Three Bean Chili

Three Bean Chili

We only get a few chili weather days in Southern California, so we are taking advantage of them! (Chili weather being temps in the 60s - don't laugh, Rest of the Country Except Florida. It's all about acclimation. :P )

I used Kidney for texture, Pinto for earthy flavor, and Cannellini for creaminess this time, but use whatever beans you like.

If you don't care for ground beef, you can sub with ground turkey, chicken, or pork.



4 to 6 servings
  1. 1 Tablespoon oil
  2. 1 onion, minced
  3. 1 bell pepper, chopped
  4. 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup tomato paste
  6. 2 teaspoons chili powder
  7. 1 teaspoon cumin
  8. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 1.25 cups unsalted liquid (water, stock, dry wine are all ok)
  11. 1 cup canned tomatoes (puree, sauce, or diced are fine)
  12. 1 pound 80/20 ground beef (ground turkey, chicken, pork all work fine)
  13. 1.5 teaspoons salt
  14. 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  15. 1-2 Tablespoons hot sauce (used up my Popeye's leftover Louisiana packets - WOOT!)
  16. 3 (15.5 oz) cans beans of choice, well drained
  17. Optional toppings: minced onions, jalapeños, and cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, hot sauce


  1. In a large pot (4 to 5 quart works), bring oil up to medium temp, add onions, peppers, and garlic, and sweat the aromatics until onions turn translucent (about 4 or 5 minutes).

  2. Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and bay leaf.

  3. Stir to incorporate and let the tomato paste caramelize for about a minute or so.

  4. Stir in liquid.

  5. Add ground beef, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.

  6. Stir until ground beef is all broken up and all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

  7. Add beans and give it a few good stirs.

  8. Turn heat down *just* under medium and cook, COVERED (I know the pic isn't covered - I forgot to take that one), for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during that time. If solids are getting stuck to the bottom of the pot, turn the heat down just a little bit.

  9. Turn heat to low and cook with lid askew for another 20 minutes, adjusting seasoning halfway. Leaving the lid askew lets the steam evaporate, the flavors concentrate, and the chili will thicken a bit.

  10. All done! Enjoy with toppings of choice.

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