Spicy Three Bean Vegetable Chili

Three-Bean Chili
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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 6 servings

This spicy three-bean vegetable chili recipe is so tasty and satisfying, you'll forget it's vegetarian. You can use whatever combination of beans you like, but the three varieties called for in this chili recipe work very well together. If you want a milder version of the chili, omit the ancho or chipotle powder.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded, minced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded, diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or more for spicier chili)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder (or other chili powder)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 (15 ounces) can black beans (drained)
  • 1 (15 ounces) can pinto beans (drained)
  • 1 (15 ounces) can red kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 pound package frozen sweet corn (thawed, drained well)
  • 6 ounces Pepper Jack cheese (shredded)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

  2. Add the olive oil and onions to a pot, and place over medium heat. Saute the onions until they are translucent, about 5-6 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic, jalapeño, red bell pepper, oregano, chipotle, cumin, and chili powder. Cook stirring for 3 minutes.

  4. Add the tomato sauce, water, black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and corn.

  5. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes.

  6. After 20 minutes, take a potato masher, or spatula, and mash some of the beans against the bottom of the pot. This will thicken the chili. The more you mash the thicker it will become as it cooks. For a medium-thick texture mash about 1/4 of the beans (you can always mash more later).

  7. Stir well and simmer for another 10 minutes.

  8. Serve in bowls with shredded cheese on top.

  9. Enjoy!


  • Top with any traditional garnishes like cilantro, sour cream, etc.
  • For thicker chili, mash more beans.