect purse friendly family dinner. It also freezes well meaning it is ideal to make in advance for lunches for the week.


  • 200g 1 + 1/4 cup mung beans (uncooked)
  • 400ml 1 + 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 tin black beans (235g)
  • 1 small tin sweetcorn (165g)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 handful fresh coriander
  • 1/2 fresh chilli (optional)
  • 1 stock cube
  • 4 tsp smokey paprika
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • splash olive oil


  1. Peel and roughly slice the onion and add to a large saucepan containing a splash of olive oil
  2. Roughly chop the courgette, tomato and pepper, (discarding the seeds), and add to the pan containing the onions. Cook the vegetables over a moderate heat for a few minutes, stirring ocassionally
  3. Drain the black beans and sweetcorn and add to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes
  4. Rinse the mung beans and add to the pan along with the water and stock cube
  5. Add all of the seasoning with the exception of the coriander and fresh chilli. Stir well and bring to the boil
  6. Once boiling, add the lid to the pan and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring ocassionally and adding a splash of additional water whenever needed
  7. Remove the lid and stir the roughly chopped chilli and coriander through the chilli. Add any additional seasoning to taste and allow to cook for a few more minutes before serving


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