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EASY THREE BEAN CHILI

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!

top down view of a bowl full of quick and easy three bean chili.

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!

side by side photos showing the process of sauteeing onion, garlic, jalapeno and spices for easy three bean chili recipe.

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.

side by side photos showing the process of making easy 3 bean chili recipe.

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!

top down view of freshly cooked easy three bean chili in a dutch oven on the stovetop.

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!

top down view of a bowl full of quick and easy three bean chili.

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.

Print

EASY THREE BEAN CHILI RECIPE (VEGAN)

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

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 cornbread or 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.

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39 Comments

  1. Second time making this recipe. This time I am putting it over a baked potato (Russett) and bought some vegan cheddar and vegan sour cream. My stomach is aching in anticipation and the kitchen smells amazing!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, Laura! I love the baked potato idea, yum!

  2. I have it simmering right now, it smells lovely but is very watery.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      It will thicken upon cooling. If you have the time, as noted you can simmer for longer which will also reduce the liquids a bit. Enjoy!

  3. Is ‘3 Tablespoons’ of chili powder a typo? Don’t you mean 3 teaspoons?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      It is indeed 3 tablespoons! :) Most similar chili recipes call for anywhere from 2 to 4 tablespoons of chili powder, so I’m kind of in the middle. You can start with a smaller amount and work your way up to suit your taste. Just do what makes sense to you. Enjoy!

      1. Ok, thanks for clarifying! I’m super excited to make this recipe!

      2. Mrs Clare E Stubbs says:

        This is my go-to chilli recipe and even my omnivore hubby loves it!
        I put 1 tablesp of chilli in and omit the jalepenos and I still find it pretty hot!! You must have cast-iron stomachs!! 😂😂😂

  4. Sharol Smith says:

    My nineteen year old son made this dish for our dinner tonight. It was so good!! He is just starting to cook and eat healthy. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Awe, how wonderful your son is! So glad you all enjoyed the chili, makes my day! :)

  5. Made this tonight. It’s really good and really easy and fast to make.

  6. I have made this chili many times! It is my favorite!

  7. Amanda McCloud says:

    Thank you SO much for your awesome recipes, we have LOVED every one that we have tried! People like you make it a lot easier for others to change their lifestyle. :)YOU ROCK!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you so much!!! I’m so glad your finding them as great as I have. Cheers :)

  8. So delicious!
    It’s totally time to make this one again!

  9. I made the chili today. It came out great. At first I thought it just tasted too tomato-y. But after letting it simmer for the full 45 minutes the flavors really melded. It’s so good.

    I made the cornbread too. I make this recipe a lot. I do not use the chia seeds though. They come out fine without it. I make corn muffins.

  10. Holly Figueroa says:

    Soooo good! Thanks for the great recipe. :)

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