Vegan Three Bean Chili

A hearty, rich and satisfying chili that is perfect for the whole family.

  • 1 tablespoon oil or ¼ cup vegetable broth, for sautéing
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  •  ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  •  1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  •  1 Poblano peppers, seeded and diced
  •  1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  •  1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  •  2 teaspoons cumin
  •  ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
  •  2½ tablespoons chili powder
  •  ½ teaspoon smoked (or regular) paprika
  •  ½ teaspoon Deb’s Seasoning (page 269)
  •  1 teaspoon salt (less for salted vegetable broth or beans) 
  •  1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  •  1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained, rinsed
  •  1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained, rinsed
  •  1 (15 oz) can small red beans or kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  •  3 cups water
  •  1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  •  2 tablespoons tomato paste
  •  3 tablespoons masa (corn tortilla mix)

In a large soup pot, heat the oil or vegetable broth over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender and onions are light brown in color.  Stir in red pepper flakes, cumin, Mexican oregano, chili powder, paprika, Deb’s Seasoning, salt and ground pepper to the mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add rinsed black, pinto and red beans and mix well. Stir in water then add tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a simmer. Add masa mixed with half a cup of water. Simmer for 20 minutes, then it should be ready to serve. If chili becomes thick, add a little water to thin. Turn off heat and keep covered until serving time. Serve with crispy tortilla strips, sliced avocados, or fresh salsa on top.


  • To adjust the heat of the chili, use more or fewer jalapeños.
  • Fresh jalapeño chiles range from mild to fiery hot. Usually, the larger the chile is in size the milder the flavor.
  • To allow flavors to settle in, cover the chili and turn off the heat, and let chili or soups sit until it is time to heat and serve. Taste just before serving to see if adjustments are needed for the salt, pepper or spice.


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About the Author

Deborah Brutsché believes in uncomplicated meals. Through the power of simple and satisfying recipes, Deborah has created a connection for people who are on a journey to healthier living by choosing a diet that is free of animal products. She gladly embraced the challenge of giving her traditional, Southernstyle cooking a vegan twist. Deborah was influenced by her mother’s and grandmother’s family recipes.

Raising a family in Dallas and now living in Austin, Texas, her cooking is influenced by the distinctive flavors of the Southern U.S. and Mexico and new influences from her multi-cultural family.