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11 March 2019

A comforting, easy one-pot black bean chili recipe with plenty of seasoned ground meat and piquant spices. Good old comfort food with just the right amount of heat. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Chop, pour, simmer, done. On the table in under an hour.

Who wants chili? I know I do. There are many chili recipes out there. They can be time consuming, where you spend time prepping the initial ingredients, work on layering in flavors, then let them simmer and develop over the course of several ours.

Or, they can be easy where you cook down a few select ingredients, add the proper seasoning, then give a quick simmer. This is one of those easy chili recipes.

We all have CRAZY work days. Or crazy kid days. Or crazy WHATEVER days. Days where you want some good food, but you just don’t have the time or energy to spend a lot of time doing it. I hear you.

This is the perfect recipe for you. We’re talking Easy Zesty Black Bean Chili. It’s comforting and meaty, and with just the right amount of spice and heat for my chilihead friends. Although! You can very easily adjust it to your own heat and spicy levels.

No need to get TOO spicy when you really just want a little. I’ll also show you how to make a few different variations of the recipe so you can make it extra meaty, healthy with ground turkey or chicken, and even vegetarian with sweet potato or butternut squash.

Let’s talk about how we make it, shall we?

Black Bean Chili in a bowl topped with diced onion, jalapenos and lime wedges

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced (bell peppers are good for a milder version)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey (or use ground beef, ground chicken, or ground pork)
  • 2 cans black beans (drained – 16 ounce cans)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or use a good flavored amber colored beer – I used a white ale)
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot Sauce to taste
  • FOR SERVING: Crumbly white cheese, spicy chili flakes, chopped red onion, fresh chopped parsley

Easy Zesty Black Bean Chili Recipe – the Steps

First, heat the oil in a large pot and add onions and jalapeno peppers. Cook the onions and peppers down about 5 minutes, or until they become tender. You can use other red peppers.

Cook down the peppers and onions in a pot

Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Next, add the ground meat (I used turkey, but you can use ground beef, chicken or pork for this) and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until the turkey is mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Ground turkey is cooking down in the pot of black bean chili

Stir in the tomato paste and cook another minute.

Add in the beans, chicken stock (or beer), and seasonings, plus hot sauce to taste. It will be very brothy-soupy at this point.

Stock has been added to the pot of black bean chili

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can easily let it simmer for an hour to let the flavors develop even further.

It will thicken up nicely, like so.

Black bean chili simmering in a pot

BOOM! That’s it, my friends! Serve this chili up!

Of course you can also garnish with your favorite toppings. I used a bit of chopped red onion for crunch, some fresh sliced jalapeno peppers, and lime wedges for a citrus pop. Sour cream helps if it’s a bit too hot and spicy.

Crumbly white cheese is always great. Or use shredded cheese. Enjoy it!

Black Bean Chili in a bowl, ready to serve

Recipe Variations

You can make this black bean chili recipe your own in many ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili – Instead of meat, peel and cube a large sweet potato. Add the cubes in when you cook the onions and peppers. They will soften later on as they simmer in the flavorful stock.
  • Vegetarian Black Bean Chili – Skip the meat and use either sweet potato as above, or use white potatoes or peeled and cubed butternut squash. Just follow the directions in the sweet potato version.
  • Healthier Version – If you enjoy the meat like I do but want fewer calories, use ground turkey or ground chicken instead of ground beef. You’ll save a lot that way.
  • Ingredient Additions – Corn is a popular addition with black bean chili. You can also include a mix of different beans for color. Consider also adding other types of chili peppers to up the overall zest factor. I used tomato paste, but you can use crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes. Toss in a chipotle chili for a smoky twist.

Time Saving Tips

One way I like to save time in the kitchen is to pre-chop my vegetables. If you chop your onions, peppers and garlic ahead of time, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week in sealed containers. 

Then, when you’re ready to cook, simply snatch them out and get cooking right away. This makes prep time a snap!

That’s it, my friends! I hope you enjoy my black bean chili recipe! It’s super easy, and definitely ZESTY!

Try Some of My Other Popular Chili Recipes

Black Bean Chili in a bowl

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media.

Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

5 from 2 votes
Black Bean Chili Recipe
Easy Zesty Black Bean Chili Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
A comforting, easy black bean chili recipe with plenty of piquant spices. Just the right amount of heat. Chop, pour, simmer, done. One of my favorites.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: black beans, chili, recipe, spicy
Servings: 6
Calories: 253 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 jalapeno peppers diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey or use ground beef, ground chicken, or ground pork
  • 2 cans black beans drained - 16 ounce cans
  • 2 cups chicken stock or use a good flavored amber colored beer – I used a white ale
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot Sauce to taste
  • FOR SERVING: Crumbly white cheese, spicy chili flakes, chopped red onion, fresh chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the jalapeno peppers and onions. Cook them down about 5 minutes, or until they become tender.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  3. Add the ground turkey and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until the turkey is mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste and cook another minute.
  5. Add in the beans, chicken stock (or beer), and seasonings, plus hot sauce to taste. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. You can easily let it simmer for an hour to let the flavors develop even further.

  7. Serve!
Recipe Notes

Heat Level: Mild-Medium. You can easily spice this up with hotter chili peppers, though there is some heat here. Hot sauce is a nice addition.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Zesty Black Bean Chili Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 253 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 86mg 29%
Sodium 350mg 15%
Potassium 580mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 24g 48%
Vitamin A 25.6%
Vitamin C 13.4%
Calcium 5.6%
Iron 15.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Black bean chili is gluten free.

Easy Zesty Black Bean Chili - A comforting, easy black bean chili recipe with plenty of piquant spices. Just the right amount of heat. Chop, pour, simmer, done. One of my favorites. #EasyDinner #ChiliRecipe #BlackBeans

2 comments


  1. I’ve made this black bean chili recipe twice now, once with ground beef and once with ground turkey, and I can’t decide which one I like better. LOVE that I have options. Peace!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness


      Such a great problem, to have, right? Definitely nice to have choices.

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