Diaries of a Plant Powered Dietitian


Three Bean Chili

Even though it’s already the middle of March, it still feels like winter in Idaho! Since the snow was coming down today, I decided to capitalize on more comfort food cooking before spring arrives. This easy yet delicious chili recipe doesn’t include any “fancy” ingredients so you can probably use what you have lying around in your cupboards already! It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser! Plus, it’s packed with protein and fiber from black beans, pinto beans, and kidney (red) beans. The key to a savory, just slightly sweet chili is the addition of cinnamon to this recipe.

This chili is vegan as is, but feel free to add any toppings you desire, such as avocado, shredded cheese, or sour cream. I served it with cornbread.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 40-50 minutes Makes approximately 8, 1 cup servings



  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 2 small to medium carrots

  • 1, 14.5-15 oz. can each of black beans, pinto beans, and red (kidney) beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1, 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (I used organic)

  • 1, 14.5-15 oz. can diced tomatoes with no salt/spices added (I used organic)

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 1 Tablespoon cumin

  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided

  • Black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 Tablespoon high-heat cooking oil like grapeseed or avocado oil

Optional Toppings:

  • Sliced avocado

  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

  • Shredded cheese

  • Cilantro

  • Lime wedges

  • Tortilla chips or cornbread


  1. Prep your veggies: Wash, peel, and chop carrots into roughly ¼” rounds (discard the root and stem tips). Wash and dice the bell pepper into square-like pieces (remove seeds and inner core). Peel and chop the onion. Peel and mince the garlic cloves.

  2. Heat oil over high heat in a large soup pot. Add the carrots, bell pepper, onion, and ¼ teaspoon of salt and sauté 6-8 minutes until onions are translucent and veggies are softened slightly.

  3. Add the minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, cinnamon, remaining salt, and sprinkle with black pepper. Coat well and stir to combine.

  4. Add the beans, crushed tomatoes, and diced tomatoes. Add 1 cup of water, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until carrots are sufficiently softened and chili is aromatic.

  5. Spoon into bowls and add your toppings or serve with cornbread. Enjoy!

Nutrition Info (per serving):

206 calories, 39 g carbohydrate, 12 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 2 g fat, 10 g protein, 797 mg sodium

Natalie Colla