Three Bean Enchilada Chili

Favorite Restaurant Chili Recipe

Three Bean Enchilada Chili - three times the flavor plus a secret ingredient that makes this a favorite restaurant recipe!

This restaurant chili recipe is a secret restaurant recipe because it specifically calls for Ancho chili powder, and it does make a difference.

This recipe uses a favorite restaurant enchilada sauce .

The Ancho is a dried Poblano chili which is then ground into powder.

Ancho chilies have a mild, fruity and slightly sweet taste. They start out as fresh green Poblano chilies and after being ripened to red and then dried, they become shriveled, smoky and dark brown in color.

Left to dry, the chilies can be crushed and made into spice powder or used to season chili and other Mexican dishes such as mole and tacos.

I created this recipe at home, tested it on my husband and then tried it at the restaurant after my husband lived and then raved about it and encouraged me “go for it.”

The restaurant customers were pleased.  It is now a favorite restaurant chili recipe.

Three Bean Enchilada Chili Recipe

Restaurant Chili Recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes for preparing the sauce. Serves 6-8.


  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef, ground chuck or other meat such as chopped chuck steak or even chicken or pork
  • 1 cup onions (white or red), chopped
  • 1 cup red, green or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 cups of my enchilada sauce
  • One 15-16 ounce can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • One 15-16 ounce can red or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • One 15-16 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder (use Ancho - it makes a difference and makes this a secret restaurant recipe)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1 cup (or to taste) Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup (or to taste) Green onions, chopped



  • Heat oil in a 3-4 quart soup pot over medium-high heat, add meat and cook until beginning to brown
  • Add the onions and peppers and cook until crisp-tender (4-5 minutes), stirring occasionally
  • Drain meat mixture, add my enchilada sauce, beans and spices and bring to boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until meat is tender (if using chopped meat) and flavors are blended
  • Correct seasoning to your taste
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded cheese and green onions and tortilla chips if you like


Serve with cornbread or warm tortillas and enjoy!

Enjoy your Three Bean Enchilada Chili made with this delicious enchilada sauce and the company of those you share it with!


"A mystery: why is chili called chili when it is really hot?"