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single bowl of vegetarian 3 bean chili garnished with sliced avocado, cilantro and sour cream
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4.5 from 8 votes

Vegetarian 3 Bean Chili

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beans, chili, vegetarian
Servings: 16 cups
Author: Andrea


Chili Powder

  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste

For the chili

  • 2 tbps olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, rinsed and diced
  • 4 tbsp chili powder, recipe above
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp salt, Kosher, plus more to taste
  • 450 grams/1lb brown or white mushrooms, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, core and seeds removed, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, core and seeds removed, diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, core and seeds removed, small dice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 x 796ml/28oz cans tomatoes, whole, not drained, chopped or pureed
  • 3 540ml/19oz cans 1 each of red kidney, navy and black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Garnish Options

  • avocado slices or chunks
  • Sour cream or yogurt
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • extra cilantro leaves
  • hot sauce
  • tortilla chips


  • For the chili powder, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Prepare and chop all the vegetables. The size of the dice should be slightly smaller than the largest beans. Drain and rinse the beans. Chop or puree the tomatoes.
  • In a large pot heat olive oil to medium heat. Add onions and celery and saute for 10 minutes or until soft and glossy, stirring occasionally and adjusting temperature as needed to avoid browning.
  • Add chili powder (from above), garlic, and salt. Stir and cook for another minute.
  • Add mushrooms. Increase heat to medium-high and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add peppers, jalapenos, sugar and cocoa powder. Stir and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add pureed, canned tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  • Add beans, corn and olives. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add chopped cilantro, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.


  1. Chili will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days and freeze for 6 months. 
  2. Use any type of beans you like. 
  3. Make extra chili powder and store in a sealed container for another time.