Quick Black Bean Vegetarian Chili Recipe

This vegetarian chili recipe is a serious crowd-pleaser.

It’s perfect for any gathering, especially tailgates and football parties.

It’s also a perfect make-ahead meal because it freezes so well. Warm up with it on a cold Fall or Winter day.

Black beans might just be the most underrated superfood out there. They’re packed with protein (1 cup has 14 grams!), fiber & good carbs. They’re also loaded with vitamins, minerals and other plant nutrients, like anthocyanins, the same powerful antioxidant compounds found in blueberries and grapes.

Even better, they’re one of the most inexpensive superfoods available. I consider them a staple for any healthy pantry.

Spicy Black Bean Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 45 min
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded (a box grated works perfect)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and medium chopped
  • 3 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (or 4 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 small jalapeno, chopped (omit for a mild chili)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder of your choice
  • 2 cups veggie stock (or filtered water)
  • 2-3 teaspoons sea salt (more or less to taste)
  • a few spins of freshly ground black pepper

Recipe:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chili flakes, onion, carrot and 1 tsp salt, sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno, cumin, paprika, chili powder and garlic, and sauté 2-3 minutes until very fragrant. Add the 2 cans of diced tomatoes, with the liquid to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Stir the bottom of the pot well to pick up all of the spices. Add the beans, bell pepper, tomato sauce, water, salt and pepper. Stir well and let cook for at least 1/2 hour to allow the flavors to combine. You can leave it on the stove on the lowest setting all afternoon to let people help themselves as needed.

This chili can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight glass container for up to 3 days. It also freezes well.

Garnishes:

  • Avocado (our favorite!)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Organic tortilla chips
  • Lite sour cream or plain greek yogurt

Cook’s note:

I used cans here for convenience. Since there are some concerns about BPA levels in cans, drain and rinse the beans well before using. Rinsing them well also helps alleviate any digestive discomfort or gas you might experience from beans. You can also prepare you beans from scratch, or look for beans and tomato products in boxes or glass jars if available at your market. While there is a small concern about BPA in cans, that concern is outweighed by the health benefits of both beans and tomatoes, so using cans here is still a great healthy (and economical) option that you can feel good about.

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Easy Spicy Black Bean Vegetarian Chili Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded (a box grated works perfect)
  • 23 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and medium chopped
  • 3 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (or 4 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 small jalapeno, chopped (omit for a mild chili)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder of your choice
  • 2 cups veggie stock (or filtered water)
  • 23 teaspoons sea salt (more or less to taste)
  • a few spins of freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chili flakes, onion, carrot and 1 tsp salt, sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno, cumin, paprika, chili powder and garlic, and sauté 2-3 minutes until very fragrant. Add the 2 cans of diced tomatoes, with the liquid to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Stir the bottom of the pot well to pick up all of the spices. Add the beans, bell pepper, tomato sauce, water, salt and pepper. Stir well and let cook for at least 1/2 hour to allow the flavors to combine. You can leave it on the stove on   the lowest setting all afternoon to let people help themselves as needed.

This chili can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight glass container for up to 3 days. It also freezes well.

Garnishes:

  • Avocado (our favorite!)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Organic tortilla chips
  • Lite sour cream or plain greek yogurt

Notes

 used cans here for convenience. Since there are some concerns about BPA levels in cans, drain and rinse the beans well before using. Rinsing them well also helps alleviate any digestive discomfort or gas you might experience from beans. You can also prepare you beans from scratch, or look for beans and tomato products in boxes or glass jars if available at your market. While there is a small concern about BPA in cans, that concern is outweighed by the health benefits of both beans and tomatoes, so using cans here is still a great healthy (and economical) option that you can feel good about.

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  1. Anita Earl says:

    I made this tonight and it was a hit!
    My 16 year old vegetarian son doesn’t like to try new foods, however, tonight he did and he said he loved it!
    I used dry black beans (no pre soaking) and cooked it until the beans became nice and soft.
    Thank you, I will be making this again and again and again 🙂

  2. Mary Sticco Ascolillo says:

    After sautéing the spices I deglazed the pan and placed everything in a crockpot and added remaining ingredients. I cooked on low 4 hours and then on warm so people could help themselves. The house smelled great and I didn’t have to stay in the kitchen. I also made organic cornbread and a salad. It was a perfect dinner for my friends

  3. Anne Ominous says:

    Eden Organic and Amy’s cans are BPA free.

  4. Jonathan Burnett says:

    I made this yesterday, I added about 1.5 tsp of cocoa powder, literally the best chill ever!!! My wife loved it. the carrot add just the right amount of sweetness. Perfection

  5. Misty Dearden Dangel says:

    I’ve been looking for a healthy chili recipe. Can’t wait to try this!

  6. Danielle Y says:

    Liz, I made this recipe earlier this week thinking I would have lunches for the next week… Left it on the stove for one day and it was GONE!  Even the meat-eater-only boyfriend couldn’t keep his spoon out of it 🙂  Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!

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Instead of prescribing what I think you should do, I help you find what works for you.

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