Vegan three-bean chili, how do I love you? Let me count the ways.
I love you for being a one-pot meal, with the quinoa cooked right in the chili. And I love you for being a complete meal; garnishes and sides are nice but not necessary. I love you for the mass of vegetables you bring to the table, and I love you for all the beans.
I love you spooned over a baked potato, or with an egg on top, or as the filling for a vegan sloppy Joe. I love you straight up, or with a million fancy toppings. I love you warm, and I love you cold, eaten standing in front of an open fridge. I love how I you make a huge batch, to feed my friends and family. And I love how freezer friendly you are, how I can rely on you to be there on a busy day.
Basically, vegan three-bean chili, I just love you.
But seriously, folks, this is one of those beautifully easy, nourishing, and delicious one-pot recipes that comes together with minimal effort. To be sure, there’s a bit of chopping involved with all those veggies, but I often do the chopping the day before (for any recipe) and store things that go in at the same time in the same container. So one container with onions, garlic, and jalapeños, one for carrots and celery, and another for peppers and zucchini. Then, when it comes time to make the chili all I’ve got to do is dump and stir, and it really doesn’t get any easier than that. Thirty simmering minutes later, you’ve got a tasty and healthy vegan chili that the whole family will love!
This hearty vegan three-bean chili is packed with spices, beans, veggies, and quinoa.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded, deveined, and finely minced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, deseeded, deveined, and diced
- 1 green bell pepper, deseeded, deveined, and diced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
- 1 (14 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 (14 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- Diced avocado
- Shredded cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño, and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onion is just translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the carrot and celery and sauté 3-5 another minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the zucchini and diced peppers and sauté for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and salt. Stir well to ensure spices are well distributed, and sauté for about 1 minute.
- Add the kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, crushed tomatoes, corn kernels, vegetable broth, and quinoa. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring the chili to a boil, then reduce to low, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes the quinoa should be fully cooked and the chili nicely thickened. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Serve with diced avocado, cilantro, and tortilla chips alongside--or whatever toppings you like.
I've used three beans in this chili, but you can choose to use one, two, or all three if you like.
Cooking the quinoa directly in the chili thickens it nicely, but if you find it to be too think when it's done cooking, add a little more vegetable broth to thin it out.
Where I live the jalapeños are incredibly mild, but I still used only one because I knew I'd be sharing this chili with my one-year old. If you'd like to bump up the heat, add an extra jalapeño, or 1/2 to one teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
This chili freezes like a dream! Scoop it into freezer proof containers, label, and pop into your freezer for up to three months.