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My Famous Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

This vegetarian chili is a hit with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike! And the only prep required is to chop up some veggies, open some cans and throwing it in the crockpot! 

Happy Fall weather! I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love fall. Besides the crisp weather and the excuse to cuddle in a blanket – I think I love this season the most because some of my favorite recipes are very “Fall-y.” Pumpkin Gingerbread anyone? But really, this chilly weather gives me the perfect excuse to make my famous three-bean vegetarian chili.

If you are wondering how my three-bean vegetarian chili became famous, well, that’s a funny story.

When I first moved to Winston-Salem, I bribed myself into new friendships by purchasing a huge cable TV package and inviting people over for football and food. For one of these get-togethers, I threw together this chili recipe, and it was a HUGE hit. It’s been requested many times since then. It was even referred to as “Teri’s Famous Chili” and requested at future football watching parties. I’m so easily flattered. I’ve been living in Winston-Salem for 12 years now and I still love this recipe just as much!

My Famous Three Bean Vegetarian Chili My Famous Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

My Famous Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients

Black beans
Kidney beans
Pinto beans
Diced tomatoes with juice
Tomato paste
Tomato sauce
Yellow onion
Celery
Red or green bell pepper
Jalapeno
Chili powder
Worcestershire sauce
Garlic
Dried oregano
Ground cumin
Dried basil
Salt
Black pepper
Paprika
Brown sugar or coconut sugar

Instructions

There’s just one step in making this chili. I am not kidding.

Step 1

Throw ALL of the ingredients into a Crockpot/slow cooker and cook over low for at least 4 hours (or 2 hours on high if you’re in a hurry). It gets better the longer it has to cook so I recommend the 4+ hours.

If you want to be a little fancier, you can sauté the onion in some olive oil first to release the onion’s flavor a little bit more, but it’s totally not necessary.

My Famous Three Bean Vegetarian Chili My Famous Three Bean Vegetarian Chili My Famous Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

Chili Topping Options

I have about a million and one toppings that taste amazing with this chili – depending on my mood. But here are some of my favorite go-to if you want to spice (not literally – that’ll come later) up your chili.

Cheese

Shredded cheddar cheese works best. If you find your chili is too spicy for your taste, cheese will help bring that spice level down a notch. Vegan cheddar works well too.

Sour cream

I love me some sour cream and chili. Just a dollop is fine. And again, sour cream will help bring down the heat (both temperature and spice!) if things are too hot for you! I love Trader Joe’s organic sour cream. Plain greek yogurt is also a good option if you don’t have sour cream handy!

Tortilla chips

I love chili paired with tortilla chips. The lighter and crispier the better! The Xochitl brand or the Tostito lime are my two favorites! I’m not really a fritos person, but hey, if that’s your jam, go for it!

Sliced avocado

I LOVE avocado on top of chili. It provides the same cooling effect as sour cream with just a little different flavor.

chili topping options

Recipe Variations

Chili recipes are usually pretty forgiving – within a limit. Here are some options for ingredient variations so you can adapt this chili to your tastes.

Jalapeno

I get it – some people like the spice. If you want your chili extra spicy, include the entire jalapeño, skin, and seeds. Basically, just dice the jalapeño and throw the whole pepper in the Crockpot, except the stem. Pickled jalapeños also work well.

I also recommend starting light on the jalapeños and adding more after you do a taste test. Nothing is worse than throwing too many in and having a chili that’s so spicy you can’t even eat it. (Been there!)

Vegetables

I don’t always have the right vegetables handy when I am throwing together this recipe. Maybe you can relate?

So I have tried many other vegetables in this recipe over the years. The veggies that work best (and are not in the ingredients list above) in this chili include carrots, sweet corn, peas, and green beans. If you LOVE veggies, then I would say try out different ones. It just depends on how you like your chili to taste. I tried broccoli in my chili once, and I won’t lie, it was weird. Don’t do that.

Cornbread

I mentioned this in my beef chili recipe post but I’ll say it again here. My better-than-Martha-Stewart-cornbread recipe is an amazing side to this chili. Cornbread and chili are the best. Head on over to that recipe and cook that up while this chili cooks in the crockpot!

So there you have it – my famous chili recipe! What recipe do you have that is famous? And please leave a link to the recipe if you have it posted on your blog.

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My Famous Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

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  • Author: Teri from A Foodie Stays Fit

Scale

Ingredients

1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)

2 cans kidney beans (drained & rinsed)

1 can pinto beans (drained & rinsed)

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, finely diced (to taste…I like things medium spicy, so using half the pepper will do)

1/4 cup (heaping) chili powder

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 large (or 4 average) garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon brown sugar or coconut sugar


Instructions

Throw ALL of the ingredients into a Crockpot and cook over low for at least 4 hours (or 2 hours on high if you’re in a hurry). It gets better the longer it has to cook so I recommend the 4+ hours.

