Five-Alarm Three-Bean Chili

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Five-Alarm Three-Bean Chili

While some might argue that chili isn't chili without meat (or with beans, for that matter), this three-bean stew is far from lacking in flavor. Five types of peppers, ranging from sweet to smoky to spicy, give a complexity in flavor that you just can't get from chili powder along. I don't specify a particular beer in this recipe, but some type of beer is essential for a multilayered broth and the one you choose will become your secret ingredient. I am partial to stouts (especially the more intriguing ones like chocolate or coffee stouts) for their deep maltiness and to red ales for the touch of sweetness they bring to all the spice. However, if you prefer pale ales, pour your favorite into the pot; the hoppy bitterness enhances the heat of the peppers.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium bell pepper cored and diced
  • 1 poblano pepper minced
  • 1 Anaheim pepper minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper minced
  • 2 canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce minced, plus 2 tablespoons sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 12 oz. beer
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can pinto beans rinsed and drained
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • sliced scallions


  • In a stockpot over medium-high heat, swirl in the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion starts to turn translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in all of the peppers, adobo sauce, tomato paste, sugar, cumin, and oregano and cook until the peppers are crisp-tender and the mixture is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the tomatoes, broth, and beer and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add all of the beans and continue simmering for 10 minutes more until the beans are heated through.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and a handful of cheese and scallions on top.


FromĀ The New Camp Cookbook: Gourmet Grub for Campers, Road Trippers and Adventurers by Linda Ly (page 142)

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