Big Batch Three Bean Chili with Beef

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on January 5, 2018

This big batch three bean chili recipe is my go-to for meal prep.  It’s great for a crowd, or perfect for freezing.  High in protein and fiber, but still warm and comforting, this is a wonderful winter meal.


Hello everyone!  I’m finally making good on my New Years goal to post more well-rounded meal recipes, and I have more coming soon!  This is my absolute favorite recipe to meal prep especially in the winter since it fits my criteria of warm, cozy and comforting but still healthy.


It’s perfectly balanced and easily customizable too.  As the recipe is, it has lots of protein and healthy carbs and is decently low in fat, provided you use the leanest ground beef you can afford.  Plus, that leaves room to add a little cheese and sour cream.  Of course, if you need to make this lower in carbs you can leave out or reduce some of the beans, but they’re delicious and filling so I like to use lots.


When I’m using this recipe to meal prep and I like to spoon it immediately into some 2 cup containers to either store in the fridge for a few days or into the freezer for a few months.  It can be reheated right from frozen, or put in the fridge the night before it’s needed.  Just make sure you have your favorite toppings on hand and you’re all set!  Of course, you can scale this recipe down easily enough to make 6 large servings instead of 12, or if you make a full sized batch but only need half of it, the other half can easily be put into a large container or even a sealable plastic bag and pressed flat for freezing.

In the comments below, please let me know what your favorite toppings for chili are and what your favorite recipes for meal prepping are 🙂  I’d love to hear from you!


Big Batch Three Bean Chili with Beef
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Course: Main
Servings: 12
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 onions diced
  • 4 stalks of celery diced
  • 1 head of garlic minced
  • 2 sweet peppers of your choice
  • 1 kg lean ground beef(or 2.2 lbs)
  • 2 32 oz cans of diced tomatoes (or 2 quart sized jars)
  • 1 398 ml can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillion
  • 2 cans black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/3-1/2 cup mild chili powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute for a few minutes.  Add the celery and cook for a few more minutes.

  2. Add the ground beef, break up and brown.  Once the meat is browned add the peppers and garlic and stir while cooking for a few minutes.  Add the tomatoes, beans and spices(everything else, except the cornstarch) and stir well.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

  3. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, or for as much time as you have available.  Before serving, stir the cornstarch with a small amount of water to make a slurry.  Add this to the pot and stir well, then just cook until thickened.

  4. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings, such as grated cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Recipe Notes

To make this prep a little faster, I like to prep other ingredients while the onions are sauteing or while the beef is browning.  While other ingredients are cooking I open all the cans, drain and rinse the beans, measure all the spices into a small bowl so it can quickly be dumped into the pot.  I like to simmer this chili for as long as possible so the flavors can deepen, but this chili can be made fairly quickly if you don't simmer for very long.

You'll notice the amount of chili powder can vary.  If you're sensitive to spicy things start with 1/3 cup, you can always add more.  I prefer the full amount.


Leave a Comment

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sandi September 26, 2019 at 00:23

This is my kind of hearty dinner! I can’t wait to try!


2 Charlotte Moore January 5, 2018 at 05:54

I usually make a double batch of chili, spaghetti sauce, and barbecue when I cook these. Love having things in the freezer to be able to just grab and thaw.


3 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 8, 2018 at 17:15

Yes, me too! Spaghetti sauce is another one I like to freeze too 🙂


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