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The BEST Black Bean Chili!

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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 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. But you’re also welcome to just simmer everything on the stovetop — up to you.

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


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. ?

This recipe contains affiliate links.

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The BEST Black Bean Chili!

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 46 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 -8 servings 1x


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. 


  • 1 pound dry black beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 68 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


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.

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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80 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?

  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?


  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!

  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.

  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!

  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!

  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!

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

  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

  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?

  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!!

  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!

  20. Yes! My kids love a store bought brand of black bean chili, and I’ve been trying to replicate it with no success. This chili surpasses the store-bought brand by far! So delicious! Thank you for the recipe!!!! Love it!

  21. Made this in my slow cooker, 2 hours on high and 7 on low. Soaked the beans overnight, and fried the onions and garlic in Olive oil before adding. This is the best chili ever!

  22. I love this chili! Soaked the beans overnight and cooked on high for 2 hours, and low for 7. Truly the best! I always fry up onions before adding to slow cooker.

  23. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! My husband and I really enjoyed it, and I’m definitely keeping this handy for a quick instant pot meal. Looking forward to making it again.

  24. I LOVE this chili. I normally used canned beans, and throw in whatever I have (black bean, pinto beans, kidney etc). I also had cubed potatoes, carrots, and TVP.
    However, I have made the recipe as is many times and it is perfect without any additions.

  25. We made this last night using the crock-pot, followed the recipe exactly, and wow! I was a little worried that it would need more time because at 6.5-7 hours the beans were not quite done, but just as the recipe suggests at 8 hours everything had come together and it was perfect! We will definitely be adding this easy and tasty recipe to our rotation.

  26. So I’m a little late to review, I probably made this about a year ago. It was super good and so easy in the Instant Pot. Most importantly, my picky eater really liked it. My instant pot did smell like cumin for about a month, but I did learn how to remove the sealant and clean it. So all in all, a good learning experience!

  27. This is the BEST chili I have ever eaten. While I am not vegan, I am vegetarian more times than not. I did not miss the meat in the slightest. Just some avocado, cheese and cilantro and I was good to go. Truly excellent and I agree witb you, the salsa verde was key.

  28. This sounds very much like a recipe I made a long time ago that won me first place in the vegetarian category of a chili cookoff, but I had a question. When it comes to making chili, I like to make mine with Mexican beer (Dos XX or Tecate, for example) in place of some of the broth. Have you ever tried this, or do you have an opinion on this idea? I think it would be good, based on my experience making borracho beans, but was curious if you had ever tried it.

    I’m going to be making this chili with some homemade chili powder, replacing the roasted red peppers with coarsely chopped, tri-colored peppers (green, orange and red) and a couple of habanero peppers sauteed with a little olive oil, and see how it turns out.

  29. Very good, I only used 4 cups broth but will cut it back to 3 next time. I like chili to not be so soupy.

  30. I made it with the addition of cubed sirloin when my husband requested a version with meat. I love this recipe both ways!

  31. So good! We made this the last time it snowed and it was the perfect, cozy food to have. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

    • This soup is easy to make and delicious. I don’t usually eat black beans, but I have to admit I think making this soup is the best use for them. I used canned, low-sodium black beans because I didn’t have time to soak my own overnight. Next time, I’ll make time. It should kick the flavor up even more. I also used a combination of White Cheddar and Queso Quesadilla Cheese and it gave the soup a smooth, rich flavor. Can’t wait to make the next recipe. It’s officially soup season here in the Midwest.

  32. Hello I was wondering about putting all the ingredients in at once. I thought that beans had to be cooked first before adding any salt. Perhaps that is a myth? I didn’t make it yet because I have to order the dried beans ~ I’m out ~ looking forward to trying it ~ thanks for sharing with ur ~ Marilyn

    • I also wondered about this (I make stews/soups from scratch a lot). On my second attempt I did hold the salt and it was far less flavorful. I’d always heard that adding salt too early toughens the beans. There may have been a tiny bit of that but for me – adding the salt right away with the beans worked. (Although I did have to go nearly an hour to get the beans softened.)

  33. This is a great Instant Pot recipe. I’m vegetarian, so for the added “meat” protein I used a freeze dried soy protein that essentially looks like ground beef once it’s rehydrated. This chili is a hit – thank you!

