The Best Canned Beans For Rich, Tasty Chili

Dried beans may taste more flavorful when cooked, but canned beans can still go the distance — especially when thrown into a heaping pot of delicious chili. And, not only are canned beans easier to make — no soaking required — but they also make the dish even heartier, for a satisfying meal with every bite. You can use just about any type of canned beans you please, from black beans to even garbanzo beans. However, for the tastiest bowl of chili, opt for kidney beans, which are larger and have a firmer texture. Not only will kidney beans hold their own alongside the other ingredients, but their earthy flavor will also pair incredibly well with them, too.

Of course, any true Texan will probably tell you that beans have absolutely no place in chili. The same definitely goes for tomatoes. No ... for an authentic pot of Texas chili, the ingredients are markedly simple: tender chunks of chuck roast, chile paste, and a few other flavor fixings like garlic, cumin, and oregano. Anything else is downright sacrilegious. Outside of the Lone Star State, however, the different types of chili tend to be a bit more, shall we say, adventurous — calling for ingredients like pork, chicken, or turkey and even the likes of raisins and chocolate. Beans are also more well-received, especially the aforementioned kidney beans — which simply hold up better under the heat and soak up aromatics so well.

Kidney beans make the best pot of chili

Beans are pretty versatile and can, for the most part, be used interchangeably in a plethora of recipes. However, kidney beans are the best choice for the richest and boldest of chili flavors. Although kidney beans are available in a wide variety of different colors, including white, black, and even purple, red kidney beans (which are the most common variety) will certainly do the trick. They're typically larger when compared to garbanzo or pinto beans. And their firmness allows them to hold up well when cooked for long periods of time.

The fact that kidney beans can withstand the heat certainly proves useful when it comes to making the stew. After all, it's no secret that you can't rush a good pot of chili. In order for the flavors to meld together, the hearty dish must be cooked for at least an hour. Unlike other types of beans, which will most likely break apart when cooked for this long, kidney beans are able to retain their shape — not to mention that their meaty texture pairs well with just about any chili recipe. Simply top with your favorite chili toppings like fresh cilantro, avocados, or cheese, and enjoy.