Bean chili

This is a huge favourite in our family. It requires pre-cooked or canned beans and a bit of chopping, but is otherwise extremely easy to make. This is an adaptation of Easy Vegetarian Chili from Eating Well.

bean chili with grated cheddar and cilantro


  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil

starting vegetables

  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 2-3 sweet peppers, chopped
  • 4-10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-8 stalks celery, chopped


  • 1/4 c chili powder
  • 2 T ground cumin
  • some ground coriander (you can get away with a small amount if ground fresh, use 1-2 t if you bought it ground)
  • about 4 t total of a mix of dried oregano, parsley, and basil (depending on taste and availability)
  • several generous sprinkles chipotle powder (if chipotle powder is not available, use 1/4 to 1/2 t cayenne) (optional but recommended)
  • 1 t Aleppo pepper (optional but recommended)
  • salt & pepper

beans, corn, tomatoes

  • 2-3 L (8-12 c) cooked beans (a mix we like is about 1.2 L white beans, 1.2 L black beans, and perhaps some black-eyed peas and chickpeas; canned is fine, I cook dried beans ahead of time in an instant pot)
  • kernels from 3 cobs corn, cooked (optional but recommended)
  • 2 large (798 mL or 28 oz) cans diced tomatoes in their juice

leafy greens

  • about 8 c leafy greens (spinach, kale, etc.)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Sauté starting vegetables 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add spices, sauté for another 30 seconds or so.
  4. Add beans, corn, tomatoes.
  5. Reduce heat to low, simmer until heated (5-10 minutes) and then as long as you want (another hour or two). Longer simmering helps the flavours meld but is not strictly necessary.
  6. Add greens and let them wilt.
  7. Season again with salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with grated cheddar cheese if you like cheese.


~24 cups, which makes 24 small servings or 10-12 large servings


Last time I made this, I used 3 L of beans (a mix of black and white), the total recipe made 23 cups, and a 1-cup serving had: 163 calories, 30 g CHO, 9 g fibre, 9 g protein, 1 g fat. Exact nutrition will depend on your own choices of how much of each ingredient you actually put in. (Also note that my husband believes that servings of this should be 2-3 cups, not 1 cup. He is a big, big fan.)

This freezes well. The peppers’ texture will change a little, but it doesn’t seem to matter in chili. Unfrozen, leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days.

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