This is a perfect make-ahead meal. I’ve always got a few pre-portioned emergency chili meals in the freezer for when I’m in a pinch. I like to make chili in the slow cooker or crockpot, but you could easily make it in a large pot or dutch oven instead.
- 1 bell pepper diced (6 oz)
- 8 oz corn fresh or frozen (8 oz)
- 1 small onion diced (8 oz)
- 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz
- 1/2 jar marinara sauce 12 oz
- 9.5 oz dry beans pre-soaked 6-8 hrs (I like a mix of black, pinto, & kidney)
Condiments & Seasonings
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp salt
- Fresh cilantro chopped
- Red onions or white onions minced
- Green onions sliced
- Cheese, cream cheese, or sour cream I use non-dairy brands
- Sprinkle of pumpkin seeds
- Jalapeño seeds removed and minced
- Hot sauce
- Sliced mango yum!
- Corn chips to scoop!
- Rice or quinoa to serve
- Pre-soak your beans for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse before using. Or, if you have an Instant Pot, do it the impatient way (see notes)
Instant Pot Instructions
- Use the Sauté function to sauté the onions and bell pepper for 2-3 minutes, adding vegetable broth, water, or oil to prevent burning. Add the garlic and all of the spices (except for salt) and cook 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, marinara, broth, and drained beans.
- Close the pot lid to sealing. Set to Manual (high) for 18 minutes. When done, carefully use quick release. If the beans aren’t fully cooked, reseal the lid and pressure cook for a few more minutes. It will come to pressure very quickly, since everything is hot.
- If using fresh or frozen corn, stir it in after cooking. Garnish and serve.
- Combine all ingredients in a crockpot. Cook in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours, or until the beans are fully cooked. Check occasionally and add liquid if needed.
- If using the stovetop, I recommend using canned beans so that you don't have to babysit your chili for hours. Combine all ingredients (except garnishes) in a large heavy-bottomed pot and cook it on the stovetop on low/medium heat for about 30 minutes. If it seems like it needs a little more liquid, you can add a little water or veggie broth. If using fresh or frozen corn, add at the end of cooking. Garnish and serve.
Modification for Canned Beans
- Feel free to swap out the dry beans for 2-3 cans of cooked beans. Drain and rinse the beans before adding. No need to use the Instant Pot or crockpot in this case, just simmer your chili on the stove for 25-30 minutes, to meld all the flavors.
- You can “pre-soak” your beans quickly in the Instant Pot, see these instructions.