Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili

Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili

I love vegetables, and sometimes I am in the mood for a vegetarian dish.  A few days ago, I was reading my current issue of Cooking Light Magazine (January 2010) and came across a recipe for vegetarian chili.  I love to make chili during the winter months, and this recipe has a lot of my favorite things in it: butternut squash, red peppers, chicken broth, cannellini beans, and kidney beans.  The combination of these ingredients (plus a few key spices) resulted in a very flavorful, delicious, and filling dish.   Technically speaking, this chili wasn’t vegetarian since I substituted chicken broth for vegetable broth, but I just love the flavor of chicken broth.  And, I always have chicken broth in my pantry because I buy it in bulk at Costco.

One of the best things about this chili recipe is that each 1 ½ cup serving is only 264 calories!!  Another benefit is that many of the ingredients were things I already had on hand (chicken broth, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, kidney beans, garlic, onion, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes), so it was very economical as well- the only things I had to pick up at the grocery store were squash, pinto beans, and red peppers.

The recipe calls for chopped scallions as a topping, but I decided to leave them out because I didn’t think it was necessary.  But if you are making this for other people, the scallions might be a nice touch to give the chili a pop of color and a little extra crunch on top.  Next time I’m also going to serve it with grated cheddar cheese on the side, because I think cheese would be a great topping as well!  This recipe is definitely a keeper and I can’t wait to make it again!

Adapted from: Cooking Light Magazine (Jan. 2010)

Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili


  • 3  red bell peppers, roasted & chopped
  • 3  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 1  teaspoon  paprika
  • ½  teaspoon  salt
  • 4  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  cups  chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 ½  cups  (½ inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1  (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained (or two 14-ounce cans)
  • 1  (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Roast the red peppers, then dice them.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in cumin, crushed red pepper, paprika, salt, and garlic. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add bell peppers, broth, squash, and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add beans; simmer 25 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally.
  6. Sprinkle with green onions or cheddar cheese, if desired.

Serves: 6 (1 ½ cups chili each)

The combination of cannellini beans, pinto beans, & kidney beans provides lots of flavor.

Step 4: Add the bell peppers, broth, squash, & tomatoes to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 5: Add the beans and simmer 25 minutes.

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