Like chili but don’t do well with beans? This “free from” chili con carne is made without beans for those whose digestion doesn’t really like legumes. The twist comes in mushroom form. Enjoy on a weeknight thanks to this easy recipe!

I love beans and all sorts of legumes. I grew up with lentil and butter bean stews, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like hummus? But legumes can be very hard on some people and produce not only flatulence (which is definitely not the worst) but also lots of digestive distress including bloating and cramping.

With my IBS I still enjoy properly prepared beans every now and then, but a lot of people can’t even tolerate this and need to stay away from all sorts of legumes. This recipe is thought for those who can’t eat legumes without digestive distress or a flare of autoimmune symptoms. Or simply for those who love a good chili 🙂

The inspiration for this chili sin beans came from my vegan friend who makes her chili sin carne replacing meat with mushrooms. I thought mushrooms in a chili sounded yummy, and wanted to try them. Mushrooms contain lots of umami and therefore are great to enhance the flavour of many foods.

This chili still consists of the classic stewed tomatoes and onions but has added shiitake mushrooms to bring up the flavour and make this dish an easy weeknight treat. Plus raw cocoa to make it even tastier and add a bunch of micronutrients and antioxidants, cause why not?

This recipe is naturally gluten-free and a great way of eating a variety of vegetables if you are cooking for someone that struggles to get their 5 a day.

Chili sin beans recipe:

Servings: 4   |   Cooking time: 30 min   |   Preparation time: 5 min


  • 500 grams – beef mince
  • 1 – brown onion, chopped
  • 6 – garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 – medium tomatoes, blended into sauce (can also use 1/2 can chopped tomatos)
  • 125 grams – fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 – red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp – coconut oil or preferred cooking fat
  • 2 tsp – raw cacao powder
  • 2 x 1 tsp – sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp – chipotle powder (or other hot pepper)
  • 2 x 1/2 tsp – cumin
  • 1 tsp – turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp – coriander seeds powder
  • 1/2 tsp – cinnamon
  • 1 bunch – fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp – salt
  • 1 tsp – ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup – boiling water


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the onions. Then add the chopped pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and one of the 1/2 tsp of sweet paprika and saute for 1 more minute.
  2. Place the beef in the saucepan, sprinkle salt and pepper and mix well with a wooden spoon making sure you are breaking the mince into little pieces. Cook until brown.
  3. Add the mushrooms and mix well.
  4. Pour the tomato sauce (blended tomatoes) and boiling water. Add the rest of the spices (one more tsp sweet paprika and cumin, chipotle, turmeric, raw cacao, cinnamon and coriander seeds) and stir until everything is combined and the colour is uniform.
  5. Put the lid on the saucepan and let it simmer for 20-30min. The longer you leave it to simmer the better, but 20 minutes is enough to enjoy a decent chili 🙂
  6. Stir in the fresh coriander right before serving or use it to top the chili once on the table.

Enjoy with rice or cauli rice, with fresh lime juice and sour cream if you like it.