Three Bean Chili - Plant-Based Recipe
As soon as the weather gets even a little chilly, I bust out this recipe. It's filling, easy to make & freeze, and the perfect recipe for transitioning from a chili with meat to an entirely plant-based one. The nice thing with this recipe is that you can substitute in other beans if you don't like one of the types listed or already have three cans of black beans (for example) on hand.
Pro tip: Instead of cheese or sour cream, I garnishing with avocado or guacamole. You still get the creaminess while keeping the recipe vegan and adding a healthy fat.
Three Bean Chili Recipe
Prep Time - 15-25 minutes (depending if you buy pre-chopped veggies or chop veggies “in bulk” for the week)
Cook Time - 30 minutes
Total Time - 45-55 minutes
Servings - 8
1 yellow onion (peeled and diced)
6 cloves of garlic (minced) or 3 tsp of minced garlic (from jar)
2 - 14.5oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 - 15oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 - 15oz can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
1 - 15oz can of dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 red bell pepper (washed and diced)
1 yellow bell pepper (washed and diced)
4 tbsp of tomato paste
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1.5 - 2 tsp cumin (start with 1.5 tsp and add more after tasting)
1.5 - 2 tsp smoked paprika (start with 1.5 tsp and add more after tasting)
Pinch of chilli flakes
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
In a large pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and turn the stove top on medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add the cumin, smoked paprika, and tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. (I recommend starting with 1.5tsp of each spice. Taste the chili after cooking everything for 20 minutes - if you want to add more spices, do so at that time).
Add the diced tomatoes, beans (all three types), balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, chili flakes, and pepper. (When I want a little extra kick to my chili, I will do a rather large pinch of chili flakes.)
Bring the whole thing to a boil, before reducing the temperature and letting simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Once cooked, serve with your preferred garnishes like avocado.
Don't be intimidated by the overall prep time! Much of the time is spent just simmering on the stove with you occasionally stirring. The big bonus of this recipe is that you can freeze leftovers for a day you don't feel like cooking at all.
Enjoy! And let us know what you think.
Want to learn more about plant-based nutrition?
Check out our episode with Jennifer Maynard: Episode 49: Eating for a Longer, Healthier Life