This chili is based on a recipe that the cowboys made and remade (more beans added to the leftovers) out on the trail. Be free to mix up the type of beans and amounts of any ingredients – they did!


  • 2 1/2 cups dried beans* – we use a mix of kidney, pinto, black, garbanzo, and soy beans OR 8 cups canned beans
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup bulghur wheat (optional – tastes good and adds a nice texture) OR ground meat substitute
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • salt to taste

*if using dried beans, soak them overnight and cook them as directed here.


  1. In a large pot, heat oil and add jalapenos, red bell pepper, onion, pepper flakes, cumin and garlic. Cook 7 – 10 minutes on low heat to soften the veggies.
  2. Add beans, water, salt, tomatoes and bulghur wheat. Cook on low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cover and let sit 1/2 hour.

Serve over rice. Add sour cream and shredded cheese if desired.

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