Easy Three Bean Chili Recipe - The Simple Veganista (2024)

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This quick and easy Three Bean Chili recipe is warm, cozy and ready in 30 minutes. It’s a hearty vegan chili and perfect for a healthy lunch, dinner or meal prep idea!

Easy Three Bean Chili Recipe - The Simple Veganista (1)

I love a good chili, a few of my favorites include this Quinoa Chili Verde, Butternut Squash Chili, Easy Vegetable Chili and this hearty Ultimate Tempeh Chili.

A good chili recipe is a must and this vegan Three Bean Chili is loaded with flavor, protein and fiber. Plus, it’s easy to put together and ready in about 30 minutes!

When the chilly weather sets in, cozy up with a bowl of this flavorful and hearty chili!

Easy Three Bean Chili Recipe - The Simple Veganista (2)

Table of Contents show

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe we’ll simmer together onion, garlic, jalapeno, 3 types of beans, tomatoes, chili powder, chipotle powder and a bit of cocoa creating a delicious, warm and hearty lunch or dinner.

  • The Beans. This chili recipe calls for a mix of kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans, but of course use your preferred combination of beans or whatever you have on hand.
  • Aromatics. You’ll start the chili with onion and garlic, and jalapeno for a little heat.
  • The Spices. This 3-Bean Chili is loaded with spices. I find it’s pretty much a perfect combination of chili powder and chipotle powder. Feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your taste.
  • Liquids. Use either water or vegetable broth. For the most flavor, use veggie broth.
  • My Favorite Secret Ingredient.Adding a little bit of cocoa gives depth. Do use the darkest chocolate you can, 70% and above. It’s super delicious and I always try to add a bit to all of my chili recipes.

Easy Three Bean Chili Recipe - The Simple Veganista (3)

How To Make Three Bean Chili

  • Saute: In large pot heat olive oil over medium heat, saute onion for 5 – 7 minutes, or until tender and translucent. Add the garlic, jalapeno, chili and chipotle powder, cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  • Simmer: Add the beans, tomatoes, chocolate, and liquids, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover askew, and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Add more water as needed. Taste for flavor, season with salt and pepper, and add anything else you feel it needs.

Now all you have to do is enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

It’s great served with a sliced green onions, a dollop of vegan sour cream, a squeeze of lime.

I love pairing my chili with this vegan Sweet Chia Cornbread or Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins. Break up the cornbread and add to the chili, it’s the perfect compliment of spicy chili with sweet cornbread. There’s just something about this combination that takes chili over the top, making it a perfect meal!

Easy Three Bean Chili Recipe - The Simple Veganista (4)

How Long Will Leftovers Keep?

Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container. Re-warm on the stovetop or the microwave. It makes a great meal prep for the week with vegan cornbread on the side.

Can You Freeze Chili?

Yes, it freezes wonderfully for up to 2 – 3 months! My favorite ways to freeze chili is in individual portion sizes using freezer safe containers. Then when I want to cozy up with a bowl of warm chili I can just pull it from the freezer and warm it up. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags or containers.

More Recipes You’ll Love!

  • Sweet Potato + Black Bean Chili
  • Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
  • Vegan Minestrone Soup
  • Cajun Red Beans and Rice
  • West African Peanut Stew
  • Easy Vegetable Chili
  • The Ultimate Tempeh Chili

Easy Three Bean Chili Recipe - The Simple Veganista (5)

If you try this easy vegan chili recipe, please let me know!Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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EASY THREE BEAN CHILI RECIPE (VEGAN)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 32 reviews

This quick and easy 3 bean chili is perfect when you want a cozy warm vegan chili in 30 minutes or less! Healthy, hearty and perfect for lunch, dinner or meal prep ideas.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Entree, Chili
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, American

Ingredients

Scale

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water (for water saute)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 jalapenos, seeds removed and diced (a few seeds ok for extra heat)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder or small piece of dark chocolate (about 1/2 oz.), optional
  • 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth, + more if needed
  • mineral salt & pepper, to taste

To garnish

  • green onions, sliced
  • cashew sour cream
  • lime wedges

Instructions

Saute: In large pot heat olive oil over medium heat, saute onion for 7 minutes, or until tender and translucent. Add the garlic, jalapeno, chili and chipotle powder, cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.

Simmer: Add the beans, tomatoes, chocolate, and liquids, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover askew, and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Add more water as needed. Taste for flavor, season with salt and pepper, and add anything else you feel it needs.

Serve with the sliced green onions, cashew sour cream and vegan sweet chia cornbreador jalapeno cornbread muffins.

