A bowl of chili with bread and avocado.

Three Bean Chili – Alison Mountford

By Chef Alison Mountford




QUICK TIPS – When I was a personal chef this simple and addicting chili was on heavy rotation for the “Freezer Meal” for my clients. It’s packed full of veggies but also is conveniently made with canned beans and tomatoes. Double the recipe and freeze some for later! I love serving it with biscuits or cornbread.

1 onion

1 carrot

2 rib celery

1 red or green bell pepper

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 Tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1.5  teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

1 15-ounce can black beans

1 15-ounce can pinto beans

1 15-ounce can red kidney beans

1 28-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes

1-2 cups water, to taste

cheddar cheese (grated for garnish)

avocado (optional, for garnish)

Sour cream (optional, for garnish)

Hot sauce (optional, for garnish)


Dice the onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper into medium dice. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the veggies and sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add all the spices: chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Drain and add beans. Add the  tomatoes and the juices, plus the water to the pot; stir and bring to a boil. Simmer for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 to build flavor.

Serve bowls of chili with grated cheese, sour cream, and/or avocado on top.


Printable recipe:


Chef Alison Mountford is the founder of Ends+Stems – which is a meal planning membership and recipe website to reduce food waste. “Chef Alison” also hosts a series of online courses for easier weeknight meals and feeding picky eaters with less stress. Alison began in 2005 as a personal chef and caterer in San Francisco but she recently returned home to Rhode Island!

She is passionate about helping families eat well together, with less frustration. Alison is often hired as a speaker to share about household food waste, feeding busy families, and sustainability in the kitchen; she’s appeared many times on The Rhode Show and other podcasts and webinars.

Alison is also the Market Coordinator at Hope & Main – Rhode Island only culinary incubator – where she loves helping new food businesses expand their social media, brand, and increase sales at the farmer’s markets!