Pantry Cooking: Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

This is our very favorite chili. It puts canned chili to shame.

I’m posting the winter version, but in the summer you can add all kinds of fresh vegetables (I’ve added tomatoes, zucchini, peppers…whatever strikes your fancy.) The great thing about making your own chili is you can adjust the flavoring to taste. I like spicy, but you might not. So tone it down.

It’s your chili after all!

This recipe is great for rotating stored canned beans into your diet. You can use dried beans of course (I really need to learn how to make them.) If you use canned, you can have this meal on the table in about 20 minutes.

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

  • 3 cans of beans (I used garbanzo, kidney, and black beans. You can use whatever you like, even three of the same kind!)
  • 1 can of corn (In the summer, you can use fresh of course.)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 8 ounces of tomato sauce (I used one 4 ounce can regular, and one spicy Mexican tomato sauce.)
  • sweetener to taste (I usually use honey, about three tablespoons, but we were out so I just used about three tablespoons of plain sugar. We like our chili sweet, if you don’t then adjust this ingredient to meet your tastes.)
  • chili powder to taste (I use about a tablespoon, again, adjust as needed)
  • other spices as you like (I use garlic (fresh if I have it, powdered if I don’t), salt, pepper, and cumin.)
  • other fresh veggies as desired (I had a rather elderly poblano pepper in my fridge from before we started eating seasonally that I used up in this recipe.)

I want to point out before we get started that I am aware that fresh food is best. But since I, and maybe you, keep a store of food, it’s important to A) know how to use it in a way that you and your family will want to eat and B) rotate the food into your diet so that it doesn’t go bad. This chili could be made entirely from stored food. (The onion is good, but optional if you don’t have one available.)

Okay. Chop that onion up, and any other fresh veggies you’re using, and get them softening up in the oil.

While that’s happening, open the cans of beans and corn and dump them into a strainer. Let them drain a minute, and run a little water through. You don’t need to totally rinse them.

Put the beans and corn in a pot. Add the tomato sauce, sweetener, and spices, and put under medium high heat. Stir until it starts to simmer and then turn heat down to medium. Add the onions and other veggies when they are soft. (Not browned, necessarily. The onions should be translucent.)

Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes. This will soften up the beans and make them delicious.

Taste for spicy content, and then enjoy!

I serve it over cornbread with sour cream. Mmm…

P.S. This is another stone soup recipe. Left over meat of any kind will make it non-vegetarian. I haven’t tried it, but maybe some tofu for extra protein? Any vegetable will enhance it. Just add more tomato sauce and spices and sweetener as needed.

More recipes here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here.

And here. And here. And here. And here.

And here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Pantry Cooking: Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

  1. This kind of chili is one of our staples! Except I use frozen corn except for canned, but if you only have canned, it works fine too. And yes, you can add tofu, which I did just this week when making our chili! Just cut it up into small cubes and add when you add the beans so it gets to simmer in the spices for a while.

    Really good with shredded sharp cheddar on top. And if I am not doing cornbread, I make rice to pour the chili over in each person’s bowl.

    Sometime try it with sweet potato!

  2. yummy sounds really good thanks

  3. Wow, that looks really good! I just love chili!

  4. Ruby

    Making this this week, posted about it on my blog, too, in my menu planner for the week, thanks!
    ~Ruby

  5. Pingback: My menu for this week (vegan of course) « Branches and Beads

  6. We enjoy chili in the winter too. I loved your comment “It’s your chili after all!” I feel the same way, even with famous chef recipes. It’s good to adapt to our own families’ taste buds and preferences.

    Thank you for participating in Vintage Recipe Thursday.

  7. Thank you so much for offering permission and suggestions for straying from basic chili. I like all of your ideas, and sometimes I just need to see someone else’s final product to feel confident.

    I almost added corn to my last chili, then talked myself out of it.

    Thanks for joining Food on Fridays!

  8. Sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. I like how customizable that recipe it. Yummy!!

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