This is the perfect black bean chili recipe — flavorful, a little on the spicy side with a hint of sweetness from the corn. Simple enough for when you're short on time but eager for something warm and hearty.
This gem of a recipe has survived for over a decade in our house, as a wrinkled, stained cutout from a magazine. Use it as a very basic chili recipe, adding your own twist or whatever you have on hand.
I've had success with all sorts of variations. Here are some of my favorites:
- Roasted corn
- Diced sweet potato
- Fresh avocado
- TVP - textured vegetable protein
- Swap one can of black beans for kidney bean
- Fresh jalapeño
- Swap out regular tomatoes with roasted tomatoes
- Add half a diced mango with the black beans
- Swap one can of black beans for ½ cup of dried, rinsed lentils
- Add 1 cup diced carrots
- Add 2 cups chopped kale
I like to serve it with fresh cilantro, avocado, green onion, and most definitely this recipe for vegan corn bread.
This is the perfect black bean chili recipe — flavorful, a little on the spicy side with a hint of sweetness from the corn. Simple enough to make any night.
If you would rather make this is in the Instant Pot (or pressure cooker of your choice), check out the Notes section for ingredients and additional instructions.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cans (15-16 ounce) black beans, drained, ½ cup liquid reserved
- 1 can (16 ounces) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn
- Chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, tomatoes or avocado
- Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans, ½ cup reserved bean liquid, tomato sauce, and corn (if using). Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle chili into bowls. Pass chopped cilantro, green onions or other toppings.
Instant Pot Option:
- Swap 3 cans of black beans for 1 lb. (16 oz.) dried beans.
- Soak bean overnight (approximately 8 hours), drain and rinse. I think soaking produces the best results, but if you're short on time, just cook your beans for 24-26 minutes.
- Set Instant Pot to 'Sauté' mode. Once it's hot, add 2 tbsp. olive oil, onions and bell pepper. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add remaining spices and cook another 30 seconds before adding beans, tomatoes and 4 cups water.
- Cancel 'Sauté' mode and set Instant Pot for 'Manual' mode at high pressure for 12-14 minutes and let the pressure release naturally. A quick release can cause beans to split.