3 Bean Chili with cornbread

Slow Cooker 3 Bean Chili (Vegan) [+VIDEO]

If you’re in the mood for one of the most delicious chili recipes you’ve ever had, you’ll want to dive head first into this Slow Cooker 3 Bean Chili recipe! It’s hearty, comforting and packed with protein and flavor.

Plus, it’s made in a slow cooker, so all you have to do is set it and forget it! Completely stress-free and delicious!

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • black beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans – No chili recipe is complete without some good ol’ beans! For this recipe, I wanted to add a little variety, so I opted for a variety of three different kinds. Feel free to substitute these as needed with whatever you have on hand.
  • fire roasted tomatoes what’s chili without tomatoes? I love using fire roasted tomatoes, but regular diced tomatoes work well too. I find that the tomatoes help to add a little texture variety to each bite, so I wouldn’t skip them!
  • vegetable broth – vegetable broth is always a go-to for me when I make this recipe, but if you’re in a pinch you can substitute with water. Vegan chicken broth or beef broth would be great here too.
  • minced garlic – is a recipe even complete without garlic?! You can use fresh or jarred garlic. If you don’t have either, you can also opt for using garlic powder as well.
  • pickled jalapenos – pickled jalapeños aren’t completely necessary for this recipe, but I love the flavor that they add to the dish!
  • cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper – the spices are one of the key ingredients to a good chili recipe. I think that the measurements below are perfect as is, but feel free to adjust to your taste.
  • red onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper – onions and bell peppers are always part of any chili recipe I’m making and this one was no exception. Feel free to substitute with different varieties as needed.
  • canned corn – you can also substitute with fresh corn or frozen corn. It’s up to you!

How to Make 3 Bean Chili

My second favorite thing about this 3 Bean Chili recipe is how easy it is to make (the first being how delicious it is!). You basically set it and forget it!

To begin, you’ll want to start by gathering all of your ingredients. There’s nothing worse than starting a recipe only to realize that you don’t have everything you need.

Once you have everything, begin prepping all of the items that need to be diced like the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and pickled jalapeños. Next, you might find it helpful to open all of your cans and drain the liquid for the beans.

I always find it easiest to measure out all of the seasonings so I can dump them all into the slow cooker at the same time.

Now that everything for your 3 Bean Chili is prepped and ready to go, all you need to do is grab your slow cooker and add everything to it! Secure the lid in place and cook the 3 Bean Chili on high for 4 hours.

Stove Top Instructions:

To make this dish on the stove top, you’ll want to start by adding a few drops of oil (or water) to a large pot over medium low heat. Sauté the onions and garlic together and season with salt and pepper until the garlic is fragrant and the onions are semi translucent.

Next, add the seasonings to the pot and stir them in until well combined. Now it’s time to add in everything else– the beans, fire roasted tomatoes, broth, pickled jalapeños, bell peppers, and corn.

Increase the heat to high and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a low temperature so that it’s simmering. Let it cook for 45 minutes 1 hour and enjoy!


How long will the leftovers keep?

This 3 Bean Chili recipe is great because it keeps so well. I’ve eaten up to a week after making it!

How should I store the leftovers?

Store this dish in an airtight container of your choice.

Does this recipe freeze well?

Yes, it freezes great! If you know you won’t be able to finish it all, I highly reccommend frezing it in an airtight container and tucking it away until later (up to 3 months!) The night before you want to enjoy it, simply transfer it to the refridgerator so that it can thaw, then reheat over the stove or in the microwave.

What goes well with this recipe?

I love pairing this 3 Bean Chili recipe with either of my favorite cornbread recipes — classic cornbread or jalapeño cornbread. It also goes really well with white rice.

What toppings go well with this dish?

You could top this 3 Bean Chili with all kinds of things: shredded vegan cheese, avocado, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, red onion, or sour cream. Whatever you’d like!

Is this dish spicy?

I’d say this recipe is pretty mild. If you’re not a fan of spicy food at all, feel free to omit the pickled jalapeños. If you’re at the other end of the spectrum and you’d like more spice, feel free to add some cayenne pepper to taste to heat things up.

What are some variations I could try?

To switch things up, you could try adding some plant based ground meat, diced butternut squash, or even try switching up the spices.

What kind of beans should I use?

