Three-Bean Chili

Three-Bean Chili

Chili is one of the best cool weather camping meals and this three-bean chili recipe is my favorite. It’s extremely easy – you put together the chili seasoning at home, then just dump everything in a camp Dutch oven on site. 

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The chili can get your Dutch oven a bit messy, so we always use a liner.  

We like to have Charley Bread alongside this chili.  It’s a cross between a corn pudding and cornbread that you bake in a camp Dutch oven.  We found the recipe in Lodge’s Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101.

You can make the chili in a larger camp Dutch oven than we call for, just adjust the number of coals you use on the top and bottom to keep the temperature at 350◦.  If you haven’t ever used a camp Dutch oven before, we have some guidance to help get you started.

If you aren’t camping any time soon but want to make this chili, you can also cook it in a large Dutch oven on your stove top.  

Three-Bean Chili

Servings 6


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can hominy
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 mini sweet peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (optional)


Before you leave:

  • Place chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder, and sugar in a small zip top plastic bag.  


  • Drain and rinse beans and hominy.  Add to 10-inch deep camp Dutch oven with contents of zip top plastic bag and all remaining ingredients except cheese.
  • Cook at 350◦ (7 coals underneath/14 on top) for one hour or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve sprinkled with cheese if desired.

For more camping recipes or help with camp cooking in general, check out our Camp Kitchen post.