This really is the perfect smoky black bean chili. It's a quick and easy vegetarian weeknight dinner, that's so full of smoky chipotle flavor and naturally gluten-free.
How's your February going? We've past Valentine's day and it feels like we're a million miles away from spring. We're still on the cozy train, right?! Because I've got some ultra warming and delicious recipes comin at ya this week. Like some slow cooker baked potato soup and some honey garlic baked chicken.
But let's get down to the chili talk, shall we?
This vegetarian chili hits all your bases for a cozy, delicious simmer-able soup/chili that's perfect for meal prep (freezes like a dream), or a cozy weekend/weeknight in.
Smoky Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
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It's healthy, packed with protein-filled beans and is perfect for serving a crowd. Because it's vegetarian and naturally gluten-free, it's perfect for when you've got a group of friends around that may all have different dietary needs. This chili is actually naturally vegan, but my love of cheesy toppings puts my version firmly in the vegetarian camp.
Smoky Vegetarian Black Bean Chili Shortcuts
You know I'm all about farmhouse tables and cozy food, but I'm also about fast prep time and simple cooking. So, of course, my love of a shortcut comes in handy here.
- Skip dried beans and go for tinned. They're just as healthy and cut your cook and prep time by hours.
- Buy a tin of refried beans. You don't need to make your own here. These ones are perfect!
- Use a jar of charred red peppers. I was going to make this recipe and roast my own pepper and peel them, but it did seem like a bit of a fuss when you can buy a jar of roasted peppers for a couple of bucks. Be sure to read the label though. We want the ones packed in brine, not oil.
Black Bean Chili Meal Prep
Can you freeze this chili and/or make it ahead of time?
- Absolutely! This chili recipe is so versatile, it works for whatever your meal prep situation is. If you make it ahead to freeze it then skip adding the cheese and sour cream.
- And if you make it ahead to serve on another night of the week, the flavors are only intensified and mingle so well when left in the fridge for a day or so.
What's the deal with the cocoa powder in the recipe?
Good question! Cocoa powder in chili is like putting chili in your hot chocolate. All the flavors play off each other and create a balance and depth of flavor that wouldn't otherwise be possible. The richness of cocoa powder complements the smokiness of the chipotle and the sweetness of the roasted red peppers.
Can I sub cocoa powder for something else?
You bet you can! Cinnamon and coffee also perform the same flavor bending job that cocoa powder does.
Black Bean Chili Topping Essentials
So, grab some
- fresh avocados
- crunchy tortilla chips
- melty cheese
- creamy sour cream or Greek yogurt
- jalapeno peppers
- tonnes of cilantro
- limes, always limes
And then go forth and spread all the cozy black bean chili vibes!
More Cozy Simmerable Style Recipes from Salted Mint
Tools used to make this Recipe Name
Smoky Vegetarian Black Bean Chilli
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 jar roasted red peppers packed in brine drained
- 2 teaspoons chipotle paste
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup apple juice
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes fire roasted if available
- 1 x 400g tin red kidney beans rinsed
- 1 x 400g tin black beans rinsed
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based sauce pan over medium heat. Sweat the onions and garlic in the oil until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Drain the roasted red peppers and chop roughly. Add to the onions and garlic and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the chipotle paste and all the ground herbs and spices. Mix well and keep over the heat until the spices are fragrant and toasty. Add the apple juice, tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes. Add the kidney beans and black beans and stir well.
- Serve with rice, avocado, limes, cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
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