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Bacon and Five Bean Chilli

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Adjust Servings:
4 Rashers of Smoked Bacon
1 Sliced Red Onion
1 Clove Chopped Garlic
1 Sliced Red Pepper
1 Chopped (optional) Red Chilli
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 Can (drained) Cannellini Beans
1 Can (drained) 5 Bean Mix
500ml Passata
2 tbsp Olive Oil
to taste Salt
to taste Pepper

Bacon and Five Bean Chilli


    A tasty, hot chilli recipe made with bacon and mixed beans

    • 35 Minutes
    • Serves 4
    • Medium




    This is a Bacon and Five Bean Chilli Recipe is inspired by chorizo and bean stews and caseroles from Spain and Mexico. You can tailor it to your own campfire tastes very simply. This version uses bacon and a tin of mixed beans but you can use whatever you like. Bacon will last OK on a short camping trip in your coolbox. On longer “expeditions”, chorizo is a fabulous substitute that will last a little bit better and of course. You could always forgo the bacon and make this a delicious vegetarian campfire meal.

    Have all your ingredients for the Bacon and Five Bean Chilli ready chopped before you start because it does move quite quickly. Don’t forget to have a reasonable supply of firefood on stand by. As with most campfire recipes, allow the fire the die down to embers before cooking.

    A tip for campfire cooking is to generously rub the outside of your pan with washing up liquid. You’ll find that stubborn black residue from the fire much easier to wash off (and it encourages young scouts to wash their hands before cooking).

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    The secret to campfire cooking is preparation - Have your ingredients prepared, chopped, sliced open before you go (nothing worse than being unable to find your tin opener while your garlic burns in the pan). You can chop veg while your fire is burning down to embers. Have someone else collect enough good dry wood for above 30 minutes of cooking. Don't forget to coat the bottom of your pan in washing up liquid either. It'll make clean up easier later.


    Start cooking

    Fry off the sliced onions and bacon in the olive oil. When the bacon is getting some colour and the onions are cooked add the sliced peppers, and fry for about 4-5 minutes until the peppers start to soften.


    Add the spices, chilli (if using) and garlic and stir. Be careful not to let the garlic or spices catch and burn or it will make the whole dish taste bitter. It'll be done in less than a minute.


    Stir in both tins of beans and the passata and bring to the boil. Once it's bubbling, move to a cooler part of the fire. You don't want to boil it vigorously, just a gentle simmer. Let it cook like this for about 15/20 minutes, until the beans have gone soft and the peppers, nice and juicy. Stir it often, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom or edges.


    Give your Bacon and Five Bean Chilli another stir, because of the nature of cooking on fire, you mightn't get an even cooking temperature and so parts of your pan will be hotter than other bits.

    Taste it, it'll need a good pinch of salt and pepper to bring out the best in those tomatoes.



    You could serve this with some fluffy boiled rice or even some baked potatoes cooked in the campfire wrapped in foil but I quite like to tear open a bag of Doritos, spoon it on top and sprinkle with cheese. Use a sharing bag and let people tuck in, or spoon into individual bags and eat with a spoon for a handheld bag of nachos. Unorthadox, but it saves on washing up.

    Mark T

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