Cheap Eats | Delicious Veggie Chilli

I’m in my final year at University and over the past 4 years, I’ve tried hundreds of recipes that use budget ingredients. Amongst these were some failures: the carrot soup I made in first year comes to mind. Very simply: leave a carrot, a potato, a stock cube and water boiling long enough for it to thicken slightly. Proceed by enthusiastically texting your mum an edited picture of this ‘soup’, and finally, attempt to eat without being sick.

Despite the occasional flop as a fresher, I have found a few absolutely fantastic recipes like this chilli – which have been tried, tested and enjoyed in my flat on a weekly basis for several months. The recipe comes from super savvy cook and author Jack Monroe’s blog, and is proudly titled ‘Mumma Jacks Best Ever Chilli’. She isn’t lying either: this chilli really is absolutely delicious – but the best part of it is that it costs only 38p per portion. It’s a miracle!

Jack Monroe’s Best Ever Chilli

Serves 4  – All prices from Asda, correct 24/2/15.

1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans 23p

1 x 400g tin of baked beans 24p

1 onion 10p

1 small chilli, chopped (I use a pinch of dried chilli flakes because I’m really poor)

a shake of paprika

a shake of ground cumin

a splash of oil

75ml red table wine   approx. 58p

1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes 31p

1 vegetable/chicken stock cube 7p

3 squares dark chocolate (I skip this as I’m very protective over my chocolate)


1. Begin by throughly rinsing the kidney and baked beans in a colander: including all the tomato sauce from the baked beans. Put both types of bean in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes then tip back into colander to drain.

2. While the beans are cooking, peel, slice and sautee the onion with the three spices. Add the oil and cook until the onions are soft and sweet.

3. Pour in the wine, chopped tomatoes and crumbled stock cube and simmer on a low heat.

4. Tip the beans into the sauce, and add the chocolate (if you choose to use it). Wait until the chocolate melts before serving with rice and tortilla chips (46p at Asda!)


You can store the chilli in the fridge for 3 days if allowed to cool and stored in an airtight container – but once you’ve had it for one dinner, i guarantee you’ll want it again as soon as you can.


Check out Jack’s blog It’s full of wonderful student-friendly recipes.

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