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Smokey 3 Bean Chili – Ready in 30 minutes

Tonight, I had a hankering for chili myself, and didn’t have the time for a long cook. I came up with this smokey 3 bean chili and it has the most amazing flavor. No one will know it is one of your 30 minute meals!

One of my favorite go to meals when I really want to please my husband is chili.  He loves anything spicy and has never met a chili he didn’t make friends with!

Normally, I cook it in the crock pot or give it a low simmer on the stove for hours.

As fall approaches, I find myself thinking more and more about  a big bowl of chili.  Nothing seems to do the job of warming me up quite like a tasty chili recipe. 

See my One pot chile con carne recipe here.

This Smokey 3 bean chili is ready in 30 minutes but tastes like you spent hours making it. The dish is bursting at the seams with flavor.

This smokey 3 bean chili is ready in a flash and tastes like you spent hours making it.

This chili has a bit of spice, but not too much.  It makes hubby happy and I loved it too, even though I am not so much of a heat freak as he is.  I love my chili recipes more on the savory side with plenty of flavor but not too much heat.

close up of smokey 3 bean chili

This truly is a “whatever you have in the pantry recipe.”  I just had a quick look to see what I had on hand and that is what went into the pot.  Today it was these ingredients:

  • yellow onions
  • garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • lean ground beef (turkey, pork or any protein will work just as well)
  • kidney beans
  • black beans
  • garbanzo beans
  • tomato sauce
  • diced tomatoes
  • smokey cumin
  • Mexican style chili powder
  • tomato paste
  • chili paste

After a quick chop of the onions and garlic cloves, I heated the olive oil and sautéed them in a non stick pan for a few minutes until they were tender.

I added the ground beef to the same pan and then put everything in a large saucepan to cook for about 30 minutes.

You can cook it longer and the flavors will get more intense as you do, but it’s really just fine after a half hour, which is what I gave it today.

Pan of Smokey 3 bean chili

This rich, smokey 3 bean chili has a bit of heat, a bit of sweetness and lots of savory tastes.  It is thick and bursting at the seams with flavor.

Smokey 3 bean chili is ready in 30 minutes

I served it tonight with some grated cheddar low fat cheese, a dollop of light sour cream and a new find that I just love quinoa and black bean tortilla chips to scoop up every last drop.

bit of Smokey 3 bean chili

Go on…you know you want to make a batch.  What is in your pantry that you can add to this delicious smokey 3 bean chili?

If you love chili, try this savory and hearty white bean chili.

Yield: 6

Smokey 3 Bean Chili - Ready in 30 minutes

Smokey 3 Bean Chili - Ready in 30 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 14 oz can of black beans
  • 1 14 oz can of kidney beans
  • 1 14 oz can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 28 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of smokey cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of Mexican style chili powder
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp of chili paste
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.


  • Heat the olive oil in a non stick pan. Sauté the onion and garlic until tender. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink.
  • Place this in a bottom of a large dutch oven and add the remaining ingredients. Cook on medium low heat for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with grated cheese, sour cream and some Quinoa and black bean tortilla chips.
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