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3 Bean Chili

by Dana Bean, RD
Published: Updated:

This quick and easy 3 Bean Chili is loaded with vegetables! It’s vegetarian-friendly takes only 30 minutes to make. A mix of seasoned pinto beans, black beans, and kidney beans along with 5 veggies and just the right amount of flavor makes this a great recipe for those colder days!

3 Bean Chili

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: dinner
Keyword: chili, Less than 30 minute, soup


  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced (optional)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 15 oz can
  • 1 can black beans, drained 15 oz can
  • 1 can chili beans (pinto), drained 15 oz can (Note 1)
  • 1/2 can kidney beans, drained 1/2 can from 15 oz can
  • 1 cup veggie or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice


  • Heat oil in large pot and add onion. Sautee for a few minutes until it starts to turn translucent,. Add bell pepper and cook until softened.
  • Add zucchini, diced tomatoes, black beans, chili beans, kidney beans, broth, corn, and seasonings (except lime juice). Mix, cover, and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Top with cheese, avocado, sour cream, cilantro, etc…


  1. Chili Beans – Not all brands have this variation. You’ll want pinto beans in the chili sauce vs plain pinto beans. S&W brand is in most stores, otherwise try Simple Truth, Signature, etc…  If you aren’t able to find any, use regular pinto beans and add more chili powder! 

Chili, but make it fast and with extra vegetables! I love how this 3 Bean Chili is delicious, has just the right amount of kick IMO, and comes together in 30 minutes. Nothing beats delicious and fast in my book! If you want to make this even more of a breeze, chop the veggies ahead of time and it’s basically a dump and eat meal.

The 3 different types of beans along with 5 different veggies adds a fun variety in texture. If you don’t like bell pepper for example though, it’s ok to leave it out or substitute for something different (like carrots)!

Gentle nutrition is all about including more nutrients when it’s enjoyable and makes sense. There are plenty of ways to get enough vitamins and minerals, so don’t sweat it if there’s a particular vegetable you don’t enjoy.

3 Bean Chili with ingredients

In the recipe it mentions the possible toppings which I think are pretty essential! You’ll want to try some of these in this recipe.

  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Avocado
  • (More) Lime Juice
  • Cilantro
  • Jalapeño
  • Red Onion
  • Scallions
  • Hot Sauce

The list could really go on. What’s your favorite chili topping?

We can also pair it with various sources of carbs to add an extra crunch and staying power. Some of my favorites are:

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Cornbread
  • Crackers
  • Oyster Crackers
  • Tortilla strips (like the ones for salads)
  • Baked Potato
  • Grilled Cheese
3 Bean Chili single bowl phoot

I would say this is a pretty mild chili with a slight kick. I’m not a huge spicy fan and it’s perfect for me! My toddler also likes it. If you’d like more spice, consider adding more chili powder and potentially jalapeños. If you’d like less, simply use less chili powder!

This recipe is great to use for leftovers! Just refrigerate and heat when ready. Use withing about 3 days.

I’m glad you asked! I know it can get overwhelming to be excited about a recipe, then have to scroll through a seemingly never-ending life story before finally finding the recipe. I started to notice it becoming a difficulty for some of my nutrition counseling clients. So that’s why I’ve created No Guilt Nutrition Recipes – a place where finding the actual recipe isn’t so difficult or cumbersome. Usually the recipe is hidden in a blog post or you have to pay a subscription to see the recipe quickly, but here you’ll find it first on the page!

No Guilt Nutrition recipes are definitely not the only thing you can eat if you are eating intuitively (really, you can eat anything that you want/feels good to your body!), but I noticed there are way too many diet culture entrenched recipes out there. These recipes give you delicious food without potentially triggering numbers or diet talk. They also provide a gentle nutrition approach by encouraging balance in your meals without having strict requirements for what that may look like.

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