MS: Mamamagoosa’s 3 Bean Chili

And yes, it has meat in it too.

This is what my mother  made when she used to entertain (mostly before I was born) and it was always a very popular dish. We still ate it a lot after I was born, since it was a good way for us poor folks to get a few good meals at a cheap price. She says that how she derived this recipe was to study contest winning chili recipes and figure out what ingredients they all had in common. Later on she added the third kind of beans. I’ve always loved this recipe, so I figured I’d share.



  • 1 TB of Margarine (or butter)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of ground meat
  • 1 can of pinto beans (15 oz)
  • 1 can of dark red kidney beans (15 oz)
  • 1 can of black beans (15 oz)
  • 1 TB (pure!) chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 TB paprika
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • 1/2 can of water

Dutch oven version:

Cook onion and garlic in margarine until golden brown. Add tomato sauce, water, bean juice and spices. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Do Not Boil.  Cook meat until brown. Add meat and beans to juices and sauce. Simmer 15 to 30 minutes until spices are blended. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Slow cooker version:

Cook onion and garlic until golden brown in skillet, put in slow cooker. Cook meat until brown in same skillet, put in slow cooker. Add beans with juices, tomato sauce, water and spices to slow cooker. Cook on low 3 hours or more. Remove bay leaf and serve.


And that’s it! It will probably be a little thinner than you might expect from a chili, but it will thicken up nicely the next day, if there’s any left. Also, make sure you get pure chili powder. We had to seek out a different brand because the one my mother had been using started cutting it with oregano, leading to there being way too much oregano in the recipe. You should be able to find real, pure chili powder in the Hispanic section of your grocery store.


10 responses to “MS: Mamamagoosa’s 3 Bean Chili

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