Recipe: Bean and Corn Chili

I stopped writing recipes awhile ago because I kind of hate writing recipes.  Actually, I loathe writing recipes.  It’s tedious.  I never measure anything and I cook in such a freestyle way, it makes me terrible at writing them.   Since I blog for fun, I don’t care to spend my blogging time doing things I don’t find fun.

I also really want to encourage people to try breaking free of always using a recipe.  Learning to cook for your own specific taste is a great skill to acquire.  Personally, I enjoy my own cooking more than any restaurant I can afford, and I know what went in it.  Because I choose to add or not add ingredients based on one simple factor: how much I like that ingredient.  I like my food spicy, so I make it spicy!

I make chili pretty frequently as a meal I can reheat over and over again all week.  I usually make enough for 6-8 meals.  I would make more, but I need a bigger pot!

I’ve been messing around with adding different things to my chili like sweet potatoes, carrots, or eggplant, all of which have been delightful.  But this week’s chili was so awesome I decided to break my no recipes policy and write it up for you and me too so I won’t forget it!  It was a result of a very empty kitchen.  There are other things I would have added if I had them on hand but I made this on a day when I really should have gone grocery shopping two days before that.

By the way, this recipe is accidentally vegan and gluten free.  If you want to calculate the calories, I recommend entering the recipe (with any edits you make to it) into an app or website like My Fitness Pal.

bean and corn chili
bean and corn chili


  • about 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers and 4 serrano peppers (HOT!  Skip or replace with bell peppers if you don’t like heat), quartered lengthwise then sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 12 oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 12 oz can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 12 oz can pinto beans, rinsed
  • 2 12 oz cans diced tomatoes (juice as well)
  • about 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bag frozen yellow corn
  • spices: cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper


  1. in a large pot, heat olive oil over med heat.
  2. saute onion until it starts to become transparent
  3. add peppers, saute 3-5 more minutes
  4. add garlic, golden raisins, and sun-dried tomatoes
  5. first round of seasoning.  you can add more later, but you can’t take spices out, so if you’re unsure, use less.  in the end, you probably want more than you think.  I use a generous amount of cayenne pepper, chili powder, and cumin, and just a few shakes of cinnamon.  The cinnamon is that hidden “what is that?” flavor and it is so good with the sweetness of the raisins.
  6. this may all be blackening a little on the bottom of your pot now.  that’s good.
  7. add everything else and enough water to cover.  I think I used 4 cups of water.
  8. stir and return to hotness for a few minutes (maybe 5 min, the frozen corn cooled everything down)
  9. reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 45 min -1 hour, stirring and adjusting seasoning about every 20 min.

Serve as is or add shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, or cilantro as a garnish.

Keeps, refrigerated, for about 5 days.  Freezing is also an option.

There, I wrote a recipe!  And it didn’t kill me 🙂

8 thoughts on “Recipe: Bean and Corn Chili

    1. Fresh cilantro, maybe some more beans, probably some crushed tomatoes instead of paste, maybe some sweet potato.
      But I’m glad I didn’t add any of that. It was really good as is.

      1. I haven’t done much cooking, beyond Thanksgiving of course, with sweet potatoes; do they keep their flavor or absorb the flavors around them like white potatoes? Do they hold up or get mushy?

        Have you done much cooking with Kale? What are your thoughts about that?

    1. I don’t count calories anymore, so I’m not sure. I would suggest inputting the ingredients into an online recipe calculator like myfitnesspal or

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