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Flavors of Fall: Smoky Bean Chili


Flavors of Fall: Smoky Bean Chili jillconyers@gmail.com #recipe #chili #fall #vegan #plantpowered @jillconyers

I’ve teamed up with Dreena Burton and Ben Bella Books, Inc. to bring you a peek at the drool worthy and kid-friendly recipes inside Plant Powered Families.

Dreena Burton, author of 5 cookbooks and mom to 3 plant-powered kids!

As a mom of 2 who typically frown at eating anything green I was excited to check out Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families with over 100 kid-tested, whole foods vegan recipes.

Dreena has written five bestselling cookbooks charting her journey as a plant-powered cook and at-home mother of three. Always passionate about creating nutritious recipes, she is an advocate of using the “vegan basics” to create healthy, delicious food for the whole family.


A wonderful collection of mouth watering recipes for everyone, vegan or not.

Dreena also includes tips for pleasing picky eaters (that’s my 2 kids), whipping up DIY staples, packing school lunches and more. There’s also an awesome section on prepping your kitchen plant-power.

Dreena gives you tools and tips to plant power your family.

With mouth-watering, vegan recipes like this Smoky Bean Chili and many others, (e.g., Thick N’ Hearty Tomato Sauce, Red Lentil Hummus, Oatmeal Banana Bites, and Sticky Almond Blondies) it’s no wonder that Dreena has garnered the praise of plant based all stars, athletes, doctors and best selling authors.

You can order your own copy of Plant Powered Families here.

Smoky Bean Chili

Yield: Serves 5-6

Smoky Bean Chili

I’ve made many batches of chili over the years. This kid-friendly plant-based version draws on smoked paprika for a spicy essence that isn’t too hot.


  • 1–2 tablespoons plus ¾–1 cup water, divided
  • 1½–2 cups diced onion
  • 1½ cups diced green and red bell pepper (3/4 cup of each; see note)
  • ½-¾ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 4–5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1½ tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (see note)
  • 1–2 pinches cinnamon
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 can (28 oz) or box (26 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas (see note)
  • 1 can (14 oz) kidney beans
  • ¾ cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
  • 1–2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Lime wedges for serving


  1. In large pot over medium heat, add 1–2 tablespoons of the water, onion, green and red bell pepper, celery, carrot, and sea salt. Stir, cover, and let cook for a few minutes.
  2. Then, add the garlic, chili powder, oregano, dry mustard, smoked paprika, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Stir through and cover again, cooking for another 4–5 minutes. Reduce heat if veggies are sticking to bottom of pot.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans, remaining ¾-1 cup water, lentils, bay leaves, and molasses and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25–30 minutes, until lentils are softened. Stir in lime juice and serve portions with lime wedges.


Bell Peppers Note: If your kiddos aren’t fond, you can reduce the measure—and chop very, very fine!

Smoked Paprika Note: Smoked paprika adds a smoky spicy flavor rather than a hot spicy flavor to dishes, so many children enjoy the taste. It’s a great addition to a flavorful pantry!

Beans Note: You can substitute other beans like pinto or black beans. Also try mashing chickpeas slightly to add more interesting texture.

Idea: After cooking this chili, remove a portion for the adults and kick it up with some regular hot sauce, or even better to complement the smoky essence—chipotle hot sauce!


Flavors of Fall: Smoky Bean Chili jillconyers@gmail.com #recipe #chili #fall #vegan #plantpowered @jillconyers

How do you get your family to eat more vegetables? Is anyone in your house a picky eater?

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  1. Oddly enough, my toddler is a hard core green smoothie drinker, but she won’t touch leafy greens if you put them on her plate.

  2. Yum this looks tasty! We don’t eat too many beans in our house but this one looks like it could be a hit

  3. i cannot wait to try this. Sometimes I think vegan chili is even heartier than regular beef chili! Bring on the veggies

  4. Funny, I put chili on our menu for the weekend before reading this!

  5. That chili looks delicious! We eat a ton of veggies at our house, but we also don’t have kids yet, so that makes a difference. I can’t wait until I have a kitchen again, we’re doing work on the house and right now all we’ve got is the grill and a toaster.

