Microwave chilli

For a super speedy supper, try Jack Monroe's vegetarian kidney bean chilli – a great way to get 2 of your 5-a-day in this microwavable, midweek meal

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:5 mins
    plus standing
  • Serves 2
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 333
  • fat 12g
  • saturates 6g
  • carbs 36g
  • sugars 16g
  • fibre 15g
  • protein 13g
  • salt 2g


  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, crushed
  • knob of butter
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika (sweet or smoked depending on preference)
  • pinch of chilli flakes or chilli powder
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes, drained and juice reserved
  • 400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ vegetable stock cube
  • 2 squares dark chocolate
  • soured cream, to serve (optional)
  • coriander, to serve (optional)


Vary the recipe

Add a little chopped chorizo or salami at the beginning of cooking, if you like.

Jack's top tips

The wider and shallower your microwaveable container is, the quicker your food will cook. A bowl or plastic box would work well, but remember not to use metal in the microwave, or any crockery with metal trim. Metal reflects the microwaves and catches fire – with my firefighter hat on, it’s a common cause of kitchen fires, and kitchen fires quickly turn into house fires. If in doubt, leave it out.

Jack's top tips

When cooking dishes with a high liquid content, such as pasta, rice or soups, cover with cling film and pierce to contain the liquid and allow the heat to escape – this prevents messy explosions! I stand anything like this in a bowl to catch any escaping liquid and keep the bottom of my microwave clean.



  1. Put the onion, garlic, butter and spices in a microwaveable container, give it a quick stir, then heat in the microwave on High for 30-40 secs. Leave to stand for 1 min, then add the chopped tomatoes, beans, stock cube and chocolate.

  2. Cover with cling film and pierce 3 times. Place some kitchen paper on your microwave turntable, put the container on top and cook for 2 mins on High. Stir well and leave to stand for 1 min. If your chilli starts to dry out, add some of the reserved tomato juice, but remember that it won’t reduce as much in the microwave as it would on the hob.

  3. Cover and cook on Medium for a further 2 mins. Give it a good stir and allow to stand for 1 min before serving topped with soured cream and coriander, if you like.

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