Vegetarian Three-Bean Chili


A couple weeks ago, my daughter and I taught outdoor cooking to some amazing Girl Scout adult volunteers and teens. This vegetarian three-bean chili is one of the things we made. I promised them I would get it posted to the blog and here it is! We also made Cookie’s Cornbread and Granny Apple Crisp.


This is a hearty chili that brings some nice welcomed heat on a cold, rainy day. We played it safe and used a mild salsa; however, you could up the heat by using a medium or hot salsa. You could also switch out one of the green bell peppers for some jalapenos or spicier chilies. So, if you like it hot, this chili could be easily modified to a 5-alarm fire chili! And, if it ends up being too hot for some, they can always cool it down with a little sour cream. Serve it with a good cornbread (I highly recommend mine!) and/or a nice salad with some cooling Ranch dressing. And, don’t forget the tortilla chips!

It occurs to me that if you wanted more of a creamier chili, you could also add a can or two of vegetarian refried beans. We may have to try that the next time we make this.

6-quart stock pot or 12-inch Dutch oven

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
2 large green bell peppers, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can diced tomatoes
2½ cups vegetable stock
1 cup mild to hot red salsa
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ salt
½ teaspoon pepper
30 oz kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz pinto beans (vegetarian), rinsed and drained
1½ cups corn kernels

In a 6-quart stock pot or 12-inch Dutch oven, heat oil. Add the onion and bell pepper, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable stock, salsa, and remaining spices. Simmer, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes. Stir in the beans and corn, and cook, partially covered, 20 minutes longer. Adjust your seasoning as desired.

At home, you could also make this in a 5-quart slow cooker. Add everything to the slow cooker and stir gently to combine. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 7 on low.

Ladle into bowls and top with green onion, cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Serves about 6.

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