With the busy holiday season underway, i have to admit that I haven’t be great about keeping the fridge stocked. I am so pressed for time, trips to the grocery store are a little less frequent and my ability to make home cooked meals suffers. We have all been there.. you walk through the door and you think “What in the world are we going to have for dinner?” I need a recipe that is fast, easy and filling.. but by Thursday night, the fridge is bare.
Fortunately, one thing I can always count on, is my well stocked pantry full of canned goods. As an “Canbassador” for Cans Keep You Cooking, I’ve previously shared how I installed these pull out organizers which makes it easy to quickly browse though my cans and see exactly what I have on hand.
By keeping staples, liked canned beans, tomatoes,and broths on hand, you always have dinner right there in your cupboard. So no longer do you have to wonder what to make for dinner.
Today's recipe is for a SUPER easy Chili that exclusively uses canned food. I love it because it is basically just ‘heat and serve’ but tastes like it has been cooking on the stove all afternoon. Plus it is easy to make it either vegetarian or vegan.
Quick and Easy Four Bean Chili (Vegetarian)1 [6 oz] can Tomato Paste + 1 can Water
1 [14.5 oz] can Diced Tomatoes (I used Garlic flavored, but plain or Mexican flavored would also work)
1 [10 oz] can RoTel Tomatoes
1 [15 oz] can Black Beans** (I used Black Chili Beans)
1 [15 oz] can Chili Beans
1 [15 oz] can Great Northern Beans** (Garbanzo beans would also work)
1 [15 oz] can Kidney Beans**
1 can Corn Niblets (I used Southwestern Style, but plain would also work) UNDRAINED*
Chili Powder (to taste) I only used about 2 tsp. to keep the heat down for the kids
**drained and rinsed. (If you are using flavored or chili beans, you should not drain them)
*You want to include the liquid from the corn, the starch helps thicken the chili.
In a small bowl combine tomato paste and 1 can of water.
Stir together until the ‘sauce’ has a smooth consistency. This is going to be the shortcut to get that rich ‘stewed’ flavor that you need in chili, but without taking all the time. You can’t just substitute tomato sauce, since it isn’t as rich as tomato paste.
In a large stock pot combine all remaining ingredients
You only want to drain and rinse the plain beans. If they come in a sauce or with added flavors, make sure to add the liquid to the pot. Also, make sure to include the liquid from the corn as well.
Add diluted tomato paste and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
If your chili is too thick, you can add more liquid (water or chicken broth if you don’t mind it isn’t vegetarian)
And that is all there is to it. From start to finish in less than 10 minutes.
It also re-heats beautifully and you can freeze it for long term storage.
I serve it with shredded cheese and sour cream.A perfect home cooked meal for a cold winter afternoon. Plus I saved myself a trip to the grocery store by using everything out of my cantry!