Easy Bean Chili Recipe | 3 Bean Chili

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bowl of chili and cornbread

Three Bean Chili

Regardless of what time of year it is, chili is usually a go to meal in our house. The leftovers are never a waste. And when you have a crowd, having an easy bean chili recipe in your kitchen, you can make it quickly.

This recipe has several different beans in it, making it a great way to stretch your ground been in a recipe for a big crowd. You can easily make this vegetarian by leaving out the ground beef as well.

Enjoy leftovers in nachos, on top of totchos and in taco salad.

ground beef with minced onion

What Ingredients Are Needed?

  • ground beef
  • kidney beans (or pinto beans)
  • chili beans
  • black beans
  • navy beans
  • chili powder
  • tomato juice or stewed tomatoes
variety of navy beans, black beans and chili beans

Can This Chili be Vegetarian?

This recipe can definitely be changed to vegetarian chili. Don’t add the ground beef and the canned beans will definitely give you enough flavor. You can also add a vegetable broth with your tomato juice.

Can I Add Diced Tomatoes?

If you don’t have stewed tomatoes, you can used diced tomatoes, chopped green pepper (or other color) along with diced celery). You will want the green pepper and celery to soften before serving.

chili beans in ground beef

What Are Chili Beans?

We use Brooks chili beans. They have a tomato paste and chili powder mixed into the can with the kidney beans.

Can I Use Pinto Beans?

You can use drained and rinsed pinto beans to make chili. You can also use navy beans, white beans, kidney beans, and black beans.

navy beans and black beans

How Long Does The Chili Need to Simmer?

We eat the chili as soon as everything is hot on the weekdays. If we can let it simmer for 20 minutes, this works fine. If you really want to have a deep flavor, make the chili a day in advance. There is a lot more of a kick of flavor the next day (in our opinion).

How Much Chili Powder Should I Use?

This recipe starts out with a tablespoon. If you like things less spicy, add less and taste as the chili cooks. As the chili cooks, it will get spicier. It’s easier to add more, than takeaway spice. (sugar can counter balance the spice as well as more tomato sauce).

dutch oven with chili powder on chili
bowl of chili and cornbread
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Three Bean Beef Chili

Make a unique and delicious bowl of chili. This easy bean chili recipe is packed with protein. Perfect to serve a large crowd on a budget.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Regina Sober


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz can chili beans
  • 1 `5 oz can black beans
  • 1 15 oz can navy beans
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder or to taste)
  • 1 pint jar of tomato juice or quart jar stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 small onion, minced or 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion


  • In a Dutch oven, cook the ground beef until it is fully cooked, chopping into small pieces and add in mined onion.
  • Open the cans of beans and drain in a colander.
  • Add the beans,chili beans into the pan and stir.
  • Add in more chili powder (again to taste).
  • Put the cover on and let it simmer.
  • The longer it cooks, the more incorporated the flavor will be.
  • Serve with cheese, sour cream or your favorite chili garnish.


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Make a unique and delicious bowl of chili. This easy bean chili recipe is packed with protein. Perfect to serve a large crowd on a budget.

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