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Bacon and Bean Stew (aka Bacon Chilli)

Bacon chilli is quick to make, cheap and tastes amazing. Kids love it and it’s a great alternative to beef chilli.

This Bean Stew is a stock recipe in my house and is eaten on every holiday. It has a beautiful simplicity and is both tasty and comforting all at the same time.

Bacon and Bean Stew or Bacon Chilli - Stock and Bothered

It was created by necessity on a French camping trip and in a rush I’d managed to buy “off cuts for animals” instead of buying beef mince. With two starving kids and the shops 20 minutes drive away I had to think on my feet. So I used a pack of lardons instead of mince and the result was this amazing dish which my kids now choose over beef chilli.

This recipe will serve 4 handsomely with leftovers for lunchtime wraps or pot.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, choppped
  • 4-6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped, or a pack of lardons
  • 1 tin tom, 400g
  • 1 can/carton black beans, 400g
  • 2 cans/cartons mixed beans in water, 400g
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano


  • Use a deep frying pan, sauté pan or stock pot

Serve Bacon Chilli with

  • Brown rice, soured cream, grated cheese and avocado.
  • Try “tortilla crunch”, simply crush a couple of tortilla chips over your chilli
  • Turn it into a banquet by adding spicy roasted sweet potato and tortillas.


  • It makes amazing nachos
  • Change the beans, it’s amazing how it alters the texture. Try black beans and kidney beans.


  • Prepare the garlic, onions and bacon.
  • Put pan on high heat, to check hot enough add a piece of bacon and wait until it starts to sizzle.
  • Once bacon is mostly brown turn heat down to medium and add onions and garlic.
  • While cooking open the beans and tomatoes, drain the kidney beans only
  • we’re going to add the black beans and water
  • Fry until the onions are starting to go translucent
  • Now add remaining ingredients
  • Bring to a simmer and leave for 30 mins
  • At this point you can put your brown rice on.

Serve your bean stew with your rice and a cold beer, such as a Laguitas Daytime , if you’re in the mode.