Real Food for Real People: Sassy Cajun Bean Chili


This recipe marks the start of a series of posts called Real Food for Real People.  We want to help give you ideas for incorporating healthy eating into your daily routine.  Each entry will include fresh, new ideas for meals and snacks that are simple, flavorful, and won’t break the bank.

Enjoy this flavorful dish inspired by the Cajun culture of Louisiana (Adriane’s current place of residence).  Throw this healthy and satisfying chili together in less than 30 minutes! Enjoy over brown rice and pair with any steamed or baked vegetable to complete your sassy meal.




Sassy Cajun Bean Chili

Total time: 30 minutes
4 – 5


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium bell peppers (any colors you like), diced
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans beans (black beans, kidney beans, a combo, or whatever you like), drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. Cajun spice mix*
  • A pinch Filé powder (optional)
  • 2 cups brown rice (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetables (optional; any kind you like – we used okra to stick with our Cajun theme)


  1. In a large stockpot, saute onions and bell peppers in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, beans, tomatoes, water, and Cajun spice mix to the pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover pan, turn heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Adjust seasoning as desired.
  4. While chili is simmering, steam or bake your vegetables, season as desired, and serve on the side.
  5. Serve chili (over brown rice, if desired) and add some filé powder if you want to fully embrace the Cajun experience!



*Cajun Spice Mix

There are many great Cajun spice blends available in the store, but it’s just as easy to make your own at home! This seasoning mix was inspired from and makes about 1/4 cup. Double, triple, or quadruple it to save and use for later.

Combine the following ingredients in a bowl and mix together until well blended.

  • 2 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)



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