Recipe: Hearty 3-Bean Vegetarian Chili

Did you know that there is an International Chili Society?  Yeah,  chili (the stew) and chilis (the peppers) both have huge followings;  the ICS even has a Facebook Page!

I am a big fan of a piping hot bowl of homemade chili, myself.  This time of year when the furnace is blasting but I am still shivering, chili warms me up and fills me up.

But that’s not why I made this chili! 

Hearty 3-Bean Chili

Hearty goodness

I was invited to take part in the Copake (NY) Winter Market, a local event celebrating our farmers, crafters and cooks.  Being on a Friday night, I thought people would really enjoy picking up some tasty soups to bring home for the weekend. I wanted to make at least one vegetarian dish to broaden the options for folks, and the first thing that came to mind was chili.

If you are chili purist, you may as stop reading now because I pretty much put what I felt like into the pot. But according to my customers,  it tasted amazing  🙂

Note on the ingredients:  I made about 2 gallons of this chili, so scaling it down for you was a challenge. Just remember that there is no wrong version of this, and your preferences can guide you when it comes to exactly how much of one item to add to the pot. You can use the photo as a guide for how it is supposed to look when it is done!


Yellow or red onion, medium chop
Fresh garlic, medium dice
Canned crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained
Canned kidney beans, undrained
Canned black beans, undrained
Canned cannellini beans, undrained (you can substitute pinto, navy or Great Northern)
Diced red bell pepper (or a combo of red and green)
Vegetable bouillion cube(s), dissolved in small amount of hot water
Frozen or canned corn
Sea salt
Feisty Fiesta spice blend
cayenne (optional)
Uncooked brown rice


In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil on medium-low heat until tender.
Add the remaining ingredients except for the rice.
Bring to a simmer.  Taste for seasoning, and adjust the sea salt, spice blend and optional cayenne.
The chili should be fairly thin (liquid) at this point. The rice will soak up twice its volume after you put it in;  keeping that in mind, add a little more hot water with bouillon dissolved in it if it needs it.
Raise the heat to a boil, then add the uncooked rice. Stir, then lower heat to low and cover the pot. Depending on what type of brown rice you used, it will need between 20-45 minutes to cook. Check the chili halfway to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom.
Once the rice is cooked, check for consistency and seasoning one last time.
You can serve the chili as is, or garnish with a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle of fresh herbs, or a bit of cheddar cheese (or let your hair down and use all three!).

This chili will hold up well in the refrigerator for several days, or may be frozen.


Posted on December 11, 2011, in Feisty Fiesta, Home tasting party, Main dish, Recipes, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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