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30 Minute Confetti Chili

Let’s be honest. Every home cook needs a few quick-to-fix meals in their bag of tricks, and sometimes, healthy dinners start with a cluster of well-chosen cans. When those times come around, this colorful 30 Minute Confetti Chili is a winning remedy.

30 Minute Confetti Chili

Seasonal update: Letty and Robbie have exchanged Park City’s snow and mountains for the beaches of Baja Mexico. With warm weather, good roads, little traffic, and a verdant desert from recent rains, the drive down the peninsula rolled by effortlessly.

We happily have only one travel incident to confess, being pulled over for “speeding” in La Paz. The cops gave us a choice–pay the “fine” right then and there, or follow them to the “station.” We kept insisting on the second option and eventually they figured out la mordita was not coming. They sent us on our way, actually wishing us a good time in Los Barriles.

After 5 days of dusty driving and restaurant food, we were ready for a home-cooked meal. What to do? Our rented trailer kitchen wasn’t completely set up, but the can opener and cans were close at hand. Very soon we were purring m’m-m’m good over bowls of 30 Minute Confetti Chili.

ingredients for 30 Minute Confetti Chili

Here’s the drill, campers. Sauté onions and bell peppers until translucent. In between stirrings, open cans of black, pinto and kidney beans, along with hominy corn and diced tomatoes. Stir them into the pot with cumin and chili powder and green chile salsa–in half an hour, you have a one-pot meal of amazingly tasty bean and veggie chili.

30 Minute Confetti Chili

This recipe comes right out of Jessica Fisher’s latest cookbook, Good Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes (or Less!) She pairs the chili with simple drop biscuits, moist with just the right amount of canned pumpkin and a hint of pumpkin pie spices. Set aside a few of these biscuits—or make more–they’re perfect with butter and honey for breakfast.

Delve further into Jessica’s cookbook to find more tempting vegetarian recipes. How about Zucchini Fritters, Broccoli Sesame Noodles, Vegetable Couscous Salad or Caramelized Onion and Feta Flatbread? (Those are the ones with the yellow tags poking out of the my cookbook!)

Good Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less--30 Minute Confetti Chili

Next time you need a healthy dinner in a hurry, pull out the can opener. You’ll be stoked because this chili is super-flavorful, not what you might expect in dinner from 5 cans, a jar of salsa and a few spices. As we say in Spanish, ¡Buen provecho!

Recipe tips and details:

  • Hot leftover 30 minute confetti chili is fantastic over baked potatoes!
  • Quesadillas are always welcome alongside hearty soups and stews, and there’s time to assemble them while this chili cooks.
  • We garnished our chile with grated cheese. If you want more options, put out bowls of sour cream and green onions too.
  • Don’t leave out the hominy kernels—they bring in toothsome texture and color contrast. Cans of hominy are easy to find in grocery store international aisles.
  • I used Trader Josés Salsa Verde—and love the flavor it brings to this quick-fix chili!
  • It seemed like the mixture needed a little more liquid, so I stirred in a splash of the beer I was sipping. If not beer, then ½ cup of water.
  • You might also like my Greens and Potato Soup with hominy corn. Or this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Posole.

Check out Jessica Fisher’s Good Cheap Eats blog for more “beat the clock without breaking the bank” recipes. I wrote about another of her cookbooks with a recipe for Skillet Poached Eggs with Spinach—here.

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30 Minute Confetti Chili
30 Minute Confetti Chili
I love this chili recipe from Good Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes (or Less!) Recipe © 2015 by Jessica Fisher and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion , chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper , cored and chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 cup salsa verde or tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  1. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion turns translucent and the peppers are tender, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent scorching.
  2. Add the beans, hominy, tomatoes, salsa verde, chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a low boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Recipe Notes

MAKE IT AHEAD: The chili can be cooled and stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.


  • kym

    Letty, I miss you. Can I have a date? Either with boys or solo. Thanks for the easy Christmas Day feed. Love, Kym Reply · 18 December, 2015

    • Thanks Kym,
      You will love the chili for Christmas–easy peasy and delish! Reply · 18 December, 2015

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