Are you craving a hearty, smoky, and Spicy Mexican Chilli Bean Soup? Indulge in a steaming bowl of beany Mexican-infused yumminess in just 30 minutes with this easy recipe. Made with pinto beans, black beans and sweet corn kernels every mouthful of this rich and velvety soup is warming, nutritious and flavour packed.
Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free this soup is an excellent crowd-pleaser with lots of tasty toppings to personalise your bowl.
If you like the sound of this Spicy Mexican Chilli Bean Soup, you should try my Mexican Street Corn Soup. Or for more quick and easy Mexican recipes my Easy Cheese Quesadilla and Canned Corn Salad are perfect for lunch/brunch.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
5 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- Super easy and ready in 30 minutes.
- Warming and comforting.
- Filled with your favourite Mexican flavours with tasty toppings to make it next-level delicious.
- A crowd pleaser. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.
- Make ahead and freezer friendly.
🛒 Key ingredients:
- Scotch bonnet chillies: add fruity heat to the soup. Feel free to adjust the amount depending on how spicy you want the soup.
- Chopped tomatoes or passata: I tend to use tinned chopped tomatoes but passata will also work and will give the soup a smoother texture.
- Black & pinto beans: pinto beans are soft and creamy and black beans add more texture. I use canned beans for convenience but you can also cook up some dried beans on the stove or make Instant Pot Beans.
- Corn: can be canned, fresh or frozen
Note that the recipe has not been tested with all the substitutions and variations below, so the results cannot be guaranteed.
- Scotch bonnet chillies: switch for jalapeño, serrano or habanero or for a milder soup use long red chillies. You can also skip the fresh chillies and add chilli powder to taste.
- Beans: you can make the soup with just black beans or use kidney beans. The soup will lack texture if you just use pinto beans.
- Veg stock: you can also use chicken or beef stock if you are not looking to make vegetarian soup.
- Lime juice: adds a tanginess. You can use lemon juice or a little red wine vinegar instead.
Sometimes, you crave basic chow mein noodles – perfect for accompanying dishes like Singapore Fried Rice, Sesame Chicken, and Crispy Shredded Chilli Beef. Yet, there are moments when you simply want to savor chow mein as a full meal. Here are some ideas for those times.
- Chicken chow mein
- Duck chow mein
- Special Chow mein
- Singapore chow mein
- Vegan/vegetarian chow mein with fried tofu
- Bean and bacon soup: add cooked bacon to enhance the smoky flavours.
- Chicken bean soup: a great way to use leftover cooked chicken and boost the protein.
- 3 bean soup: add another type of bean, like kidney beans.
- Veggies: switch out the red pepper or beans for other veggies like carrot, zucchini/courgette or celery.
🧑🍳 Recipe steps
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions! *
Step 1: Place a large frying pan on a medium heat, add oil and fry the onions and red peppers until softened. Then add the garlic.
Step 2: Add the cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and Worcester sauce (if using). Pour in the chopped tomatoes, veg stock and beans and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Optional: For a thicker soup, puree half of the soup using a blender.
Step 4: Add the corn and lime juice. Serve immediately or leave to cool and refrigerate or freeze to enjoy later.
🍽️ Serving suggestions
These toppings take the textures and flavours of the soup to a whole new level. Make sure you try some of them.
- Grated cheese like cheddar or Monterey Jack
- Sour cream
- Chopped avocado or Guacamole (without tomatoes)
- Tortilla chips for extra crunch
- Tabasco sauce and fresh or jarred jalapenos for extra spiciness
- Fresh cilantro/coriander
- Adjust the heat. Feel free to use a different type of chilli, use chilli powder and increase or decrease the amount to suit your tastes. If you want a very spicy soup you can add extra fresh chillis or jalapenos or hot sauce when the soup is served.
- Thicken the soup by blitzing half of it in a blender. You can skip this step if you prefer a thinner soup.
- Serve with toppings. Avocado, grated cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips really enhance the textures and tastes in the soup. Don't skip them.
🙋 Recipe FAQs
Draining the beans is advisable to avoid adding extra liquid to the soup which will dilute its flavour.
Mexican bean soup is a great make-ahead meal. The cooked soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheated on the stove or in the microwave.
The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months, left to defrost overnight and reheated on the stove or in the microwave.
I would say the spice level is on the upper end of medium. If you are sensitive to spice you can reduce or omit the chilli. For a hotter soup you can increase the chilli, add chilli powder and/or serve with jalapeños and hot sauce.
While it is possible to make Mexican bean soup using an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker, this recipe has not been tested using these devices. I advise following specific Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Bean Soup recipes if you want to use these devices.
😋 More vegetarian Mexican Inspired recipes
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Easy Spicy Mexican Bean Soup (with corn)
- 1 tbsp neutral oil (Note 1)
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2-3 scotch bonnet chillies finely chopped (Note 2)
- 2 red peppers cut into ⅓ inch / 1cm cubes
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp Worcester sauce optional
- salt to taste
- 2 14oz/400ml cans chopped tomatoes or tomato passata
- 2 cups veg stock (Note 3)
- 1 14ox/400ml can black beans drained (Note 4)
- 1 14oz/400ml can pinto beans drained
- 1.5 cups corn (Note 5)
- 1 lime juice (Note 6)
To serve (optional)
- grated cheese
- sour cream
- Chopped cilantro/coriander
- Tortilla chips
- Tabasco sauce
- Place a Dutch oven or large pan on a medium heat and add oil.
- Add the onion when the oil is hot and fry for a few minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the red pepper and chilli and fry for a couple more minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add the cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and Worcester sauce (if using),
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes or tomato passata, veg stock and beans. Add salt to taste and bring to boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- For a thicker soup, blitz one third to half of the soup using a blender or food processor.
- Return the blended soup to the pot and stir in the corn and lime juice.
- Remove from the heat and serve with your choice of toppings.
- Oil: choose a neutral oil like sunflower, vegetable or canola oil.
- Scotch Bonnet Chillies: Switch for jalapeño, Sereno or habanero or for a milder soup use long red chillies. You can also skip the fresh chillies and add chilli powder to taste.
- Vegetable stock: Can substitute with chicken or beef stock if you are not looking to make vegetarian soup.
- Beans: you can make the soup with just black beans or use kidney beans. The soup will lack texture if you use only Pinto beans.
- Corn: you can use canned, fresh or frozen.
- Lime: substitute with lemon juice or a little red wine vinegar.