It’s chili season! And this three bean vegetarian chili is the one I come back to again and again. It’s so simple and easy to make, it’s hearty and it’s delicious.
I recently did a poll on Instagram and asked what everyone’s favorite winter comfort foods are. Hands down, chili was the crowd favorite. And I couldn’t agree more! I also love a good bowl of chili on a cold winter day, piled high with all my favorite toppings like hot sauce, green onions and cilantro. Is there anything better?
There are many ways to make an amazing bowl of chili, but this recipe is pretty simple and sticks to the basics. I love that it’s full of veggies, fiber and plant based protein. This chili recipe is actually vegan, but don’t let that scare you away from trying it. If you prefer, you can always add in some ground beef or turkey and leave out a can of the beans.
I chose to use canned beans in this recipe instead of dried beans that require cooking. While I try to use fresh foods as much as possible, beans are one of the foods that I just find it easier to work with and include in my diet when I go with the canned options. So it’s basically a convenience thing for me. I don’t love to soak and cook dried beans! There, I said it.
But, beans are such a nutrient dense food, I do try to work them into my diet as much as I can. Here’s why: they’re a great way to load up on fiber and plant-based protein. We know that people who eat a high-fiber diet experience less hunger. Fiber is good for heart health, and it also feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Fiber for the win!
So here are my top tips for choosing and using canned beans: go for the low sodium or sodium-free options, if they are available. Be sure to read through the ingredients list to make sure there’s no added ingredients that you weren’t aware of. And always give the canned beans a good rinse in a colander with fresh water to rinse off the preservatives, letting them drain well before using them.
Like soups and chilis? Here are more recipes for you to try:
- Smoky Sweet Potato and Lentil One Pot Meal
- Creamy Vegan Tomato Bisque
- Dairy-Free Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Classic Minestrone Soup
- Roasted Cauliflower Tahini Soup with Harissa
- Pumpkin Black Bean and Lentil Chili
If you make this three bean vegetarian chili, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know what you think. I love hearing your feedback!
Three Bean Vegetarian Chili
- 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
- 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and bell pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chili powder, cumin and garlic powder to the mixture and sauté for another minute.
- Add the diced tomatoes, beans, water, sugar and sea salt, stirring everything well. Bring the chili to a simmer, turn the heat down to medium low, and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Using a potato masher, mash the chili mixture just about 5 or 6 times to help break apart some of the beans and veggies, which will thicken the chili. Alternatively, you can add a tablespoon of corn meal to thicken the chili. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes more over low heat. Remove from the heat, adjust the seasonings and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving, if possible.