Busy Weeknight Bean Chili

About recipe

This flavorful chili recipe only requires about 15 minutes of prep work and calls for common ingredients such as chili powder, canned beans, onion, and canned tomatoes. The beauty of a recipe like this is you can easily make substitutions with other items in your pantry!

Ingredients (serves 6)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 (15.5-ounce) cans kidney beans, divided

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ½ tablespoons chili powder

1 large onion, finely diced

2 green poblano peppers, finely diced (can substitute 2 medium bell peppers, any color)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 (14-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes (or 28-ounces of any canned tomatoes, preferably no-salt-added)

1 ¾ cups water, plus more as needed

Salt and pepper

Optional toppings, such as sour cream or Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, diced red onion, diced avocado


  1. Drain and rinse 1 can of kidney beans. Pour onto a cutting board and roughly chop.
  2. Set a large soup pot or Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and when hot, add the chopped beans. Spread into an even layer, then don’t touch! Fry for about 6 minutes until crispy. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, and add the butter to the pot. When it’s melted, add the chili powder. Stir for about 30 seconds until it’s very fragrant, and be careful not to let it burn. Add the onions, poblanos, and salt, and stir to completely coat the vegetables in the chili butter. Cook, stirring every so often, for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft; lower the heat and add a small splash of water as needed to prevent any burning.
  4. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the second can of beans.
  5. When the vegetables are soft, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, water, chopped-fried beans and whole beans. Adjust the heat to bring to a simmer.
  6. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are full and delicious to you. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
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