Hearty Pepper Chili

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A bowl of food, with Bean and Bell pepperBell peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime add fresh flavors to this Hearty Pepper Chili; it’s filled with sausage, beans, and an abundance of vegetables. My entire family gave this meal two thumbs up. I’ve made this chili a couple more times already, just to have some stashed in the freezer for easy lunches.

My kids have a well known and long lasting love for chili. So, when BUSH’S® Beans asked if I’d create a recipe for them, I jumped at the chance. My middle son, Ben, would probably eat chili for every meal of his eleven-year-old life if I gave him that option. So, when he saw me making this chili, I had a very willing helper at my elbows.

Hearty Pepper Chili is a delicious chili filled with fresh vegetables - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

As this Hearty Pepper Chili was simmering in the kitchen, the other two boys wandered downstairs with the words “something smells like chili” and “please, please, please say that chili is for our lunch, Mom.”

I loaded this recipe with so many vegetables, I wasn’t 100% sure how well that might go over with them. Fortunately, they went crazy over the new recipe. Everything from “this tastes so fresh and I love the cilantro and lime” from my oldest to “I don’t know what’s different, but these bell peppers are great, Mom” from the youngest.

Ben declared this chili the best one I’ve made in a long long time and said that we should make chili this way every time. I’m calling this a huge win for fresh vegetables and easy dinners. 

Hearty Pepper Chili is a delicious chili filled with fresh vegetables, sausage, and beans! - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Kitchen Tip: I use this pot when making this recipe.

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A bowl of food, with Bean and Bell pepper

Hearty Pepper Chili

5 from 2 votes
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Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 pound hot sausage
  • 1 medium onion chopped into ½-inch pieces, about 1 cup
  • 3 16-ounce cans BUSH’S® Kidney Beans in a Mild Chili Sauce
  • 3 large bell peppers chopped into ½-inch pieces, about 4 cups
  • 4-6 medium tomatoes chopped into ½-inch pieces, about 4 cups
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Mexican Spice Mix or store-bought taco seasoning
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped small
  • 2 medium limes about 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • Optional toppings: cilantro green onions, sour cream, cheese


  • Cook and crumble the sausage in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onions to the skillet when the meat begins to brown. When the onions are tender, add the beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, and Mexican spices. Bring to a simmer until the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Scoop into bowls and garnish with the toppings of your choice. Enjoy!


COOK’S NOTE: BUSH'S® Kidney Chili Beans are available in a Mild and a Spicy Chili Sauce. We like both varieties, but when I can find them, I like to use the spicier beans for an added kick.
(2) 15-ounce cans of diced tomatoes may be substituted for the fresh tomatoes in this recipe. I typically use red, orange, and yellow peppers for this recipe, however any variety of bell pepper will work nicely.
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

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Disclosure: I’ve partnered with BUSH’S® Beans to share this recipe with you. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Barefeet In The Kitchen possible. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hearty Pepper Chili is filled with fresh vegetables, sausage, and beans to make this quick and easy dinner that everyone loves! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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    • Dat Boi says

      Dear Mr Emerson. How is that you can’t figure out that you can substitute pork for any meat if your choosing? Get off your religious high horse and think for once.

  1. Joan Kintz says

    I made a batch of this chili on Monday and it turned out great The lime and cilantro gave it a different flavor which I really did like. I didn’t follow your recipe exactly because I forgot to get taco seasoning at the supermarket Also I used a mild Italian Turkey sausage instead of spicey (sold out). The other changes I made was I used 2 cans of the Kidney Beans and 1 Can of Black Beans in the Chili Sauce and 2 15 oz cans of diced fire-roasted tomatoes. For the taco seasoning I substituted chili powder, cumin, and oregano to taste.
    I cooked the sausage on the stove,added the onions and 2 small cloves of minced garlic and cooked until the onions were tender. .I used red,yellow,and orange sweet bell peppers and 1 diced jalapeno pepper Then I put it all in the crookpot abd simmered on high for about 2 hours. This is definitely a keeper and will add it to my Soup and Stew recipe file. Thank you so much.

  2. Kathy cook says

    Hi Mary. I was lookin for the chile bean recipt that was the same taste as wendys . If possible could you e-mail that to. Me . Thank you

  3. Susan Donkers says

    Hello, I am planning to make this chili recipe this afternoon. My husband and his buddies did a 3 day backpacking trip in the cold and rain and I’d like this warm, spicy chili to greet them when they walk in the door. My question though, is where is the liquid? After browning the sausage and softening the onions, the recipe says to add the beans, pepers, tomatoes, and seasonings, then simmer. Simmer in what? Do the tomatoes throw off the liquid? Or add water? Chicken stock? I do not make soup or stew often….I feel like I am missing something.

  4. Rachal says

    Maybe I missed it, but approximately how long (from start to finish) does this recipe take? My schedule is tight, and it helps to know if I can squeeze certain meals in between events or not.