If you want to be a little fancier, you can sauté the onion in some olive oil first to release the onion’s flavor a little bit more, but it’s totally not necessary.


Enjoy this old photo from when I posted this back in 2011.

chili topping options

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57 Comments

  • Reply
    janetha @ meals and moves
    at

    famous! love it. i am totally going to make this. it looks amazing. my chocolate chip cookies are pretty famous.. http://mealsandmoves.wordpress.com/meals/best-chocolate-chip-cookies-ever/

  • Reply
    Mama Pea
    at

    All people want to talk about is my balls.

    http://peasandthankyou.com/2010/11/09/having-a-ball/

  • Reply
    Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    at

    Mmm I LOVE bean chili- it’s the most comforting food 🙂

    I can’t tell you how many batches of my healthy cinnamon rolls I’ve made… I need to figure out how to put them in the refrigerated can so I can just pop a few in the oven in the morning 😉

  • Reply
    Abby
    at

    Sounds DELICIOUS! I’m going to make it for sure. I love easy recipes with no hassle of meat… I’m not a huge fan of cooking meat. I have a famous White Bean Chicken Chili… actually a girl on Rachel Ray made it famous but I’ve had to give it out multiple times.

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      mmmm – i love white bean chilis! will you send me the recipe? xoxo

  • Reply
    Hannah @itty-bittykitchen
    at

    If my husband and relatives count as famous, I often get requests for this pizza dough, but the apple gorgonzola was my fave combo! http://www.itty-bittykitchen.com/2011/02/fantastic-friday/

  • Reply
    Jill (i run i eat)
    at

    Now I’m kinda hoping it snows this weekend so I can make that. Or maybe I’ll make it even if it doesn’t. It looks delcious!

  • Reply
    Heather (Heather's Dish)
    at

    totally famous to me 🙂 i love three bean chili, but i’m going to have to give yours a try!

  • Reply
    Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles
    at

    LOVE vegetarian chili – I made a sweet potato/black bean one last week. This recipe looks great!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ The Pajama Chef
    at

    my chocolate chip cookie bars are famous and rich and delicious! and requested by so many people it’s crazy. i love ’em!

    http://pajamachef.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/ott-chocolate-chip-cookie-bars/

  • Reply
    Chicago Cuisine Critique
    at

    I tried the chips too. I was a fan of both flavors, although I liked the kick the chipotle ones had.

  • Reply
    Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife
    at

    love the idea! I am famous for my whole-wheat chocolate chip pumpkin bread. Amazing stuff 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather
    at

    I love a meal that can be thrown in the crockpot! My husband and friends always love when I make Italian Mac n cheese. I’ve even made it in big freezer batches.

  • Reply
    Midlife Cruiser
    at

    A “secret ingredient” I add to my chili is a square of dark chocolate. Sooo gooood!

    I’m famous for my pasta alla carbonara 🙂

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      ooooh – I’ve got to try that!

  • Reply
    aubry bennion
    at

    mmm. can i have two? i really do have two signature aubry recipes:

    french toast and buttermilk syrup {seriously, every utahn has had buttermilk syrup, but it’s really the super fluffy – with flour! – french toast recipe that makes this fab} http://justlikemarypoppins.blogspot.com/2010/06/freeeeench-toast.html

    and

    banana bread {there is SUCH a good story attached to this post. promise it’s worth the click.} http://www.justcookalready.com/2010/12/banana-bread.html

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      your french toast sounds amazing. and apparently i’m not from utah because i didn’t know that every utahn had their own buttermilk syrup.

      that banana bread story is classic. and terrible. and the bread looks incredible.

  • Reply
    aubry bennion
    at

    by the way – totally using this question as next week’s who what where when why wednesday. what is “your” recipe.

    love it

  • Reply
    Jessica @ How Sweet
    at

    This chili sounds fabulous!!

  • Reply
    Grant
    at

    This is perfect in cold days here in my country.. i wanna try it, my family
    will love it.. thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      you’re welcome! hope you like it!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    at

    I love a good chili recipe. This sounds fantastic.

  • Reply
    Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun
    at

    My fudge is pretty “famous” among friends and family. Secret recipe though! 😀

    That chili does look amazing. I’ve been having lots of soup this week because of the new chill too.

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      you can’t taunt me with that fudge and not share the recipe! 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)
    at

    I guess it would have to be my spelt pumpkin/carrot muffins that Emily featured! And I’ve been craving chili for weeks now, this is making me SO hungry.

    http://bloggingoverthyme.com/2010/10/25/healthy-carrot-pumpkin-spelt-muffins/

  • Reply
    Kelly
    at

    YUM! I am personally not ready for summer…although that is because I am in Texas and I am not ready for the 110 temps. I hate that it is March and we hit 90 last week! UGH!

