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3 Bean Ground Beef Chili


This 3 bean ground beef chili is one of my favorite recipes. A week ago I made the white bean chicken chili which is also amazing, but this one is for all the traditional chili lovers out there. A hearty meal all in one dish. There is nothing like serving up a bowl of beef chili. The rich flavor from the beef and the spices of cumin and chili, uh I am salivating just thinking about the recipe. 

I know that every house hold has their own chili recipe, and that is great! Create your own twist to this 3 bean ground beef chili recipe. That is one thing I absolutely love about cooking versus baking, cooking you can add a little of one thing, or touch more of another ingredient, and honestly it doesn't even have to be measured (I measure everything out in my recipes so that you recreate it the same way I prepared the dish). In all honesty though make the recipes to your likings. Think of it as a guideline with useful techniques or helpful tips to change up your usual recipes and ways of cooking. 

Chili is like one of those recipes that you love when your mom makes it for. That is how I feel about my mom's chicken soup. I love when she makes it for me. It's like a big hug. Chili has that same feeling, comfort. For me chili has a strong family relation to it. It's a Thanksgiving tradition to eat chili the Saturday after Thanksgiving (my family Thanksgiving goes on for 5 days!). We have been making it for probably 12-15 years! Every time I make chili and it isn't Thanksgiving it literally feels like my entire 16 person family is eating it with me. My uncles make the chili on Thanksgiving Saturday and it is literally one of my favorite days of the year. They start to prepare it in the morning and sit down around the couch watching rival college football games at night eating our bowls of chili. Oh yah and skillet cornbread to go with it :).  Literally there is nothing better! 




Yields 6 servings 

Time 30-60 minutes 


1 yellow onion - small dice

1 garlic large garlic clove - minced 

2 Tablespoons chili powder 

2 Tablespoons cumin powder

1 bay leaf

1 lb 90% ground beef 

1 can no sodium black beans- rinsed and drained

1 can no sodium pinto beans - rinsed and drained 

1 can no sodium kidney beans - rinsed and drained 

1 cup butternut squash - diced

1 can diced tomatoes 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper - optional 

Salt + Pepper 

Garnish: Sour cream, Pickled Jalapenos, Cilantro, Avocado, and Cheddar Cheese 


1. In a large pot or ceramic pot add the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot add the onions, garlic, half the cumin and half the chili powder. Season with salt and pepper. Let this cook for 4-5 minutes. 

2. Season the ground beef and add to the pot. Add the remaining cumin and chili powder and break up the beef and stir everything together. Let the ground beef brown for about 5-6 minutes. 

3. Once you have rinsed and drained the beans add them to the chili pot and the diced butternut squash. Also add the diced tomatoes and season well with taste and pepper. Bring this to a light boil. Once the chili is at a boil add the bay leaf, cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Let this cook covered for 25-27 minutes. 

4. Uncover the chili once it has cooked remove the bay leaf and stir it. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. To thicken the chili turn the heat on high and bring it to a rapid boil. Let it reduce and thicken for 5 minutes. You may want to stir it occasionally during the 5 minutes for the chili not to stick to the bottom of the pan. Once it has boiled turn the heat off and cover the pot. Let this sit for 25-30 minutes on the stove covered. The longer it sits the better it will taste.

5. To serve, warm the chili and garnish with sour cream, pickled jalapenos, cheese, and cilantro. 



Best served with skillet cornbread

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