Serves 4

Store: Leftovers can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator for 5 – 6 days. To keep longer, freeze in freezer safe containers for up to 2 – 3 months.

Notes

Mix and match your beans to whatever you like or have on hand.

Add veggies if you like such as chopped celery, carrots, bell peppers, corn, etc…delicious! Adding more vegetables will make this go further giving about 5 servings.

UPDATED: This 3 Bean Chili was originally posted in August 2012, and has been updated with new photos and helpful tips in September 2019.

FOLLOW TSVonFacebook,Instagram,PinterestorRSSfor more healthy & delicious vegan food!

Easy Three Bean Chili Recipe - The Simple Veganista (2024)

FAQs

What is the best bean combination for chili? ›

The best beans for chili are pinto, kidney, and black beans, like in this easy and tasty recipe. This 3-bean chili freezes great for meals later in the week. If you prefer thinner chili, add an extra can of tomato sauce. The green chiles are not hot and add a wonderful flavor, so don't be afraid to use them.

Should chili be thick or soupy? ›

Ideally, chili should simmer low and slow. This allows some of the liquid to evaporate and results in a thicker consistency and deeper, more complex flavor as the aromatics and spices release their superpowers.

How to make chili more flavorful? ›

Instead of adding water to your chili, add some more flavor with chicken or beef broth, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or even beet or wine. Each one of these options brings out different notes and levels of sweetness that will enhance your culinary creation.

What not to put in chili? ›

Beans and non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed." If that sounds a bit uptight, the ICS's Homestyle Chili competition defines chili as: "any kind of meat, or combination of meats, and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, various spices, and other ingredients.

What is the most important spice in chili? ›

Most Common Chili Spices. Cumin, Chile Powders, and Paprika are the most common spices in chili followed by garlic, onion, coriander, Mexican oregano, and bay leaves. These ingredients can be combined to create a savory and well-balanced pot of top notch comfort food.

When should you add beans to chili? ›

You know the saying, “save the best for last?” To keep your beans nice and plump, add them about 20 minutes before you finish cooking. This will give them plenty of time to impart that perfectly seasoned chili flavor to your recipe without overcooking.

What kind of onion for chili? ›

Sweet onions are great for caramelizing due to their higher sugar content. You can cook them into your chili, serve them raw over top, or even elevate your chili with a sophisticated caramelized onion topping! Some of my favorite sweet onions are Walla, Walla, Maui, and Vidalia Onions.

What liquid do you add to chili? ›

Chili cooks low and slow, so you need enough liquid to tenderize the meat and keep everything from drying out. That liquid should also add flavor to the chili, so use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or beer.

Why put cornmeal in chili? ›

Cornmeal does an excellent job of absorbing extra liquids so adding a tablespoon of it to the chili will thicken the final dish. Mix 2 parts of cold water and 1 part of cornmeal, make it a slurry, and add this to the pot. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes after you add the slurry.

Does tomato paste make chili thicker? ›

Add tomato paste: Use up to one can of tomato paste in the last hour of cooking to thicken a pot of chili. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. This is not only a thickener, but it also lends plenty of rich tomato flavor.

What is the secret to amazing chili? ›

A cup of strong, brewed coffee will work wonders for your pot of chili, imparting a deep, roasted flavor that will make the chili taste like it simmered away all day long. For maximum flavor, reduce the coffee along with a blend of tomato paste, aromatic veggies and spices like we do in our Spicy Vegetarian Chili.

Does chili need tomato paste? ›

Tomato paste is a great way to add bonus tomato flavor, and thickness, to a chili recipe. To get the best flavor it needs to be browned. Add a couple tablespoons (or a whole can if you want a thicker soup base) directly to the pan after cooking the meat and onions.

When to add onions to chili? ›

To make the chili:

Heat oil in a dutch oven set on stovetop to medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, garlic and celery cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Sprinkle in the spice mix, stir and cook for an additional two minutes. Reduce the temperature to medium.

What is the trick to a good chili? ›

Cook it long enough

Chili recipes need time for flavors to meld and come together, and collagen-rich meat (like chuck roast or ground beef) needs 90 minutes to two hours to fully break down and become tender. If you don't have time for a long simmer, try using a slow cooker or making it the day before.

Why would you put vinegar in chili? ›

With only about 1 tablespoon per pot added toward the end of the cooking process, the vinegar will make the flavors more vibrant without overwhelming the dish with its biting tang. Through just a splash, everything becomes a little brighter, and the chili's flavors are more balanced.

What is the best liquid for chili? ›

Chili cooks low and slow, so you need enough liquid to tenderize the meat and keep everything from drying out. That liquid should also add flavor to the chili, so use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or beer.

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