Two-bean Chili 2 Ways

Two-bean Chili 2 Ways
Two-bean chili 2 ways is packed full of savory vegetables, favorite chili spices, and hearty beans. It’s a classic chili, nothing fancy, but a favorite for a game day or a comfort-food dinner.
This recipe starts out as a vegan meal. Then, divide it according to the number of diners, and add gently simmered ground beef to the portion for your meat-eaters.
two bean chili 2 ways in two bowls side view

One recipe two ways

Are you cooking for both carnivores and vegans or vegetarians in your house? If so, isn’t it nice to have meals that can serve for both with almost no extra effort? This one can.
It’s a classic, bean-rich chili that could be ready in an hour, but gets better and better with slow simmering. It’s fantastic the next day!
two bean chili 2 ways overhead views of two bowls

Stovetop chili is my favorite!

Though I’ve made chili in my Instant Pot and in my slow-cooker, I think the consistency of the sauce is the best when made in a cast-iron Dutch oven. The beans provide enough starch to thicken this sauce without adding any flour. When the sauce is simmered, it caramelizes just a bit, and all the flavors get concentrated. Wow!
two bean chili 2 ways in cast iron Dutch oven with spoon
This version is beany enough not to need rice, but is wonderful with it too!
Enjoy, and let me know if you tried this recipe by posting in the comments.

Other chili and stew recipes you may enjoy:

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Kitchen items used in this recipe

Inst image of two bean chili in two bowls with red napkin

Two-Bean Chili — 2 Ways

  • Author: Beth of A Meal In Mind
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Two-bean chili — 2 ways is packed full of savory vegetables, favorite chili spices, and hearty beans. It’s a favorite for a game day or a comfort-food dinner. This recipe starts out as a vegan meal, then meat is added for the carnivores.



  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, slightly pureed using a stick mixer
  • 1 cup bone broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked blackeyed peas (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 pound browned lean ground beef
  • chopped fresh cilantro and sliced green onions, for garnish
  • dairy or non-dairy sour cream for garnish, optional


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in chopped bell peppers and cook, about 3 minutes more.
  4. Add chili powder, oregano, cumin and coriander and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  5. Add tomato sauce or puree, broth and beans. Stir to combine.
  6. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring often, until flavors have melded and sauce is thickened and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
  7. Divide the mixture into two portions. Add the browned ground beef to one portion and stir.
  8. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  9. Stir in cilantro, if desired, or top with garnishes.
  10. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.


1 1/2 cups of beans is the amount in one 15-ounce can. Or the amount obtained if you pressure-cook 1/2 cup of dry beans in an Instant Pot.

Keywords: chili, vegan chili, beef chili, 2 way recipe, blackeye peas, black beans, stovetop chili, Lodge dutch oven

Pinterest image of chili with and without meat in separate bowls with toppings

8 thoughts on “Two-bean Chili 2 Ways”

  • I never thought of using coriander in chili. Can’t wait to try it! And the cilantro/green onion garnish is a nice contrast in the photo.

    • It’s true that I first encountered coriander in curries but it adds a depth to chili I hope you will like. I had fun with those garnishes!

    • It’s been a favorite chili in our family. Thanks so much for the comment on the photos, that means so much to me!! Yes, I feel like making this again right now!

  • Looks absolutely delicious! Chili is always a favorite, love the idea of adding meat at the end if desired to create a 2-way split making everyone happy! Your photos look fabulous!!!

    • Thank you so much for the comment about the photos, that always means so much to me. Chili is a favorite around here, too. I now have friends who are vegan and gluten-free, thus the 2-ways recipes and delving into what flavors are essential for it to be “chili”.

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