For National Bean Day, we put together a compilation of the favorite tried-and-true chili recipes that InDependent team members love. We even got a couple old family recipes passed down through the generations! You’ll find chili recipes to feed a small family and recipes to feed a crowd. There are vegetarian, chicken, and beef recipes. Some recipes are for the stove-top and some are for the slow cooker. And, one recipe is done in just thirty minutes. Something for everybody. Chili is a wonderful comfort food during cold winter months and chili cook-offs during any season offer a rousing bit of friendly competition in military communities. Let us know if any of these recipes win you prizes!
THE BENEFITS OF BEANS
Beans are a nutrient-rich, satisfying, affordable source of protein. To be a complete protein, foods must contain all nine amino acids. Soybeans are a complete protein. Other beans require grains to be a complete protein, which is why you’ll often find rice or tortillas and beans paired together.
The recipes below all call for canned beans, but here’s an important tip if you choose to make your beans from a bag, which is the most economical way to do it. To reduce digestive discomfort (a-hem . . . gas) from eating beans prepared from scratch, make sure to soak and rinse before cooking. Choose a quick, hot, or overnight soaking method. Learn more here.
6 CHILI RECIPES
White Bean Chicken Chili
I grew up eating this chili. My mom would make it all the time. You can easily make this vegetarian by replacing chicken with more beans or vegetarian chicken strips and switching to vegetable broth. ~Ali Taylor
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
¼ cup chopped onion
1 cup chicken broth
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
pinch red pepper
1 19-ounce can white kidney beans, undrained
Optional toppings: shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sliced green onions
1. Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often.
3. Remove chicken with slotted spoon, cover, and keep warm.
4. Add chopped onion to pot and cook 2 minutes.
5. Stir in chicken broth, green chiles, and spice blend and simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Stir in cooked chicken and kidney beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Garnish with cheese and onions.
This is one of my favorite easy recipes. I sauté an orange or red bell pepper in the first step along with the onions. Sometimes I top with avocado. ~Anna-Liisa Davis
Slow Cooker Creamy White Chicken Chili
I love this white chicken chili recipe. I love anything you can do in one pot. ~Maralis Self
30-Minute Beef Chili
This made-from-scratch chili recipe is ready in just thirty minutes! ~Crystal Niehoff
Slow Cooker Ground Beef Chili
Serves a crowd
This recipe has been passed down from my mom. I’m assuming it was passed down to her from her mom. I have served it many times for large groups on Football Sunday. ~Mary Paige
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 15.5-ounce can red kidney beans, drained
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
Optional toppings: grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese, avocado slices, sliced jalapeños, and sour cream.
1. Sauté onion and celery in skillet until tender.
2. Add garlic for one minute. Do not brown garlic.
3. Pour into slow cooker.
4. Brown beef in skillet.
5. Drain off grease and pour beef into slow cooker.
6. Add remaining ingredients.
7. Cook on low 4-6 hours.
8. Top with cheese, avocado, jalapeños, and sour cream if desired.
Three-Bean Chili with Vegetables
I love trying new recipes but this is one of the few that I keep coming back to. Now my teenage daughter asks for it when she’s craving chili. I use olive oil and full-fat cheese and sour cream and will chop the veggies very small if I’m sharing this with a family with children who might not care for veggies. Since this recipe makes 16 servings, I love to make this when I want to take a dish to another family because it will generously serve that family, or I can cook once to have something to share and feed my own family. ~Kimberly Bacso
Kimberly Bacso exchanged an office with a view for a life of adventure when she became a military spouse in 2001 and a mom in 2004. She is the operations director of InDependent, a non-profit on a mission to make wellness accessible to all military spouses. She’s the managing editor of Legacy Magazine, a print publication celebrating military families and the communities that support them. She’s an experienced registered yoga teacher and lifelong vegetarian who can often be found traveling off the beaten path with her husband, daughter, and miniature poodle.