The 2 Rules of Chili

by Heather

Let me start by saying two things.

1. There are a LOT of ways to make a really good chili.

2. The best meals are often the ones with the least amount of thought and effort.

The first one makes me pretty happy. I can say “we’re having chili for dinner” and it’s not greeted with a moan of “agaaain?” because the chances of it being the same as last time are slim to none.

easy chili

The second one should please me, but it drives me up the wall. Meal planning and dinner-brainstorming is hard work! Especially when you {gasp} have no interest in food.

It seems like the dinners that happen only after hours of staring vacantly into the pantry waiting for magic to appear, and only happen after randomly grabbing things and throwing them into a pot out of desperation {or starvation}, are the dinners that turn out the best.

I’m sure there’s a direct correlation between time spent preparing dinner and it’s subsequent deliciousness, and much to my dismay, it goes in the opposite direction one would think.

Back to the first point. You can make a really stinking good chili that takes all day simmering on the stove or crock pot.

Or you can spend 5 to 20 minutes and come up with something as equally delicious. The frustrating rules of the kitchen.

Case in point: Pantry Chili. Kind of like kitchen sink chili, but without as many ingredients.

Easy Vegetarian Bean Chili
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5oz can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 14.5oz can navy beans
  • 1 14.5oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles {like Rotel}
  • 1-2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Optional: cilantro


  1. Saute onion over medium high heat until starting to brown. Stir in garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes.
  2. Add in all remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Serve steaming hot!

vegetarian chili




Pssst…wanna know my secret for making it taste like it’s been cooking all day? Fennel seeds and Worcestershire sauce. Now don’t go telling anybody…

vegetarian chili recipevegetarian bean chili

Chili of course is supremely sufficient as a one bowl meal, but to balance it out and change it up a little bit, it also goes perfectly with a simple side like roasted red potatoes.

roasted potatoes recipe

Chopped up red potatoes coated in olive oil, a clove of minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Roasted at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, flipping after 30.

roasted red potatoes

I think it goes without saying that chili also goes perfectly with corn bread. Something about the spicy paired with the ever so slight hint of sweet. Heck, forget the chili, just give me corn muffins!

easy vegetarian chili

Heck, forget the chili, just give me corn muffins!

vegetarian chili recipes

What’s your favorite version of chili? Black bean wins for me, hands down!


P.S. Vote for my Nature Made Better You entry on Facebook! Please! 🙂


Also: My 21 Week pregnancy update is up over at tiny sneakers!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne G. September 20, 2011 at 11:31 am
Sounds amazing! I'll definitely be trying that! I was kind of disappointed not to see the corn muffin recipe though... :)
Heather September 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm
I cheated with a just-add-water-mix this time....I'll post a real one soon! ;)
Cat @Breakfast to Bed September 20, 2011 at 11:51 am
In Ohio, they put it on spaghetti with cheese and onions. Sooooooooo good.
Heather September 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm
Hmmm... that sounds really interesting...and good, I think! :)
Cara @ EAT. PRAY. RUN. September 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm
I love the simplicity of this recipe! I have been making 'simple soups' this past week which just include veggie broth, veggies and whatever else I can find laying around to throw into a pot. SO good. Def going to be borrowing tips from your chili recipe...thanks for sharing :)
Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather September 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm
I love how you can change chili up so many different ways and it's always a winner! Sweet potato/black bean chili is one of my favorites, but I also love a classic flavorful bean chili like this one.
Heather September 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm
Mmm sweet potatoes & black beans together are always a winning combo. :)
sarah (sarah learns) September 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm
annnnnnnd. i'm roasting potatoes for dinner now! we already have the main course planned, but i always throw together a side as i'm getting the rest of dinner ready. tonight = potatoes night!

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