For this recipe I decided to use pinto beans, red kidney beans, and black beans. However, you can use whatever kind you enjoy most. Chickpeas, chili beans or navy beans would work well here too!

Can this recipe be made in an instant pressure cooker?

I’ve made this chili using my instant pressure cooker and it only took 30 minutes to finish! If you’re super crunched for time, try cooking it this way instead.

Expert Tips for Making 3 Bean Chili

  • I always tend to use salt-free beans when it comes to making 3 Bean Chili so I can control the amount of sodium that goes into making a meal. If you’re using beans with added salt, feel free to minimize the amount of salt added to the dish.
  • No need to rinse the beans! You can if you want, but it’s not necessary.
  • This recipe as is is definitely on the thinner side. If you’ve like a thicker chili, feel free to add a little cornstarch and water slurry mixture. Mix together the two ingredients in a small dish, then slowly mix in a little at a time into the 3 Bean Chili.

This slow cooker 3 bean chili will definitely be in rotation at my house. It’s effortless, inexpensive, hearty, and filling! Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Slow Cooker 3 Bean Chili

This post was updated on October 22, 2023.

3 Bean Chili with cornbread
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5 from 8 votes

Slow Cooker 3 Bean Chili (Vegan) [+VIDEO]

A simple, flavorful 3 Bean Chili that's sure to win you over! Comfort food at its finest! Perfect for weeknight dinners or meal-prep.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Beans, Chili
Prep Time 20 minutes
Slow Cooker 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6



  • Add all ingredients to your slow cooker and set on high for 4 hours. 
  • Stir intermittently. 
  • Serve with rice or enjoy alone and garnish with diced red onions and avocado (optional). Enjoy!



This recipe can also be made in an instant pressure cooker. Simply sauté the minced garlic, onions and peppers using the sauté setting until fragrant. Next, add in the remaining ingredients and stir. Change setting to bean or chili setting and let cook until finished.
Slow Cooker 3 Bean Chili in a bowl


  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Satisfied my chili craving and was easy to make. The seasoning & spices really set in by using the slow cooker vs. using the stove. Plus, I loved the idea of pickled jalapeños. (If you’re worried about it being too spicy, no worries. This is a perfect amount. Spicy without overpowering the dish or being so hot you can’t enjoy it.)

    • Alisa, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I agree, the stove top is great if you’re pinched for time but the slow cooker allows the flavors to set in!

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  3. 5 stars
    Excellent! I didn’t have to adjust seasonings or anything after I made it! I did make it in a stock pot and it is something I will make again and again. Loved it!!

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  6. 5 stars
    Loved it so much!!

  7. Do you use the entire can of beans with its juice, or do you drain and rinsed the beans?

    • Hey Maria, thanks for asking! I usually drain them, no rinsing. I’ll update the recipe to make that more clear 🙂

  8. Patsy Haynes

    5 stars
    Anything using a slow cooker is a HUGE winner for me, due to my busy, busy lifestyle, but this had the added bonus of tasting ABSOLUTELY DEVINE !!! Non vego husband loved it and said, if he was served this in a restaurant he would be super happy, so it was a winner with him as well. Served with brown rice, vegan sour cream and avocado – just perfect.

  9. 5 stars
    Made this twice so far and its a huge hit!

    I was wondering do I need to double the time if I double the serving size?

    • Hey Dori, so glad you’ve been enjoying this recipe! No, you shouldn’t need to double the time if you’re making it in a slow cooker, but perhaps allow for an extra 15-20 minutes of cooking.

  10. After the first bite you will say “mmmm!”. This recipe is de-VINE! I’ve made it so many times I have the recipe memorized. You will make this once and it will become part of your regular recipe catalog. Tasty. Satisfying. Filling. Comforting. Such a winner!

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe is so good! We have made this twice now and we love it!

    If I was to double the recipe and cook in a pressure cooker on high, any advice on on how long to set the cook time too?

    Thanks for this recipe! It’s one of our favorites! 🙂

    • Hey Matt, so glad you’ve been enjoying this recipe! Unfortunately I don’t have too much experience with pressure cookers so it’s hard for me to say, but it’s a great idea! If you do try it I hope you’ll come back and let us know how it goes.

  12. Will this fit in a 3 quart slow cooker?

  13. 5 stars
    Delicious and very easy to make! I made it for lunch and will eat for dinner with rice. This will definitely be one of my go to recipes when the weather is cold.

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