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five bean chili, bean chili, chili, recipe, vegan, vegetarian, whole food plant based, wfpb, gluten free, oil free, refined sugar free, no oil, no refined sugar, no dairy, dinner, lunch, dinner party, entertaining, simple, healthy

Five Bean Chili

  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hours
  • Total Time: 1 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1.5 Gallons 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex


Our Five Bean Chili makes a delicious meal and is the perfect comfort food. It’s warm and satisfying, spicy and hearty, made from scratch, and bursting with flavor.  A fabulous Whole Food Plant Based recipe: oil free, sugar free, and no highly processed ingredients.




  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups bell peppers, finely chopped (assorted yellow, green, red, orange)
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 large celery rib, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 146 oz. can tomato juice
  • 1 cup brown lentils (dry) – cooked in a pressure cooker, drained. OR 2 cups canned lentils
  • 115.5 oz. can cannellini beans (white kidney beans) drained and rinsed
  • 215.5 oz. cans kidney beans (drained and rinsed
  • 115.5 oz. can black beans (drained and rinses)
  • 115.5 oz. can pinto beans (drained and rinses)
  • 128 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes – chopped before adding
  • 1 cup corn (frozen or canned)

Herb/Spice Ingredients: 

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (+ more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (+ more to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried jalapeño peppers – crushed
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Optional Topping/Bedding Ingredients:

  • Sliced Avocado
  • Vegan cheese
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped red onions
  • Baked potato (bedding with chili topping)
  • Gluten Free bun (open faced sandwich with chili topping)
  • Gluten Free hot sauce
  • Salad topper


  1. Pick over, rinse and drain dried brown lentils. Cook in a pressure cooker. (If not using canned lentils).  When done, quick release and drain, set aside.
  2. Finely chop all the veggies, set aside.
  3. In a ceramic lined Dutch oven or large pot, add the chopped onion, bell peppers, carrot and celery. Sauté until softened, approx. 7-10 minutes.  Dry sauté, no oil is necessary. If the veggies start to stick, add a little water and water sauté.  Sprinkle with a little sea salt.   This will hasten the softening process.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients except the toppings, turn the heat to medium high to bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, test the flavors. Add more spices to taste.   (See notes on Spices)


*This recipe makes large pot of chili. It freezes well.

*Soften veggies: Make sure the veggies are softened before adding all the remaining ingredients.  Sea salt will make the veggies sweat and hasten the softening process.

*Sea Salt: This makes a large pot of chili; more sea salt may be required to adequately season the chili.

*Gluten Free Beans: Please check the labels and/or check online to see if the manufacturer processes the beans in a gluten free certified facility.

*Spices: When taste testing for spices, please note that the flavors mellow after a few hours, so what initially seems very spicy will become spicy.  Spicy, but not hot.

*Chili Powder: All chili powders are made of different blends of spices.  Some may have more cumin than others.  Find a chili powder that has the perfect blend for your family.  We love Penzeys chili powder (regular).  They have tons of varieties of chili powder.

*Baked Potato: This chili is very yummy on top of a baked potato.

*Open Faced Chili Sandwich: Toast a gluten free sandwich bun (dark toast) and scoop heated chili over top the buns.  Top with chopped green onions (or chopped red onions) and sliced avocadoes.

*Chili Salad: Prepare a salad; add a cup of heated chili and gluten free salsa.

*Chili Nachos: Add a cup of heated chili over top of a bed of gluten free corn nachos, wfpb vegan cheese, and chopped red or green onions.

*Chili Zucchini Boats: Cut a zucchini lengthwise, scoop out the center, and microwave until tender (or bake in the oven at 350 until tender), then place heated chili over top.

*Carrot “hot dog” with chili topper: Prepare a veggie carrot “hot dog” and place in a gluten free bun, top with a scoop of heated chili and chopped onions.

*Vegan Southwestern Stuffed Peppers: Prepare vegan stuff peppers, filled with Mexican seasoned rice.  When stuffed peppers are done, serve each pepper with a scoop of heated chili on top.