This three bean chili recipe is the perfect, no-fuss meal on a cold winter day. It's full of beans, ground beef, and savory spices.
It's a Saturday evening, and I'm writing this post while watching the nightly news. They are showing coverage of the Blizzard of 2016.
Luckily, here in Florida, it's just extremely windy and cool but for a large part of the country, it's a nasty mess of wind and snow.
I thought it would be a good time to share my recipe for three bean chili. It wasn't too many years ago that I lived further up north.
When it got cold, all I wanted to do was stay inside, curl up under a blanket and eat something warm.
Try using this chili the next time you make a Frito pie!
How to Make Three Bean Chili:
First, gather and prep all the ingredients you need to complete the recipe. For example, drain and rinse the beans and set them aside for later.
Go ahead and drain the Hatch Chiles, as well.
Next, in a large pot over medium heat, combine the ground beef and onions. Cook them for 10-15 minutes or until the beef is fully cooked.
Then, add the tomatoes, all the beans, garlic, chiles, all the spices, and the stock.
Afterward, let the chili cook over medium-high for 30-40 minutes, allowing the mixture to boil.
Last, remove the chili from the heat and serve garnished with cheese, green onions, and sour cream.
Should you drain the beans for chili?
We always drain the beans for chili, unless we're using chili beans, like in the Instant Pot chili recipe. Canned beans sit in a solution to help keep them preserved.
Some solutions contain added salt, others contain sugar, and yet others have a gritty texture and odd taste.
In our opinion, it's good practice to rinse and drain canned beans before using them in recipes.
Chili beans are different. Chili beans are usually pinto beans canned in a mild chili sauce.
The chili sauce helps flavor the dish, so don't drain or rinse the chili bean variety.
Can Ranch style beans be used in Three Bean Chili?
Yes, Ranch style beans would make a great option for this three bean chili. Ranch beans are generally made with pinto beans, tomato puree, and spices, like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and vinegar.
Some of the other spices in this recipe may need to be reduced or omitted if Ranch beans are used, but feel free to give them a try. They would make a tasty addition. We've even mentioned it below in our "Tips" section.
Tips for Making the Best Three Bean Chili:
- Make sure to let it cook for at least 30-minutes to cook out the taste of the cans.
- To make a vegetarian version, omit the beef and substitute vegetable stock for beef stock.
- Feel free to add any type of canned beans, like pintos or even Ranch style varieties.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 16 ounces ground beef
- ½ cup white onion, diced
- 15 ½ ounces kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 ½ ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 ½ ounces cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 4 ounces green chiles, drained
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 32 ounces low-sodium beef broth
- In a large pot over medium heat, combine the ground beef and onions. Cook them for 10-15 minutes or until the beef is fully cooked.16 ounces ground beef½ cup white onion
- Then, add the tomatoes, all the beans, garlic, chiles, all the spices, and the broth.15 ½ ounces kidney beans15 ½ ounces black beans15 ½ ounces cannellini beans28 ounces diced tomatoes3 garlic cloves4 ounces green chiles1 tablespoon kosher salt1 teaspoon chipotle powder½ teaspoon smoked paprika1 tablespoon ground cumin1 tablespoon garlic powder1 tablespoon onion powder1 tablespoon chili powder32 ounces low-sodium beef broth
- Afterward, let the chili cook over medium-high for 30-40 minutes, allowing the mixture to boil.
- Last, remove the chili from the heat and serve garnished with cheese, green onions, and sour cream.