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.
Easy Black Bean Chili - Big Zesty Flavor
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 hours.
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'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 to make black bean chili, shall we?
Black Bean Chili Ingredients
- Olive Oil. For cooking.
- Chili Peppers. I'm using jalapeno peppers, but use diced green or red bell peppers for a milder version.
- Onion and Garlic.
- Ground Meat. I often make this with ground turkey or a mixture of ground turkey and ground pork, but you can use others, like ground beef, ground chicken or a combination.
- Black Beans. Used caned (drained and rinsed), or dried beans that have been soaked and cooked.
- Chicken Stock. Chicken broth is good, or try this with a good flavored amber colored beer – I used a white ale.
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes. I'm using canned. Diced tomatoes are good, too.
- Tomato Paste. For extra tomato flavor.
- Spices. Chili powder, ancho powder, cayenne, oregano, cumin, and salt and pepper.
- Hot Sauce. Optional, for flavor and heat.
- For Serving. Crumbly white cheese, spicy chili flakes, chopped red onion, fresh chopped parsley, any of your favorite chili toppings.
How to Make Black Bean Chili - the Recipe Steps
First, heat the oil in a large pot to medium heat 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.
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.
Stir in the tomato paste and seasonings, and cook another minute.
Add in the beans, chicken stock (or beer), and fire roasted tomatoes, plus hot sauce to taste.
It will be very brothy-soupy at this point.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes to 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.
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. Toss on some tortilla chips for crunch.
Crumbly white cheese is always great. Or use shredded cheese. Enjoy it!
Recipe Tips & Notes
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.
Try my Chunky Vegetarian Chili Recipe.
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. Toss in a chipotle chili for a smoky twist.
Time Saving Tip. 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!
You can store chili in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To enjoy it again, simply reheat it over medium heat in a pot on the stovetop.
You can also freeze chili in freezer proof containers for 3 months or longer. I freeze batches all the time.
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoy my black bean chili recipe! It's super easy, and definitely ZESTY!
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.
Black Bean Chili Recipe
- 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
- 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
- 15 ounces fire roasted tomatoes (1 can)
- 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
- Hot Sauce to taste
- FOR SERVING: Crumbly white cheese, spicy chili flakes, chopped red onion, fresh chopped parsley
- 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.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the ground turkey and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until the turkey is mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste and seasonings, and cook another minute, stirring.
- Add in the fire roasted tomatoes, chicken stock (or beer), chicken stock, black beans, plus hot sauce to taste. Bring to a boil.
- 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.
- Serve into bowls with your favorite toppings.
Black bean chili is gluten free.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 11/30/22 to include new information, photos, and video. It was originally published on 3/11/19.