In the third class of a free, grant-funded, healthy cooking program I co-teach in Boston, my colleague and I focus on satisfying soups and side dishes. In the class, we prepare a fabulous vegan vegetable bean chili that is super nutritious, affordable and filling. It has 231 calories per serving, 115 mg of calcium, 4 mg of iron and lots of dietary fiber.

Unlike a meat chili, it doesn’t contain any cholesterol. (Plants don’t contain cholesterol). And it costs $1.43 per serving to prepare.   To supplement the lessons we teach in the class, I made a YouTube video showing the preparation of the chili. I often hear from cooks that they find it help to have a visual guide in the kitchen with them. That’s where a cooking video like this comes in.

Do you find it helpful? I’d love to hear from you.   Thank you to my colleague, Annie Bernhard of Plant-Based for Life, for providing permission to post this recipe that she developed.


Here it is:

Chunky Veggie-Bean Chili

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan
Servings 7 people


  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 medium bell peppers, seeded and diced any color (about 3 cups)
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced small (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 15 oz can oil-free tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can corn drained and rinsed, or 1.5 cups raw or frozen
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
  • 4 cups baby spinach or baby kale or 1 cup frozen or minced steamed greens


  • Heat a few tablespoons of water in a soup pot over medium-high heat. When the water begins to sputter, add the onion, bell peppers, celery and sweet potato, and cook, stirring for five minutes, adding a little water as needed.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, broth or water, beans, corn, chili powder, oregano, garlic and cumin. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the greens. Serve as is or garnished with chopped cilantro, hot sauce, scallions and/or avocado.


Feel free to add more greens (kale or spinach), if you like.
To reduce cooking time, microwave the diced sweet potato for 1-2 minutes before adding to the pot.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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