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Summer Garden Chili Bowls

Photo: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Karen Rankin; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Active time 20 mins
Total time 20 mins

Serves 2 (serving size: 3/4 cup)

While the summer heat often makes us go for lighter foods, that doesn’t mean we don’t still want chili—so we made a lighter, brighter version. Equally perfect for a casual summer supper at home as it is for fueling a cookout or tailgate, these chili bowls are loaded up with vibrant veggies. To keep this tasty entree quick and simple, we use canned chili as a base, then dress it up with grilled corn and zucchini, black beans, fresh avocado slices, cilantro, queso fresco, and a handful of corn chips for good measure. Serve with lime wedges and you have a summer hit on your hands. While this recipes is especially convenient for when you want a tasty bowl chili, but don’t necessarily want to eat off of a huge batch of it for days, the recipe is easily multiplied to accommodate larger crowds.  


  • 1 (15-oz.) can Hormel Chili with Beans
  • 1 ear fresh corn, husks removed
  • 1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-in.-thick slabs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese)
  • 1 cup corn chips
  • Lime wedges

How to Make It

  1. Heat chili according to package directions. Keep warm.

  2. Preheat grill to high (450°F to 550°F) or grill pan over high. Rub corn and zucchini evenly with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill corn and zucchini, uncovered, turning often, until corn is charred and zucchini is tender-crisp and charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, and let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut corn kernels from cob; discard cob. Roughly chop zucchini.

  3. Divide chili evenly between 2 shallow bowls. Top each evenly with corn, zucchini, black beans, avocado, bell pepper, scallions, cilantro, queso fresco, and chips. Garnish with lime wedges.