Spicy Two-Bean Chili


Oh, hey, Fall.  Apparently you have decided to make your entrance to the New England area, haven’t you?  After a spell of half-gloomy, half-rainy days (and don’t forget a lovely cameo by Hurricane Irene), the days have gotten cooler and shorter and…well…honestly..simply beautiful.  I’ve been doing a lot of hiking out here recently with my girl Scout, and I still can’t get over how beautiful it is.  Now that the leaves are starting to change colors, the scenery has come alive with the greatest hues of red, orange, and bright yellow.  I know the best is still yet to come, but it’s like nothing I have ever seen.  Last year when I announced that this year would be my year-long vacation, I wasn’t kidding.  A girl could get used to this sort of scene. (Although, I will get back to you about this in the middle of January…ok?  Ok.)

Of course, a traditional fall (and football) food is chili.  And, for me, that means another easy and meat-free 100% vegan base recipe (I added the cheese on top, well, because you know that I will never ever leave my cheese, but this is completely optional, yet highly recommended).  I found this version, and I was immediately drawn to it for a couple of reasons.  Yes, it’s packed with protein in the form of two different versions of beans (black and kidney), but it had the sneaky addition of bulgur in it, adding an immense amount of fiber and filling me up on a lot less calories than traditional chili.  Bulgur is a form of wheat, a whole grain actually, so it packs a lot of protein and iron as well (I bought it in bulk at the local market).  I also love that carrots and red bell peppers are snuck into the dish without being overbearing.  I love being sneaky with vegetables.  I cut back on the amount of spice here, but I actually found that the heat was enough for me.  If you want, up the amount of jalapeno pepper by one or two, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Spicy Two Bean Chili

Servings: about 6


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 large jalapeno, seeded and minced

One 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

3 cups water

Two 15-ounce cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Two 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup bulgur

2 tablespoons white vinegar

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering.

2. Add the onion, carrots, red bell pepper, and jalapeno, stirring occasionally until translucent and softened, about 8 minutes or so.

3. Add the crushed tomatoes, water, kidney and black beans, bulgur, vinegar, garlic, and spices to the mixture, stirring until combined.

4. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low.

5. Simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, at least 20 minutes or so.  Garnish with cheese, scallions, or the toppings of your choice.  Enjoy.


Source: Slightly adapted from Bon Appétit, via Epicurious.


September 27, 2011 - 5:17 am

Blog is the New Black - Not only are your pics gorgeous, but you’ve sold me on this veg dish with lots of protein! I’ve been trying to eat a little less meat lately (to save money and just to test my body) and I’ve been loving crock pot meals. This chili looks like a winner! I’ll be making it right after I make my sweet potato & black bean chili!

September 27, 2011 - 7:15 am

Alli - This is the perfect meal too welcome fall. Yum.

September 27, 2011 - 8:36 am

Laura - After an eye-opening experience with Josie’s bean burritos, I’m sold on beans. Thought a bean chili would be fabulous. Bookmarking this one, it looks great!

September 27, 2011 - 9:52 am

Melissa - This looks perfect…and I bet I could get my “eats no veegies” carnivorous bf to try it!

September 27, 2011 - 12:21 pm

Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen - This looks delicious, and so perfect for fall. I’m not a vegetarian, but I actually prefer my chili meatless.

September 27, 2011 - 1:17 pm

Paula @ Dishing the Divine - This looks delicious! I love the addition of bulgur and veggies!

September 27, 2011 - 6:54 pm

Jeanette - wow, looks awesome! very filling i’m sure! 🙂

xo jeanette

September 27, 2011 - 10:22 pm

Annie - This looks great! A good friend and I are planning to get together in the next few weeks to make soup. We figured we’d make a weekend of it- each of us will make two different soups that we’ll split and freeze so we’ll have lots of yummy soup for winter. I already had one of my recipes picked out, and I think this one might be number 2!

September 28, 2011 - 4:47 am

Maria - Cool! My dad only makes one kind of chili, we should try a veggie one. ;]

September 28, 2011 - 7:07 am

Lori - Thanks for posting. I might have to make a batch for the Head of Charles. My son is competing! Can’t wait. I love Boston!

September 28, 2011 - 10:03 am

Anna - Time for some protein load…Without meat! Spicy is heavenly! Thanks for sharing…

September 28, 2011 - 10:49 am

Britne @ Shabbott's Habits - Oh yum! I just made chili the other night with ground turkey to keep it on the healthy side. But seeing these fantastic pictures makes me consider going meatless all together! Great recipe. Love the blog 🙂

September 28, 2011 - 12:29 pm

shaheen - This is the perfect chilli to usher in the autumn – fab colours too.

September 28, 2011 - 3:52 pm

The Farmers Wife - Oh yum… I adore chili and will eat it anytime of the year, but as soon as the weather starts to cool I always make up a giant pot for us to feast on! I love your recipe, it sounds positively delightful!

September 29, 2011 - 5:01 am

The Curvy Carrot » Cheddar Scallion Cornbread - […] suppose it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t post a cornbread recipe to go with the chili I posted the other day.  I mean, because chili and cornbread go together like peas and carrots, […]

October 1, 2011 - 7:19 pm

this week’s dose of inspiration. | simply chic. - […] spicy two-bean vegetarian chili {via The Curvy Carrot} […]

October 4, 2011 - 8:06 am

Kim K. - This was DELICIOUS! Made this Sunday and then reheated it for dinner last night. Perfect meatless Monday recipe, especially for Monday night football and the Colts!

October 4, 2011 - 9:10 am

srlacy - Woohoo! As an Indianapolis native, I agree! Go Colts!

October 19, 2011 - 7:22 pm

Amanda Gladu - I made this chili recipe last night and it was so delicious! I was a little skeptical of the short cooking time at first, but the consistency turned out to be perfect! just enough spice. Thanks!

October 27, 2011 - 3:03 pm

Avoid Seasonal Weight Gain with Healthy Versions of Fall Favorites - […] out there that pack just as much spicy flavor as their more fattening counterpart. Try this spicy-two-bean chili (The Curvy Carrot) for a meat-free alternative, or a great slow-cooker turkey chili (Amy Bites) for […]

October 28, 2011 - 4:44 am

Avoid Seasonal Weight Gain with Healthy Versions of Fall Favorites | SideTrack - […] out there that pack just as much spicy flavor as their more fattening counterpart. Try this spicy-two-bean chili (The Curvy Carrot) for a meat-free alternative, or a great slow-cooker turkey chili (Amy Bites) for […]

December 30, 2011 - 8:37 pm

Angie - I found your recipe on Pinterest and made it last night — Delicious!!! Thanks for a great recipe — I will be using it again and again.

May 9, 2013 - 8:13 am

Spicy Two Bean Chili - […] For recipe visit:  thecurvycarrot.com […]

October 16, 2013 - 8:55 pm

Amy - Love this recipe!!! The kids even had seconds! Only thing I changed was green pepper instead of red.