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This healthy chili recipe is full of good-for-you ingredients and big flavor, featuring a trio of beans, quinoa, and lots of hearty spices.

3-Bean Healthy Chili Recipe
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This post was created in partnership with ALDI. All opinions are our own.

Is it chili season already? Wasn’t it just moments ago we were eating watermelon salad in our flip flops? As the weather changes, foods follow suit: changing from light and bright to hearty and spiced. As much as I hate to admit it: we’re craving all the fall over here! So Alex and I are starting the party with this insanely-tasty healthy chili recipe. It’s got a savory, hearty flavor even though it’s meatless. And it’s full of good-for-you ingredients; a trio of protein-packed beans, quinoa, and loads of spices. We got all of the ingredients at ALDI: our go-to place to stock up on fall ingredients that are high quality, organic, and affordable. Ready to get cooking?

Want to try it too? Let us know if you head to ALDI to stock up and make this recipe! Tell us in the comments below. Or tag us on Instagram using @acouplecooks and @aldiusa.

Pouring beans and tomatoes into a pot

What makes this a healthy chili recipe?

If you search the internet for healthy chili recipes, you come up with a lot of turkey chilis. But what about making it even healthier by going meatless? We won’t go into the nitty gritty here, but research is showing the value of eating lots of plants. So to us, a healthy chili is loaded with vegetables instead of the traditional meat.

A healthy chili is also loaded with good-for-you ingredients that are full of valuable nutrients! Here are some of the heavy hitting veggies in this chili:

  • Simply Nature Organic Beans: pinto, kidney, and black beans
  • Simply Nature Organic Quinoa: packed with plant-based protein
  • Tomatoes, onions, and corn
  • Simply Nature Organic Flax Seed: Optional, but it adds protein and omega 3’s

This recipe works as a family dinner recipe for a weeknight. When entertaining, pair it with our smash hit Best Homemade Cornbread, Cornbread Muffins, Easy Vegan Cornbread or any of these best sides to go with chili.

Healthy chili ingredients

The flavor secrets to this chili

It can be difficult to load flavor into a vegetarian chili because, well, meat tastes really good. So we’ve had to use a few secrets to making the flavor delicious and satisfying. Here are a few of our tricks to this healthy chili recipe:

  • Simply Nature Organic Ketchup: Ketchup brings in a little sweetness and tang to this chili. We like to use organic ketchup because it usually tastes better and is free from high fructose corn syrup.
  • A hefty dose of chili powder: Using quite a bit of chili powder helps to bring big flavor. Some chili powders can be spicier than others, so make sure you’re using a brand that fits your spice tolerance.
  • Cumin, oregano, fresh garlic, and garlic powder: These spices round out the chili and bring a depth of flavor.

Try our Chili Seasoning in this recipe! Add 6 to 7 tablespoons of the mix instead of the spices.

Stirring chili

Toppings for a healthy chili

Loading up chili is the best part, right? But if you’re thinking about healthy chili, the toppings can be a place where calories can add up. One tip we’d say is to add just enough toppings to add flavor, but not so much that someone might say, “Want some chili with that sour cream?”

With that in mind, here are our favorite toppings to load up that chili — and the first one is our favorite new idea!

  • Southern Grove roasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds): Not only are they cozy, they add a nice crunch and a bit of plant-based protein
  • Plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, Vegan Sour Cream or Cashew Cream (for vegan chili)
  • Shredded cheese — just enjoy it in moderation (or omit for vegan chili)
  • Thinly sliced green onions or chives
  • Tortilla strips — these baked tortilla strips add a crunch!
  • Hot sauce

What other chili toppings do you like? Do you do saltine crackers (is that a regional thing)? Would you try our Pickled Jalapeños for a spicy kick?

Healthy chili
Pepitas make a great chili topping!

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free (with vegan toppings).

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Healthy chili recipe

3-Bean Healthy Chili Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This healthy chili recipe is full of good-for-you ingredients and big flavor, featuring a trio of beans, quinoa, and lots of hearty spices.


  • ¾ cup Simply Nature Organic Quinoa
  • 2 small or 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup Simply Nature Organic Ketchup
  • ¼ cup chili powder*
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 15-ounce cans Simply Nature Organic Beans (we did 1 can each black, pinto and kidney), drained
  • 2 28-ounce cans Simply Nature Organic Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, vegan if desired
  • 2 tablespoons ground Simply Nature Flax Seed (optional)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle chilis)**
  • To garnish: Sour cream or Greek yogurt (or Vegan Sour Cream or Cashew Cream for vegan), Mexican blend shredded cheese, and Southern Grove Pepitas


  1. Cook the quinoa: Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 1 ½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot, and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit covered to steam for 5 minutes.
  2. Dice the onions. Mince the garlic.
  3. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Add the ketchup and spices and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Add all other ingredients, and throw in the quinoa whenever it is cooked. Simmer for 25 minutes. Serve immediately with toppings. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for 3 months.


*Make sure to use a chili powder blend that is mild; most brands marked simply “chili powder” aren’t too spicy. Do not use a hot chili powder like chipotle powder. 

**Totally optional, but stirring in adobo sauce adds another level of complexity. Chipotles in adobo sauce are available in a small can; the chilis are packed with adobo sauce, a purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and some other spices. You’ll just add the sauce.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
3-bean healthy chili recipe

More healthy fall recipes

Are you feeling it too? Here are some more of our favorite fall recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. John Smith says:

    Hey this food looks super tasty but it’s really annoying that every single recipe on the internet is nested in the middle of the page. Don’t be one of “those people”. Just put that information in a convenient location like the top so people don’t have to scroll to see the stuff they want to see.

    Make the internet a better place. Be the solution not the problem! You will thank yourself for it! :)

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! We have a jump to recipe button at the top of each page if you’d like to go straight to the recipe.

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