Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Microwave Challenge: Microwave Mixed Bean Chilli

This is my entry into my Microwave Blog Challenge.

I have taken inspiration from this recipe for vegetable & bean chilli and this recipe for Mexican bean soup - I particularly needed the latter recipe to help me work out timings, as I didn't have a clue how long everything would take to cook in the microwave.

I was surprised by how well this turned out. Apparently, when microwave cooking you're supposed to try and chop everything very evenly so it all cooks evenly. I don't do chopping evenly and it was still fine. I'd say it was probably a bit soggier than if I'd cooked it on the hob, as there's no scope for frying the veg, but the texture wasn't too bad on the whole.

I have put the cumin and paprika as optional, but I do recommend them for a more chilli-like flavour.

This should be about enough for 2 portions - it should be fine to reheat any leftovers. Wait for the leftovers to cool for an hour or so and then store in a sealed container in the fridge. Use within 2 - 3 days and make sure it is piping hot once reheated.

(As an aside, as I've mentioned serving with rice below, I personally wouldn't reheat left-over rice as I worry too much about food poisoning!).

Anyway, on with the recipe!

Microwave Mixed Bean Chilli

Serves 2

1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1 tsp vegetable or olive oil
1 tsp mild or medium chilli powder (depending on how hot you like your food)
1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
1 tsp paprika (optional)
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
1/2 tbsp tomato puree
1 400g can of mixed beans (or 1 can of red kidney beans), drained and rinsed
a handful of frozen or tinned sweetcorn

1. Place the onion and garlic in a microwaveable bowl and cook on full power for 3 minutes.
2. Add the red pepper, the oil, and the spices to the bowl and stir well. Microwave for 1 minute.
3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree, loosely cover the bowl (I use one of these) and microwave for 15 minutes.
4. Add the beans and sweetcorn to the bowl, cover again, and microwave for 4 minutes.

Serve with rice (instructions on how to microwave basmati rice (or alternatively buy some microwave rice)) or a jacket potato (instructions on how to microwave a jacket potato) or wraps or pitta breads. You could also add grated cheese, sour cream, guacamole, etc. if you wish.


  1. You have made me think. I haven't thought before about microwave cooking with regard to even cooking. What you said about even chopping size resonates with me, though I most often assume that uneven cooking is because my microwave has hot spots and cooler spots. So I always thought this means lots of stirring is required. Your chilli looks beautiful and sounds very tasty indeed.

    1. I didn't find the hotspot and cooler spot an issue when cooking this although my microwave has hotspots too. I think because it actually gets cooked for quite a while, compared to when you are reheating something for a few minutes, the heat gets more of a chance to transfer. I also did give it a good stir at each stage.

      Thanks! The chilli is simple, but tasty and nutritious - I was actually quite surprised that it came out so well having been cooked in a microwave!