4-Bean Chili con Carne

Chili final pot

Hello everybody!

I’ve made some great chili today and wanted to share.

The other day…and then on subsequent occasions…on the phone, in person – literally twice on Sunday, my father told me he had some great chill at a restaurant called Burger De Ville.  So I guess he inspired me to make it for him – kind of like Pavlovian conditioning – whenever I see him now I think CHILI.

Its quite a manly food, isn’t it? Never has a woman brought it up in food discussions and I’ve had a lot of them. It feels like as soon as you talk to a group of men about food, one of them will mention chili. Try it. lol I think the first request for me to post a chili recipe came in 2008, from a co-worker. He was super into chili!  Anyway, its taken me about 6 years to get around to it. Sorry Sergio, wherever you are.

The dish never moved me before. I couldn’t picture myself eating a whole bowl of spicy, tomatoey beans, minced meat with cheese on top. For me, one or more of those normally = heartburn/acid reflux and just general gastric distress which means rolling around in bed, waking my husband up to complain and sobbing with a bottle of Tums clutched in my fist.  Happily, this did not occur and I worried for nothing.  

This is an adaptation from Emeril Lagasse’ 5 Bean Chili . We don’t hear much from him these days but his recipes are tried and true. When I saw his take on chili, I trusted that the outcome would be great. My mother, the “selective” eater of our family,  used the words “I – love – it!”  So that should really drive the point home that it was amazing.

 I am sure you have noticed that mine is a 4 bean chili rather than Emeril’s 5. That is because to my eyes, by the time I reached my fourth variety of bean, it looked like I had a million beans so I just stopped opening cans. Its as simple as that.

BAM!!! Let’s do this.

Tips/Notes: Suitable Mexican chili powders are Ancho, New Mexico, De Arbol to name a few good varieties – Cavallaro Fine foods in Marhé de L’Ouest has a good selection.Don’t use: Habanero – too spicy! or Chipotle – very smokey, it may overpower the dish) Don’t worry about investing in some good Mexican chili powder because you make this again.

I discovered Pastene’s canned Fire Roasted diced tomatoes. – I used those in combination with the whole tomatoes.

4 Bean Chili con Carne

Chili final bowl only

Total Time:
1 hr 50 min
30 min
1 hr 20 min

Yield: 10-12 cups


1 pound lean ground beef (Sub for ground turkey if you prefer)
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup diced green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, preferably Mexican style
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (so necessary – do not omit)
2 bay leaves
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed with your hands
3 cups beef stock such as (Campbell’s low-sodium)
1 1/2 cups canned/drained pinto beans
1 1/2 cups canned/drained red kidney beans
1 1/2 cups canned/drained black beans
1 1/2 cups canned/drained navy beans or white kidney beans

1 tbsp of olive oil for frying the beef (if using very lean beef)

Garnish: Sour cream, cilantro leaves, grated Cheddar and chopped green onions.  All are optional but who could do without them??


In a cast iron pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the meat until well browned, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, coriander, and cinnamon, and cook until vegetables are soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the bay leaves, tomatoes, and stock; bring the mixture to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add all of the beans, stir to combine, and continue to cook another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the flavors have come together and the chili has a nice, thick consistency.

Add the cilantro, if using. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Serve hot, garnished with sour cream, grated cheese, and chopped green onions.

Serve with tortilla chips if desired. I recommend breaking some tortilla chips into your chili. The crunchy bits add to the experience 😉

Enjoy! xox

Good bean facts: Beans are high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Eating beans regularly may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, and helps with weight management


Chili ingredients
The prep. Although the original recipe does not call for it. I used some olive oil to fry my meat.
Mexican chili wheel
My indispensable Mexican chili wheel – Purchased at Cavallaro Fine Foods at Marché de l’Ouest.
Mexican Chile wheel 2
How cute is it! My indispensable Mexican chili wheel – Purchased at Cavallaro Fine Foods at Marché de l’Ouest.
Chile beans measuring
This is only some of the beans lol… about 5 cups here.

Chili final pot

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