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3-Bean, Kale & Ancho Chili

Jan 18, 2014 | Recipes | 1 comment

3 Bean Kale Ancho VegetarianChili

Not only is this Ancho Chili Recipe vegetarian and gluten free, it’s also filling and packed with flavor!

3 Bean Kale and Ancho Vegetarian Chili
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3 Bean, Kale & Ancho Chili

Servings: 8


  • 1 dried ancho pepper (or chipotle)
  • 1 red, 1 green, and 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems and leaves finely chopped (separately)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 28 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can each black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder*


  • Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Remove from heat and place dried chili pepper in hot water and allow to re-hydrate.
  • Place a large soup pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, chopped bell peppers, onion, garlic, kale stems and leaves, and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Remove and discard seeds and stem from the rehydrated ancho (option to reserve a few seeds as desired for added heat). Place ancho in a blender with the boiling water and blend until smooth, adding seeds as desired (do so gradually and taste for heat before adding to chili — a few seeds can add a lot of heat!). Add pureed ancho and water to sautéed veggies.
  • Add 28-ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons chili powder and 3 cans of rinsed and drained beans. Bring to a boil then lower heat to low-medium, stirring occasionally and adding water or broth as needed. Continue to cook for 30 minutes, up to 1 hour.
  • Season to taste with additional chili powder, salt, and pepper. Enjoy! Note: Leftover chili freezes well.


*Note: Read all ingredients and avoid blends with added sugar, salt, MSG, and other unnecessary fillers.

What is the nutrition like for this ancho chili recipe?

Comfort food doesn't have to be unhealthy! This ancho chili recipe is packed with all kinds of nutrients:

  • Peppers: Loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber, bell peppers are a great addition to healthy family meals.
  • Onion: Did you know that the humble onion is actually packed with antioxidants? Onions also have vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate and potassium.
  • Kale: Kale is high in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate.
  • Garlic: Garlic has been used in homeopathic remedies for thousands of years and is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and some types of cancer.
  • Tomatoes: Packed with antioxidants, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of several kinds of cancer. Furthermore, they contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium, many of which most people don't get enough of.
  • Beans: High in folate, protein and fiber, beans are super filling and nutritious. If beans don't agree with your stomach, try soaking and cooking them yourself rather than buying canned, as soaking can aid in digestion.
  • Chili Peppers: Chili peppers are very high in vitamin C and are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium and copper. Of course since you won't generally consume large quantities of chili peppers, their contribution to your overall nutrition is limited.

Is this vegetarian chili meal prep friendly?

Yes! Not only is chili the kind of dish that only gets better after a few days, this recipe also freezes really well.

Make a double batch on your prep day and freeze half in individual servings. That way you'll always have a warm, healthy lunch available in just a few minutes.

What is your favorite healthy cold-weather meal? Share your ideas and pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as @prepdish in all 3 places, or leave a comment below.

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