Kidney Bean Chili with Blueberries

Fruit isn’t just for sweet treats! In this vegan chili, blueberries—which are both blended into the stew and used as a garnish—deliver hits of juicy sweetness to complement the earthy, savory notes of the kidney beans. The result is a fragrant, deliciously complex stew that’s ready in under an hour. Chili freezes well; make extra and you’ll always have a healthy homemade meal ready to go.

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,


  • 2 cups finely chopped red onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 12 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mild chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained, or 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 15-oz. cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained (3 cups)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • In a large pot combine the first eight ingredients (through cumin) and ½ cup water. Cook over medium 15 minutes or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and 1½ cups of the blueberries. Cook 15 minutes more.
  • Transfer 2 cups of the chili to a blender; let cool. Cover and blend until smooth. Return mixture to the pot. Stir in beans, half of the cilantro, the lemon juice, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes. Top servings with the remaining blueberries and cilantro.

Comments (11)

(5 from 8 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Marcia Skinner

Delicious, what are the stats for this recipe? Protein, calories, carbs etc?

Forks Over Knives

Hi Marcia, We are currently working on adding nutritional information to all our recipes and anticipate for this feature to be live on the website within the next few months. Please stay tuned for updates!

Leslie Green

So good and flavorful, yum. I will be making this chili again and again.

Joe Botzet

This recipe is so delicious as a family we decided will never make chili any other way. So amazing and wonderful and easy to make!


This turned out better than expected. Sweet & mild. I made it for a potluck at work. I'll double the recipe, if I make it to share again - made <8 cups once cooked.


Loved this so much! As the weather cooled down, I was craving chili and decided to give this a try. SO glad I did. I couldn't find mild chili powder so I just used regular, so mine was a bit spicy and a bit sweet. BIG FAN!


Dumb question, is regular paprika considered ‘sweet?’ I have regular paprika, Hungarian paprika and smoked. Thanks!


Correct, if it says "paprika" only it's sweet paprika.


I love this recipe! I have made many of Darshana's recipes and they are all really tasty. I am on a low sodium diet too so I use a salt substitute.


I thought it sounded odd but figured i'd make it cause i had all the ingredients and it's very delicious! I used smoked paprika and frozen wild blueberries. I also choose to skip the blending part and topped with green onions. YUM! Will be making it again.

Aimee B.

I was a little hesitant at first, but thought, why not! I'm so glad I did. My family really enjoyed the little touch of sweetness that the blueberries bring to the chili. They had no idea there was actually any blueberries in it when I asked them to guess the secret ingredient, lol! I modified it a wee bit because I need to eat low sodium, so I omitted the salt and used no salt added kidney beans & tomatoes. For ease, I used a frozen bell pepper/onion blend and left out the celery because I didn't have any. I used a bit of celery seed instead. I'm going to start putting blueberries in all my chilis going forward. I love the burst of sweetness and nutrition as well.

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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