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One-Pot Wonder: Steel-cut oat bean chili is a hearty vegan meal

It’s officially chili season as we push into late September and welcome in the changing of the season.

There’s nothing I love more this time of year than chili. Most weekends, you can find me in the kitchen, stirring a big pot or throwing ingredients into my slow cooker. I love the smoky smell that fills the house after a properly-made chili, but this year I’m looking for some healthier options.

After a few too many margaritas and sweet treats this summer, I’m committing to cooking healthier this autumn — without sacrificing on taste. When I found this recipe from the new cookbook, OATrageous Oatmeals, I knew I was on to something special.

Who would have thought that adding steel-cut oats to chili would make it so delicious? Bonus: This hearty meal is great for lunchtime leftovers, which is how I enjoyed this chili for an entire week.

Oat bean chili

Photo credit: Kate Lewis/OATrageous Oatmeals

Steel-cut oat bean chili recipe

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 cups water plus 1 veggie bouillon cube (or 2 cups veggie broth)
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 1-1/2 cups homemade)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1-1/2 cups homemade)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, regular or fire-roasted
  • 1 cup frozen corn, regular or fire-roasted
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Bring the water and bouillon to a boil in a soup pot. Add oats and lower to medium heat.
  2. Cook uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the oats are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Stir in the oregano, cumin, garlic, kidney beans, black beans, tomatoes, corn and liquid smoke.
  4. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  5. Before serving, add the juice of half a lime as well as salt and pepper, to taste.

Reprinted with permission from OATrageous Oatmeals by Kathy Hester.

Oatrageous oatmeal

About the book

It’s time to change the way you look at oatmeal. Gone are the boring oats with bland mix-ins because Kathy Hester, author of the bestselling book The Vegan Slow Cooker and The Great Vegan Bean Book, has dishes like Italian Veggie and Oat Sausage, Veggie Oat Taco and Oat Pizza Crust topped with vegan sausage crumbles made from Steel-cut oats. She also includes new takes on traditional favorites like Banana Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes and Strawberries and Cream Overnight Refrigerator Oats.

With classic breakfast recipes taken to the next level with unique ingredients, tasty desserts and even savory lunch and dinner recipes, this book is the perfect gift for every oatmeal lover out there.

If you want to learn how to use heart-healthy oatmeal in new and exciting ways then it’s time to get cooking. These recipes are the perfect way to add nutritious oatmeal to any dish so you can stay fit and happy while enjoying your favorite food.

About the recipe, Kathy told us, “This is my new go-to chili. It has almost no hands-on prep, uses ingredients from the pantry and is great for leftovers too. The smoky flavor and hearty beans make it just as good in a big bowl with a few tortilla chips as tucked away in a taco or burrito.”

Enjoy this exclusive recipe preview from OATrageous Oatmeals. Get the book >>

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