Healthy Recipes

Dr. J’s Spicy 3-Bean Chili

By November 6, 2017 No Comments

Serves: 5-10


1 red onion, diced (1/4 inch)
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 red pepper, diced (1/4 inch)
2 medium carrots, diced (1/4 inch)
1 28 oz. can AND 1 14.5 oz. can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 Tbsp. New Mexico chile powder (I use hot)
2 Tbsp. guajillo chile powder
1-2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. cocoa powder (non-Dutch, optional)


Heat a large pot over medium-high heat until water splashed into pan beads up like mercury. Add onion, distribute over the surface of the pan, and leave in place until edges of onions start to brown. Stir intermittently until onion is translucent and browned, adding water 1 Tbsp. at a time to prevent sticking, if needed. This takes about 8 minutes.

Add minced garlic to the pan, stirring constantly for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Next add red pepper and carrot, and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, adding small amounts of water to prevent sticking, if needed. Finally, added chopped mushrooms, and cook until mushrooms have lost most of their water.

Add all of the spices (chile powders, cumin, oregano, and chocolate), stir to combine with the vegetables, and then keep stirring for another minute to “toast” the spices.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and brown sugar, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then add the drained beans, and bring back to a boil.

Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30-45 minutes, to combine flavors, checking intermittently to stir. Serve.


This makes a very flavor dense chili. Use less chile powder for milder flavors and omit chipotle powder for less heat. Add 1/2 bag fire-roasted frozen corn for fun (add when beans are added). If you are trying to get more greens into your life, serve over chopped kale that has been steamed or boiled, or, stir in a 7 oz. bag of baby spinach and wilt it about 5 minutes before serving. For a heartier meal, serve over a roasted sweet potato or brown rice or quinoa. Top with minced white or red onions, chopped cilantro, and diced, fresh tomatoes. Drizzle on a Tbsp. of Forager cashewgurt to add a little creaminess, if desired.

Source:  Brenda Johnson, MD

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