  • Reply
    Pure2raw Twins
    at

    this looks great!

    i have never really been a fan of chili, well soups/stews in general. But on cold rainy days they always are comforting 🙂

    I guess you could say we have become known for our socca recipes 🙂 http://www.pure2raw.com/socca-tribute/

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      yes, you’re definitely famous for your socca recipes! I STILL need to make it!

  • Reply
    Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life)
    at

    Oh wow, this chili looks fabulous- especially for a cold, rainy day like today! Where did spring go?

  • Reply
    natalie (the sweets life)
    at

    yum. you can never go wrong with chili! i have a few recipes on my blog that are famous and are my mom’s…gotta love mom recipes 🙂
    Her granola: http://www.thesweetslife.com/2010/02/best-ever-homemade-granola.html
    Her praline mix: http://www.thesweetslife.com/2009/09/praline-party-mix.html

    And this recipe of mine has become famous in my mom’s opinion…she makes it every time they have a little get together!
    http://www.thesweetslife.com/2010/06/candy-bar-cookie-bars.html

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      holy cow, that granola sounds amazing!!!

  • Reply
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    at

    Chili is by far one of my favorite meals ever – As for me, I love making my pumpkin maple quinoa granola!!

    http://cleaneatingchelsey.com/2010/10/03/pumpkin-maple-quinoa-granola/

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    at

    Mmmmm this sounds sooo delicious!! I’m a big sucker for tomatoey gooey stuff 🙂 haha, idon’t think I have a famous one! but I guess the one that has been frequented is the http://fitforthesoul.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/quick-protein-pineapple-upside-down-cake/ and http://fitforthesoul.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/stuffed-cottage-french-toast/? 😛 Mazey’s eyes look so cute and sneaky! hehe

  • Reply
    Johnny Palmer
    at

    So.many.ingredients. That must take some time to shop just for the one chili

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      there are a lot of ingredients but most of them are spices that are already in the cupboard! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristin
    at

    These definitely made me famous when I shared them with my friends at work! Homemade Twix bars that are to die for: http://sweetersidekb.blogspot.com/2011/02/best-dessert-ive-ever-made.html

  • Reply
    Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn
    at

    Chili is my favorite!! I am craving osme, this is poifectt:)

  • Reply
    LauraJayne
    at

    It’s totally chilly here (read: not spring) and I’ve been craving soup! This looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Katie
    at

    I love one step recipes! This looks delicious…and it’s snowed 2 days in a row here, so chili sounds wonderful. 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected] Dishes Daily
    at

    I make an amazing deviled eggs…it’s always a random crowd pleaser.

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I always forget about deviled eggs but love them!

  • Reply
    BroccoliHut
    at

    I love your mix of spices in this recipe!
    I guess I’m kinda famous for my scrambled tofu:
    http://thebroccolihut.com/recipes-scrambled-tofu/

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      I just recently tried scrambled tofu and love it! I’ll have to try your version.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    at

    I also have a famous chili recipe! It’s made with bulgur wheat, so it gets that meaty-thick texture without the meat. I just checked, but unfortunately have not posted it to my blog thus far. I’m sure it could be worked into an existing chili recipe, though.

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      oooh, good idea to add bulgur wheat to it!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    at

    Maple cinnamon almond butter!!!! Definitely my most made + raved about recipe. I might just have to make this chili while we have no kitchen! <3

  • Reply
    Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle)
    at

    this looks wonderful! I’ll have to make it soon! Especially since its famous, youcant see that kind of recipe and not give it a try! 😉

  • Reply
    holly
    at

    you are the cutest ever.

    your law prom outfit was ADORBS! i am so glad we could help you out via twitter. and that house of harlow ring is TO DIE FOR! loves.

    this chili doesn’t look so bad either…

    p.s. downloaded boxcar and LOVE it!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      why thank you! 🙂

      so glad you like boxcar! it’s saving me from my inbox since i unsubscribed from all email notifications in twitter and facebook and just see them in boxcar.

  • Reply
    kelly bean
    at

    I just had to give you props and kudos galore! I tweaked of your chili on Sunday and it was PHENOMENAL!!! It was so ridonkulously easy and so, so good! So I just wanted to say Thank You!

    • Reply
      Teri
      at

      oh yay!!! I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for telling me!

  • Reply
    janetha @ meals and moves
    at

    i have had this on my list since you posted it, and i am finally having it tomorrow 🙂

  • Reply
    Marie
    at

    Hi Teri, I was searching for a spicy three bean chili and came across your site. After looking at the ingredients, I just wanted to make sure you meant 3 stalks of celery and not three sticks of celery? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Jenna
    at

    Yum!! So glad you shared this! I’m going to make it this weekend! 🙂 Happy New Year!!

  • Reply
    Hena Tayeb
    at

    This looks so good!

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