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  • Sheena Philipose

Mexican Bean Chowder

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

With the Lent season upon us, coming up with vegetarian dishes to satisfy everyone at home is a challenge. That being said, this bean chowder made with a combination of kidney beans and black beans is a household favorite; spicy, full of flavor, and quick to make, this meal is perfect for a cozy winter night in. Here's a short video showing how to

picture of bean chowder
Mexican bean chowder

Mexican black beans, also known as black turtle beans, are a small, shiny variety of the common bean and are especially popular in Latin American cuisine. Black beans contain high levels of antioxidants, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates, making them nutritionally powerful.

picture of black and kidney beans and corn kernels
Black beans, kidney beans and corn kernels

This soup can also be made using with the addition of beef or chicken and can be made into a wholesome meal by itself, just add the minced beef or chicken with the onions and brown it first and continue with the same recipe.

Tips for the best bean chowder

  • For this recipe, you can use dry or canned beans, depending on availability. Note that dry beans require soaking overnight before cooking, but canned also works well.

  • For a heartier version, substitute the vegetable stock with chicken stock.

  • The soup is best served with some sour cream and shredded cheese mix or cheddar.


Mexican Bean Chowder

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus overnight soaking

Serves: 6 people


  • 1/2 cup dry red kidney beans or 1 can of kidney beans

  • 1/2 cup dry black beans or 1 can of black beans

  • 1 Tbsp oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 1/2 Tsp chili powder

  • 1 Tbsp cumin powder

  • 2 Tsp coriander powder

  • 2 x 400 g cans of chopped tomatoes

  • 3 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 red capsicum, chopped

  • 1 green capsicum, chopped

  • 1 can corn kernels

  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 Tbsp chopped coriander/cilantro

  • Sour cream and Mexican shredded cheese mix to serve

picture of ingredients for the bean chowder
ingredients for bean chowder


  1. If using dry beans, soak the kidney beans and black beans in separate bowls of water overnight. Drain right before preparing.

  2. Cook the beans separately in an instapot/pressure cooker until soft, around 25 minutes at high pressure for an instapot.

  3. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the garlic and onion and cook over medium heat until soft. Add the chili powder, cumin and coriander and cook for a minute. Stir in the canned tomato, tomato paste, water and stock. Mix well together and bring it to a boil, allowing to cook for 15 minutes.

  4. Add in the chopped capsicums and let it cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked beans (canned beans, if using) and corn and cook covered for 10 minutes.

  5. Add chopped cilantro/coriander. Serve hot with grated cheese and a spoonful of sour cream.

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