    1. Hi Becky. Until my kids hit the teens they would eat anything. Not picky at all. Then the teens hit and they became anti anything veggie. Have a fantastic weekend!

  6. Oh, I need to make some chili soon. The cooler weather basically demands it. Even though I don’t have children, my fiance is quite the picky eater, so I’m ALL about recipes that are secretly healthy. Looks like a delicious recipe!

    1. Enjoy Katie and let me know if you’re fiancé likes it. Its so good. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it.

  7. That looks tasty! I will have to check out that cookbook!

    1. The recipes we’ve tried have been so good Betsy. Adults and kids have loved them. That’s not typically the case in our house 🙂

    1. Enjoy Deborah. My crockpot is coming out this weekend and will stay on the counter for the rest of the year. Have a fantastic weekend!

    1. Hi Adriana. It’s so nice to meet you. Try this recipe and let me know what you think. Have a fanstastic weekend!

  8. To heck with kids! All those recipes sound great to me too. And I had to laugh at the bell pepper note. I’m the one who’s not fond in my household 🙂

    1. I know! My husband has enjoyed every recipe I’ve made from this book. Have a great weekend Debbie!

    1. Hi Ros Emely. It’s so nice to meet you. The chili is yummy and cozy too 🙂

  9. I can’t wait to have chili! I held out for taco soup but had my fix of the seasons first soup this week, chili is next on my list and this one looks amazing!

    1. Tricia I love taco soup! I think I’ll add that to my menu for next week. Have a fantastic weekend!

  10. THis entire household is comprised of picky eaters…except for me…and the dogs. That chili looks delicious!

    1. This recipe passes the picky eaters test Marcia. Do you think your household would eat it? It’s so good. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it.

  11. We’re all picky but in different ways. It can get interesting tying to figure out dinner with my son there on the weekends.

    1. Cassi, would they eat this chili? It’s so good. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it.

      1. My husband would at least try a bowl. My son has been willing to try things but you never know when…he hasn’t been open to beans yet.

  12. That looks really hearty and yummy. I’m sure it would fill you up and make you feel all warm on these chilly fall days.

  13. This looks delicious! I was just thinking chili would be a yummy meal to make.

    1. Hi Amanda. I’ve been craving chili. It was that short period of cool weather that started it.

    1. Paprika is considered a staple in our house. Regular and smoked. Cumin too. We go through crazy amounts of cumin.

  14. This sounds really good! I love chili and I can usually get my husband to eat vegetarian versions. 😉

    1. It’s easy to sneak in the veggies with this one. It’s too good not to like. Make it for your husband next week or even better this weekend. Enjoy!

  15. Ok so loving these recipes. What an awesome way to get your kids or even picky adults to eat more veggies. The cinnamon in this dish is such a fun addition!

    1. I’ll try anything with my kids. When they were little they ate anything. The anti veggie pickiness came with the teens. Have a wonderful weekend Sam!

  16. Tis the season, you can beat a good bowl of chili! Come to think of it, I dont ever think Ive had a bowl of chili that I didnt like. Have a wonderful weekend

    1. Hi Autumn. Now that you mention it I don’t think I have either. Have a wonderful weekend!

  17. I love chili, I wish it like me more! I would probably sub out some of there beans here, but mmmmm the flavors would still be there!

    1. Hi Susie. This recipe would be easy to tweak for preferences and food sensitivities. By the way. Loved the JBS post.

  18. Anything with smoky in the title has my heart Jill! And I thought of you as I woke up nice and early on my rest day today to fully enjoy my morning and take it slow 🙂

    1. Hi Michele, how did you enjoy your early slow morning? Love it or not for me?

  19. I have to try this…I just mentioned chili as one of my favorite things about fall, and this recipe looks delicious! Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

    1. It’s one of my favorites too Michelle. I like it spicy topped with sliced avocado. Yummy and cozy. Ok. A little too excited about chili? haha

  20. Wow, what an awesome (veggie packed) recipe! I love your idea of mashing the beans for a texture change, I’ve never thought about that before.

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