Four Bean Chili

cheesy chili

Oh yes.

It’s March here in D.C., and that means wildly unpredictable weather. Two weeks ago it seemed damn-near springlike, this past weekend has been cold, rainy, and miserable.

Enter this chili. It will warm you heart and soul, not to mention your taste buds. And it is so easy to make. I made this one in about 45 minutes. I’ve also made it in the crock pot, which takes all day (technically) but only 15 minutes to put together. The results are equally delicious.

This batch will serve a small army as an accompaniment, or 5 or 6 very hungry people as a main course. I used my Dutch oven, so this was a one-pot wonder.

Start by browning some ground beef. I chose 100% grass-fed, organic beef.

ground beef

Remove the browned beef from the pot, leaving the fat for browning the veggies.

chili veggies

You can use any assortment of veggies you like. In the fall I sometimes add butternut squash or pumpkin; in summer I’ll throw in zucchini or eggplant. Chili is all about using what you have. And the spice:


Ohhhhhh, yes, the spice. The more cumin, the better.

spiced veggies

After the spiced and softened veggies have cooked for a few minutes, and you’re starting to swoon from the aroma, add some beans.


Beans! Four types of beans! Use your favorite type(s).

chili cooking

Add tomatoes, simmer for at least half an hour. But really, as long as you feel like.

And here’s my little secret: Break out the immersion blender and give it a couple of pulses. This mashes some of the beans and turns it from soup into legit chili. Alternatively, you can puree about a cup in a regular blender, or mash with a potato masher.

Stir the ground beef back in. Serve with brown rice or corn bread. Top with your favorite: Cheese, cilantro, diced tomato, avocado, crumbled corn bread, crushed tortilla chips…

topped chili

Four Bean Chili

Serves 6 as a main course
Prep: 15 minutes. Cook: 30 minutes.
  • 8 oz. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno, minced
  • Spices: 1 tsp each: cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, onion; 1/2 tsp each: kosher salt, chipotle powder, oregano
  • 3-15 oz. cans diced tomatoes (preferably no-salt added)
  • 4-15 oz. cans beans (I used black, pinto, kidney, and garbanzo), rinsed (preferably low-sodium), or 6 cups cooked beans
  1. Brown ground beef in a large pot. Set aside.
  2. Add onions and peppers to pot, saute for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno, and spices. Cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and beans, stir to combine. Cover and simmer, at least 30 minutes or as long as you have.
  4. Using an immersion blender, pulse the chili about 5 times (or more if you’d like). Alternatively, puree 1-2 cups in a blender or mash with a potato peeler.
  5. Add ground beef back into the pot, stir to distribute.


Printable recipe



  1. […] see, I very rarely eat red meat. I even surprised myself when I posted a chili containing beef as my very first recipe on this blog. Way back in 2000, my so-called New Year’s Resolution was […]

  2. […] It’s cold out. You need chili. […]

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