3 Bean Chili


Vegetarian chili is a hearty meal that is enjoyed equally by vegetarians and meat-lovers. Chunky vegetables in a flavorful sauce, accompanied by a green salad and crusty bread makes a filling meal. Chili is a great make-ahead dish, and the taste actually improves after a couple of weeks in the freezer which gives the herbs and spices a chance to mingle. Using three different beans makes this a robust 3 bean chili recipe sure to please everyone.

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced, or 2 teaspoons of garlic in oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano or 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 28 ounce can chili-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 19 ounce can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 19 ounce can of black kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 19 ounce can of white beans (use either Great Northern beans or cannellini beans)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander, or four squares of frozen coriander.

Method:In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown onion and garlic for three minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add chopped celery and carrots, stir for three minutes. Add chili powder, oregano and pepper, mixing in well. Add can of undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, and the three drained and rinsed cans of beans – the most important ingredients in this three bean chili recipe!  And use your imagination – there are many recipes for vegetarian chili out there that have evolved from trial and error. Bring chili to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer slowly for about and hour and a half. Remove from heat, remove cover and let it cool – it will take about half an hour. Then put the whole saucepan in the fridge and leave it there until it is cold. Transfer chili to a freezer safe storage container and freeze for up to eight weeks. This is an easy dish to pull out on a weeknight.Thaw it in the fridge overnight, then transfer to a 13 x 9 pyrex dish. Carefully sprinkle in chopped fresh coriander, cover with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees F for about 45 minutes. This recipe makes 4-5 medium sized adult servings.

  • This recipe is easily adapted for a slow cooker or crockpot. Once the onion, garlic,carrots and celery have browned, pour them into a crockpot and add the remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Double or triple this recipe for an economical potluck dish. Serve over homemade cornbread, fresh bread, white or brown rice, or noodles.
  • Beans are an excellent source of vegetable protein, but vegetarians must pay attention to the amount of grains, cereals, nuts and seeds they eat in order to ensure they are getting enough complete protein in their diet.