The BEST Black Bean Chili!

Truly the best black bean chili recipe!!  It ultra-quick and easy to make, naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan (although you can add meat if you’d like), and SO flavorful and delicious.  Instant Pot, Crock-Pot and stovetop instructions included.

The BEST Black Bean Chili Recipe

This chili recipe is everything.

Like, literally.  It basically hits all the bases when it comes to everything we’re looking for in a crowd-pleasing, feel-good, ultra-cozy, irresistibly-delicious black bean chili recipe.

First off, it’s ridiculously easy to make.  We’re talkin’ 8 main ingredients here that are big on flavor and ultra low-maintenance on prep time.  (Just need you to chop an onion and some garlic, so less than 10 mins prep time!)  This recipe is also a breeze to cook in the Instant Pot.  (Although I’ve also included stovetop and slow cooker instructions, if that’s your jam.)  And if you’re looking for easy lunches for the week ahead, it’s freezer-friendly and perfect for meal prep.

Second, it’s naturally gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan.  Which means it’s the perfect pot of soup to simmer when you have a mix of friends over for the big game or a cozy dinner night in.  Or, hey, also perfect for any regular weeknight in or a simple lunch to pack for work.

Third, it’s made with healthier that you can feel great about.  Lots of protein-packed black beans, lots of veggies, and lots of zesty Mexican flavors.  No meat…unless you’d like to add some in.  In which case, ground beef or turkey would be awesome.

But most importantly…it’s just 100% delicious.  Especially so when you go big (please go big!) with all of your favorite toppings.  The more the merrier here, if you ask me.  🤗  Mmmm hmmmm.

Alright, time for some black bean chili!

The BEST Black Bean Chili Recipe with Avocado

Alright, so let’s talk cooking methods here for a sec.  I’m a huge fan of the Instant Pot with this recipe, since it can pressure cook a batch of dry (un-soaked) black beans to tender perfection in less than an hour.  (Instant Pot chili FTW!)  But that said, it will also cook up well in the slow cooker in 6-8 hours.  Or you can slow simmer everything on the stovetop — your choice!

That said, if you want to save on time (especially if you’re going the stovetop route), you can always sub in canned black beans instead of dried if you’d like.  👌

The BEST Black Bean Chili Recipe Ingredients

That said, the other ingredients are super simple!  Just chop up an onion and some garlic.  Combine them with your beans, a can of diced tomatoes (fire-roasted are my fave!), roasted red peppers, veggie stock (or water), ground cumin, chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder), S&P.

Then the main ingredient here is a must — a jar of salsa verde.  (Or you can make yours homemade.)  I’m a big fan of the zesty, tangy flavor it adds to the chili.  And you can also choose a brand that’s as mild or spicy as you’d like.  (<– Although if serving to a crowd, I always recommend keeping things more mild, then offering sliced jalapeño or serrano peppers as a topping.  Win-win.)

Just combine everything together and cook until those beans are nice and tender.  Then give everything a good stir, add more stock if you’d like a brothier soup, season with salt and pepper, and…

How To Make The BEST Black Bean Chili Recipe

…voila!

The BEST Vegetarian Black Bean Chili recipe!

A gorgeous pot of rich black bean chili will be ready to enjoy!

The BEST Vegan Black Bean Chili Recipe

Dish it up into your serving bowls.  But then — I insist — sprinkle on as many of your favorite toppings as possible.  In my humble opinion, chili is ALL about the toppings.  So if diced avocado, or fresh cilantro, or shredded cheese (vegan, if making this dairy-free), diced red onions, sliced serranos, sour cream, etc. are your jam — pile them on high.  🙌

The BEST Black Bean Chili Recipe | Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-Free

And then?  I sincerely hope you enjoy every last bite.  💛

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The BEST Black Bean Chili!

Truly the best black bean chili recipe!!  It ultra-quick and easy to make (less than 10 mins prep time), it’s naturally gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan (although you can add meat if you’d like), it only calls for 8 main ingredients, and it’s SO flavorful and delicious. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry black beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 cups vegetable stock (or water*)
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) salsa verde, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder**
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • toppings: diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, diced red onion, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños or serranos

Directions:

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Directions:

  1. Add black beans (no need to pre-soak), onion, garlic, 6 cups stock, salsa verde, diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers, cumin, chili powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the bowl of your Instant Pot.  Stir to combine.
  2. Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”.
  3. Press “Manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then adjust the +/- buttons until time reads 38 minutes.  Cook.  Then very carefully, turn the vent to “Venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released and the valve has dropped.  Remove the lid, and give the soup a good stir.
  4. Then, if you would like a brothier soup, feel free to add in 1-2 extra cups of vegetable stock.  (If not, leave the soup as-is.)  Taste, and season with extra salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with lots of your favorite toppings.  Or transfer to sealed containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Crock-Pot (Slow Cooker) Directions:

  1. Add black beans (no need to pre-soak), onion, garlic, 6 cups stock, salsa verde, diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers, cumin, chili powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the bowl of your slow cooker.  Stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on high, or until the beans are completely tender.  Give the mixture a good stir.
  3. Then, if you would like a brothier soup, feel free to add in 1-2 extra cups of vegetable stock.  (If not, leave the soup as-is.)  Taste, and season with extra salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with lots of your favorite toppings.  Or transfer to sealed containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Stovetop Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil (extra ingredient for stovetop version) in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.  Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  2. Add in beans (pre-soaked overnight***) 6 cups stock, salsa verde, diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers, cumin, chili powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.
  3. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes, or until the beans are completely tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. If you would like a brothier soup, feel free to add in 1-2 extra cups of vegetable stock.  (If not, leave the soup as-is.)  Taste, and season with extra salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with lots of your favorite toppings.  Or transfer to sealed containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

*Veggie stock will add a little extra flavor here.  But water totally works too.

