Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over 20 years. She has cooked on multiple television stations, including the Food Network.
This Chili Is a LIfesaver
I love chili. I love all kinds, but I find myself coming back to the simple recipes over and over again. The whole family loves it, and it takes almost no effort.
Make a big pot of chili on the weekend, and you have culinary gold in the fridge for the rest of the week. Chili reheats beautifully, so it's perfect to pull out on a busy weeknight. It's also wonderful to use in other meals.
Make omelets and top them with a little diced tomato and chili. Or top baked potato with chili and sour cream. Or serve it with tortilla chips for over-the-top nachos. One of our favorites is to use fresh-cut Romaine lettuce, top it with a little chili, and use fresh salsa as a dressing for an amazing salad.
However you serve it, this three bean and beef chili recipe is a favorite. Although the ingredients are simple, the results are delicious. We love how the tomatoes, vegetables and beans come together in the incredible sauce. And I love how this dish is a nutritional powerhouse—the kids happily eat vitamin-, mineral- and fiber-loaded beans and tomatoes without a blink. Talk about a win-win!
Don't be intimidated by what seems like a long list of ingredients - you really just throw everything into the pot and let the chili simmer. It's not difficult, and the flavor results are well worth a couple extra spices!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can red beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper - this is optional! Cayenne pepper carries a lot of heat and distinctive flavor, so be careful here. Add just a little at first, and let the flavor really develop as the chili cooks. It tends to 'awaken' as the chili simmers and you can find you've added too much really quickly. It's best to be very cautious, or you may find you've created a pot of nuclear power.
For serving: sour cream, cilantro, diced tomatoes, black olives, shredded Cheddar, tortilla chips, minced cilantro or minced parsley - or anything else you like!
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, brown the ground beef, stirring to crumble. Drain excess fat.
- Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, and garlic to the pot, and stir.
- Add pinto beans, red beans, and black beans. Stir in tomatoes and seasonings.
- Bring pot up to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for about half an hour. If you let it go for an hour, even better.
- Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, cheddar cheese—anything you like! It's really nice sprinkled with a little fresh minced parsley or cilantro.
Lean Ground Beef
Onion, Pepper, Jalapenos and Garlic
Types of Peppers for Chili
One of the most versatile aspects of this recipe is the peppers. You can swap them out for whatever you like, whatever you find, or what you prefer.
The simplest substitution is to exchange one type of bell pepper for another. If you like the sweeter, milder flavor of red, yellow or orange bell peppers, feel free to use those.The colors are actually gorgeous in the finished dish, and I love to find ways to increase the colors of the veggies in our diet.
You can also use Anaheim or poblano peppers if you like, and I often do. You can find these in most grocery stores, and you treat them exactly as you would a bell pepper. Take out the seeds and white ribs, and they're good to go. They have a mild but distinctive flavor and make the dish more complex and full in flavor.
Finally, you can, of course, add or subtract jalapenos as well. If you love the heat and the flavor, knock yourself out. Add as much as you want. Or if you have someone sensitive to heat at your house, cut them back or leave them out entirely. It's your food - make it the way you like!
Control the Heat of Jalapenos
Add Veggies to the Pot
The Original Texas Chili...
Did not contain beans, and the inclusion of beans in chili has been a hotly contested and controversial thing in chili circles for years.
Texas chili was made with just beef and chilies, and the pot simmered until the beef was tender and incredibly flavorful. The result was known as a 'Texas bowl of red' for the color resulting from the chilies. Original Texas chili is delicious, but this recipe isn't that -not by a long shot.
This recipe of course uses the much more economical and available ground beef instead of chuck. Several types of beans are used because of their incredible flavor and for their nutritional punch. Tomatoes bring color, and onion and bell pepper lend their flavors to the sauce.
So yes, this is chili, but not the traditional kind. Sorry, Texas, but this stuff is just as good as the original!
Simmer 1/2 to 1 Hour
Serve with Chips, Sour Cream, Green Onion - You Choose!
Three Bean and Beef Chili - Tutorial
How to Brown Ground Beef
© 2017 Jan Charles