Tomato, Ginger, Garlic Beef and Bean Chili 

The Tomato Ginger and Garlic Sauce for the Meatballs and Braised Greens with Rice makes a delicious Asian-inspired chili and happily, the sauce recipe makes enough for both dishes! Alternatively, skip the Tomato Ginger sauce and use plain, canned tomatoes and some chili powder for a more common version. 

To break up the prep, chop the onion, green onion and cilantro ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Cooking beans in quantity and having them on hand in the fridge or freezer for a quick dinner, like this one, is time well-invested. And canned beans are perfectly fine to use here. 

Serves 4 or more if served over rice

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces ground beef

A little hot pepper or chili powder (optional)

2/3 cup Tomato Ginger Garlic Sauce (recipe below) or canned tomatoes with 2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon each ground coriander and cumin

2 -1/4 cups cooked or canned beans, black or pinto (two 15-ounce cans, rinsed) 

1 cup bean cooking liquid or water, broth or stock

2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced

1/2 cup cilantro, leaves and stems, chopped

Tomato Ginger Garlic Sauce

Makes 1-1/3 cups (you’ll have half leftover)

1 cup canned tomatoes, with some juice (you want mostly tomato chunks)

1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons chopped or grated fresh gingerroot or dried, powdered ginger

1 to 2 teaspoons honey or other sweetener

Rice, for serving (optional) 


To make the sauce, put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside. You’ll use about half of it for this recipe and can store the remainder in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for several weeks. 

Heat the oil in a medium pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the ground beef and salt and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, continuing to stir frequently, until the meat has released its juices and is no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the Tomato Ginger Sauce (or the canned tomatoes and seasonings) and cook for a minute or two. Add the beans, bean cooking liquid or broth, and tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Cook, partially covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with scallions and cilantro. 


Asian chili beans Chili ground beef

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