Pinto beans, red beans, kidney beans, chili beans and white navy beans are all commonly used as ingredients in chili. Chili is a versatile dish with many different varieties, and some chili styles don't use any beans at all.
Southern recipes often call for red beans or kidney beans, but pinto beans are popular throughout the United States. Cooks tend to use white beans in chili made with chicken or other poultry. A hearty chili made with squash, sweet potato or other vegetables often uses black beans. The product called chili beans, often sold in cans, consists of beans cooked with tomato puree and spices.