A bowl of 3-bean cowboy chili with cornbread squares on the side.
Gluten free, Main courses

3 bean cowboy chili


Mmmmn, I just love a hearty bowl of hot chili. This 3-bean cowboy chili is seasoned with garlic, onions, cumin, chili powder and ground nutmeg. It smells and tastes great. Serve it with a delicious corn bread and your supper is set.

A bowl of 3-bean cowboy chili with cornbread squares on the side.
Sweet and savory cowboy chili

This post contains affiliate links. See policy for more information.

This 3-bean cowboy chili is gluten-free, full on flavor and can be made with either extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey. I like to use a mix of red kidney beans, cannellini beans and Bush’s Baked Beans for my chili. I’d describe the flavor as a little sweet and a little savory. You can spice it up as much as you like with either a dash of ground cayenne or adding a whole diced jalapeno pepper to it. A surprise ingredient in this recipe is the ground nutmeg. It adds a wonderful aroma. I gave it a try one day and really liked it.

Delicious bowl of chili with corn bread on the side.

In this recipe I decided to use Bush’s Best Vegetarian Baked Beans because that’s what I had on hand an the label also says they’re gluten free. I like Bush’s Baked Beans because they add a tangy, yet slightly sweet brown sugar flavor to the chili. You can also use other Bush’s Baked Beans products as well, just read the label to make sure it’s gluten free if that is important to you. If you’re a vegetarian and want to sub out the ground beef or turkey, you can. Use a crumbled tofu instead.

Ingredients laid out for 3-bean cowboy chili.
Ingredients for 3-bean cowboy chili

For the meat lovers:

Can I add bacon? Yes-sir-ee cowboy, you sure can. To add a smoky bacon flavor to this recipe start the recipe by sauteing a few strips of bacon that have been chopped into pieces. Once the bacon has rendered, drain all but two tablespoons of the fat. Next add in the onions and continue on with the recipe. While this obviously adds more saturated fat to your chili, it really is delicious ~ and definitely more cowboy-like. What is great about this 3 bean cowboy chili is that it is easy to adjust to make it your own.

A hearty bowl of 3-bean cowboy chili.

This homemade corn bread and strawberry lemonade recipes make great complements to this chili.

I hope you enjoy this 3-bean cowboy chili recipe. Leave me a comment below.

Happy cooking!


If you make any of my recipes, use #northwestspoon and share your photo.

3-bean cowboy chili

This 3-bean cowboy chili is seasoned with garlic, onions, cumin, chili powder and ground nutmeg. It smells and tastes great. It’s a hearty sweet and savory meal.

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced ((about 3/4 to 1 cup onion))
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium to large cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced or dash cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups plain organic tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans (rinsed)
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans (rinsed)
  • 1 16 oz can Bush's Baked Beans (with liquid from can)
  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until it softens and becomes translucent. Add the tomato paste and incorporate into the onion. Saute for a minute.

  2. Add the ground beef (or turkey) and continue to cook for several minutes breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it begins to brown. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt, ground pepper, garlic, spices and diced jalapeno pepper (if desired).

  3. Add the tomato sauce and the three styles of beans. Bring the chili to a simmer and cook on low (covered) for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper and spice heat with ground cayenne as desired to taste.

Use a sweet onion such as a white onion or a red onion.

Rinse the red kidney beans and cannellini beans with water in a fine mesh strainer prior to adding them into the pot.

I used Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans and include all the liquid in the can.

Add a few strips of sauted bacon if desired (optional).

This recipe is compliments of northwestspoon.com blog. Thank you for visiting. If you liked this recipe, please leave a comment on the blog. Sign up for our email newsletter for more great recipes.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Don’t miss a recipe! Subscribe to our newsletter.