**I really love using chipotle chili powder.  But traditional (American) chili powder will also work too.  Or you’re welcome to add in a chopped chipotle chili in adobo sauce.

***If making this soup on the stovetop, you’ll need to soak your beans in water overnight.  OR, for a much faster version, you can sub in 4 (15-ounce) cans of rinsed and drained black beans, which will only require about 10 minutes to cook in the soup (instead of 45).

Cook time included above is for the Instant Pot version.  

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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21 comments on “The BEST Black Bean Chili!”

  1. Oooooo this looks so yummy! Do you think this could be easily done in the crockpot/slow cooker? I’m guessing it’d be fine to cook on low for the average 6-8 hours?

    Rating: 4
  2. Hey there, It said the stove top and crock pot instructions were included but I don’t see them, except for mentioning it in the written post. Are there supposed to be more instructions or am I missing them? And how many canned black beans would you sub if you chose that route?

    Thanks!

  3. How long would you cook it in a CrockPot?

  4. You mentioned canned tomatoes but I dint see in the recipe, is that optional?

  5. The recipe calls for roasted red peppers but in a previous paragraph you mention a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Is it one or the other, or both. Also, looking for alternative cooking directions. Sounds yummy so I want to get it right!

  6. I have been looking for a really good vegetarian black bean chili. Thank you so much, Ali. Can’t wait to make it.

  7. I made this soup last night. I had all of the ingredients on hand, and it was super delicious, quick and easy. Thank you for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  8. What meat could I add to this? I would love to try this, but my husband always wants some kind of meat in his meals! Thanks!

  9. Fantastic chili…the only change I made was to slice up 4 links of Chorizo sausage into it which gave it a lot of pizazz. I will be making this chili from now on…it tastes like something you would get at a great restaurant. In addition I was surprised that the roasted dice tomatoes did not get pulverized in the pressure cooker. When I make chili on the stove these usually turn into sauce even just using a low boil. I also used straight Chipotle powder for the first time ever and it was so much better than using regular chili powder. This is one of the best chili recipes ever.

    Rating: 5
  10. Made this for supper using the stovetop recipe. We all loved it. Yummy, filling, easy to make, and will be wonderful for lunch all week. Thank-you for sharing!

    Rating: 5
  11. I wasn’t sure if I was going to love this but I made it yesterday and it actually turned out really good. I usually don’t love beans just by themselves but this had great flavor!! Good job!

    Rating: 4
  12. This was fantastic!

  13. love this soup and love that it’s so easy! i accidentally added all the broth right away so it ended up pretty brothy, but still really enjoyed it. i also froze half of it and just reheated and it’s still delicious. this is going in our regular soup rotation. thanks for creating/sharing!

    Rating: 5
  14. This was a huge hit at our house! I think I’ll enter this into the church chilli cook-off.

    Rating: 5
  15. Made this in the instant pot and LOVE IT. Also, had some chorizo that we browned and sprinkled on top with everything else – YUM

    Rating: 5
  16. I try a lot of blog recipes and am usually not impressed. This one was an absolute winner! Used the crockpot instructions. I did soak my beans overnight before putting into the crockpot. For Trader Joe’s shoppers, I found the Salsa Verde, Roasted Red Peppers, and Fire Roasted tomatoes there. It was my secret vegan dinner for the week. How long do I have to wait until I can make it again?

    Rating: 5
  17. I’m SO eager to make this—my husband and I are chili fiends, and there’s nothing better than some Mexican zest :) I want to make it in the slow cooker using canned beans and probably some ground turkey or chorizo. What will the canned beans mean for my cook time? Should the meat be raw? At what point should I add it?
    Thanks so much—I’m hoping to make this tonight!

  18. This was excellent. Followed the recipe very closely. I used 50/50 water & low sodium beef broth (because I had some I needed to use up). Decided to throw some shredded chicken thighs in too, which was good, but not really necessary. In hindsight I’ll do it without the chicken next time, so that after pig out for a couple of days on the chili version I can use my immersion blender on it and save it as a spicy black bean soup!!

    Rating: 5
  19. I love this recipe, I’ve also been looking for a good black bean chili that was quick and easy to make. I used my Instant Pot. Thanks for making it Vegan! I was lucky to have a jar of Salsa Verde and I had just received a dozen cans of Fire roasted tomatoes, a dozen red peppers, AND a dozen yellow onions from the schools food pantry (school gives out free food from local stores unsold stock/close to expiration) This used everything I had! It’s like the recipe and my pantry were a perfect match!

    Most importantly though, my husband loved this chili! He gets bored with food but he took the leftovers for his lunch and was looking for it when he came home today too! (I devoured the last bowl!!!)

    This will be a weekly meal for us for sure!

    Rating: 5