I've got the perfect Fall recipe for you today! (But if you're anything like me it's delicious all year long.) It's hearty and warming and easy to throw together last minute if you've forgotten to prep dinner. I make this 3 Bean Chili almost once a week. It's a great way to sneak veggies into your kids diet if you chop the vegetables super fine. And you can add whatever veggies you have on hand!
This 3 Bean Chili can be ready in a pinch or it can simmer all day. It's hearty and filling without needing the addition of meat. And there's no need to worry about remembering to defrost your meat or making time to brown the meat because this chili is 100% plant based.
Gather the ingredients and chop the vegetables to the desired size. I chop mine very fine so I can convince even the pickiest eaters that it's just "seasoning." You can use whatever vegetables you have at home. And the more the merrier! This is also a perfect opportunity to use up any vegetables that are on the verge of going bad.
Add the oil and chopped veggies to the pan and let them brown over medium heat.
For this batch of chili I used onion, yellow squash, bell pepper, and carrot. Zucchini is also delicious!
Once the veggies have browned, add all the seasonings and let the flavors infuse for 2-3 minutes.
Add the canned (or fresh!) tomatoes and lentils and bring the mixture to a low boil.
Add the black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans and let the chili simmer for at least 30 minutes. Be sure to check the lentils to see if they're cooked through before serving. This is also the perfect time to add other seasonings. If you're not happy with the flavor try adding a little more salt. If you want more of a smoky flavor you can add extra chili powder or smoked paprika. And extra cumin will increase the Tex-Mex style of the chili! Plain chili powder won't add a lot of heat so if that's something you want try a couple dashes of your favorite hot sauce. Just make sure you're not using ancho or chipotle chili powder because it is much spicier than regular chili powder!
The leftovers from this 3 Bean Chili recipe are just as delicious! We love making simple nachos with the leftovers. Just line a pan with parchment, spread out your favorite tortilla chips, top with leftover chili and add any other favorite nacho toppings!
This chili is also amazing heated up for lunch. You simply can't go wrong with a healthy protein-packed, flavor-packed bowl of chili!