Three Bean Chili over Crispy Corn Cakes

  • Servings : 4-6
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 25m
  • Ready In : 45m

This three bean chili is full of plant based nutrition your body needs to thrive. It’s extremely versatile and you can use whatever veggies and/or beans you have on hand. The skillet corn cakes this chili sits atop are absolutely delicious, but not at all necessary in order to enjoy this colorful creation. If you’re short on time, serve it a la carte, or with some bread or tortilla chips. The recipe looks like it contains a lot of ingredients, but really it’s two full recipes, so read carefully. It also makes a wonderful amount of food, so you can save extra in the freezer for those days you just can’t cook. As always, 100% vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free.


  • The Chili:
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 large 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes (or 3-4 cups fresh tomatoes)
  • 1-2 Tbsp chili powder (+ a pinch of cayenne, if you like it extra spicy)
  • 1 tsp salt, or smoked salt (to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup, or sugar (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • Crispy Corn Cakes:
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (gluten-free is fine)
  • 1/2 cup coarse cornmeal (polenta)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1 1/2 cups water


Step 1

Start the chili in a large pot or deep skillet. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil to medium-low heat, add the chopped onion, celery, and carrot and saute for 4-5 minutes until lightly browning. Add the sweet potato, corn, kidney, black beans, and chickpeas. Stir and let cook for 2-3 minutes.

Step 2

Add all spices, maple syrup, salt, and tomatoes. Add a bit of water if necessary, to bring to nice chili consistency. Bring to a gentle simmer and let cook, covered and undisturbed, for 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3

If making the crispy corn cakes, in a medium bowl whisk together all dry ingredients, corn meal though baking powder. Add wet ingredients, maple syrup through water. Stir well and heat non-stick skillet to medium high heat. Ladle 1/4 cup of batter onto pan, tilting pan to spread into a circle. When browning on bottom and bubbling on top, flip over and cook 30-45 more seconds. Repeat.

Step 4

Keep them warm on a plate in the oven if needed. Serve a ladle of chili atop corn cakes when done. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro if you have it and enjoy!

Recipe Type:

Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She's on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone.

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