Three-Bean Summer Skillet Chili

updated Jun 25, 2020
Three-Bean Spring Skillet Chili

This vegetarian white bean chili is a warm weather rendition of a cold weather classic.

Serves6 to 8

Prep20 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 30 minutes

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Credit: Jesse Szewzcyk

In the winter, nothing beats a pot of tomato-rich chili cooked with tender ground beef and a plethora of spices. But now that it’s summer, we’re eyeing this vegetarian white chili, packed with in-season produce and made in a single skillet.

This light and fresh rendition swaps canned tomatoes for a box of veggie broth, and replaces meatier kidney beans with tender cannellini and perky green peas. The toppings are equally as vibrant: Quick-pickled red onions lend pep and tang, sliced jalapeño adds bright flavor and heat, and a squeeze of lime juice adds its signature fresh flavor. It’s a warm-weather version of a cold-weather classic, and it’s the perfect thing to celebrate the season.

Credit: Jesse Szewzcyk

3 Tips for Better Homemade Chili

  1. Bloom your spices. After cooking the onions, garlic, and canned green chiles, add your spices to the skillet and let them cook until fragrant. This helps release (or “bloom”) their flavors and bring them to life, while also infusing the oil with flavor.
  2. Utilize your herb stems. Chili is often topped with fresh cilantro leaves — but what about the stems? Instead of throwing them away, chop ’em up and cook them into the chili, where they’ll add an extra layer of fresh flavor.
  3. Simmer for at least 15 minutes. Giving the chili ample time to simmer ensures it’s stewy and luscious, not brothy. Fifteen minutes should do the trick, but if you like an extra-thick chili, keep on simmering.

Three-Bean Spring Skillet Chili

This vegetarian white bean chili is a warm weather rendition of a cold weather classic.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


For the chili:

  • 2

    medium red or yellow onions

  • 1

    medium jalapeño pepper

  • 3 cloves


  • 1/2 bunch

    fresh cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can

    diced green chiles

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    cannellini beans

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    pinto beans

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon


  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 cups

    low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1 cup

    frozen peas

For the quick pickled onions:

  • 3/4 cup

    distilled white vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1

    medium red onion

Serving options:

  • 2

    medium limes, cut into wedges

  • 1/2 bunch

    radishes, thinly sliced

  • 1

    medium jalapeño, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup

    sour cream or Greek yogurt


  1. Make the chili: Prepare the following, placing them all in the same medium bowl: Dice 2 medium red or yellow onions. Core, seed, and mince 1 medium jalapeño pepper. Mince 3 garlic cloves.

  2. Remove the leaves from 1/2 bunch cilantro (about 3/4 cup), and set aside for garnish. Finely chop the stems (about 1/4 cup) and add to the bowl with the onions.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion mixture and 1 can diced green chiles and their liquid. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened and most of the liquid from the chiles has evaporated, 8 to 9 minutes. Meanwhile, drain and rinse 1 can cannellini beans and 1 can pinto beans.

  4. Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices are very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cannellini beans, pinto beans, 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, and 1 cup frozen peas. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer until about a third of the liquid has evaporated and the chili has thickened slightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the pickled onions.

  5. Make the pickled onions: Place 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Thinly slice 1 medium red onion and add to the bowl. Toss the onions in the vinegar mixture and let sit uncovered at room temperature until they turn pink and soften slightly, 15 to 20 minutes.

  6. Serve the chili with the reserved cilantro leaves, pickled onions, and optional toppings.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.