  34. Love this recipe. It’s easy to prepare and you can put the dry beans right in there. Don’t be alarmed that it seems ‘soupy’ when you start it. I will be thickened at the end. The taste is amazing. I used meatless crumbles and took it to work for a chili cook off. It didn’t when but made a good showing and NOBODY realized it was vegan. I will make this again for sure. Great smoky flavor and just a minimal amount of heat.

  35. My company is doing a chilli contest so this will be my first time making it.

  36. Tried it with some modifications (making it spicier). Loved it. Made it again.

    I didn’t have a jar of roasted peppers but I did saute 2 whole green peppers, 1 large bell pepper, 2 jalapeno and 2 serrano peppers with both red and white onions. I also doubled the portion of tomato and used fresh Roma Tomatoes instead.

    I cut the salsa verde down to 1.5 cups but also added a tablespoon of raw local honey to cut the bite of all the peppers.

    Literally the BEST chili I have ever had – much less made.

    When I attempted to double the recipe and make it again – I used Garlic Powder, canned tomatoes and a little less vegetable stock. BIG mistake. it may have been my portions but it ended up much more bland that it had been previously.

    Still – this will now be a staple for me during the winter! Thank you!

  37. Absolutely delicious! Will make again…and again!

  38. Do you happen to know the fat/calories in this? I made it. It’s delicious!!

  39. This is well named. It truly is the best. I usually saute some ground beef for the non-veg version. Always a hit.

  40. Having made this numerous times I have to say it is awesome. Each making has brought small changes, and now I believe I have it pretty much wired so it is more like chili than soup with no need to thicken or use the immersion blender. The recipe is always doubled in order to have leftovers. Rinsed and soaked black beans I use for double the recipe are now 6 to 7 cups, vegetable broth is 4 cups, and the other liquids are 16oz salsa (I use Newman’s Own), and 1-15oz can petite diced tomatoes or whatever kind I have in my cabinet. Spices I add are as written, but of course doubled. It is always a crowd pleaser, even for those who are far from being vegan. It is great served on rice, or just in a bowl with whatever toppings suit the fancy of those at your table.

  41. This is literally the best chili I have ever made or eaten. It was so easy to make. Highly recommend and will definitely use this recipe when I make chili in the future.

  42. If you’re using canned beans, reduce the liquids/tomatoes/salsa a whole bunch (unless you want soup instead of chili).

    • I guess I will be only critic of this recipient! First, this is not chili consistency! It’s a soup. Second, 2 cups of salsa verde is way too much. I love spicy foods but this is way to much flavor. No black bean taste whatsoever!

  43. Loved this recipe. I’m a novice cook. Got into instant pot cooking lately while my better half was recovering from a procedure. This one been a big hit with the family and ridiculously easy to prepare. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  44. This recipe is amazing!!! My husband and my 10 year old were in love, as was I. We ate it as leftovers for 2 days. Really easy, yummy and just spectacular. My neighbors were looking at me like I was nuts going on and on about black bean chili. Ha!!

  45. I really liked it. I’ve made so many black bean soups that I didn’t like but here is one that I really like. I added a cup of hot hatch green chiles for some heat. The salsa verde really makes it different from other recipes I have tried

  46. Really delicious and pretty simple! I like that it’s all pantry food so often you’ll have the ingredients on hand (except for maybe the jarred red pepper). I used canned beans because it takes less time. I also added some sugar because it was a little sour. This may vary depending on what salsa verde you use.

  47. Love this soup. I puréed at the end and added some more beans which was a tip from a friend. I would like it a little thicker. Any suggestions ?

  48. Absolutely delicious! Added ground chicken and it was one of my best pots of chili ever.

  49. Hello, I am a cookbook/recipe reader and yes, I do prepare food as well. This is has been a saving grace during the lockdown period for my husband, cat, and me. My freezer is loaded and everytime a hurricane looms, I cross my fingers that the power stays on. (A generator purchase is in our future.)
    Your website is beautiful and I want to tell you how much I appreciate your postings. The food looks delicious, thanks to the photography. Plus you are a teacher and the manner in which you present your recipes makes me confident I can do what you do! I attribute this to your narrative, offerings such “don’t have this, use this”. Keeps me reading and excited.
    Merci from South Louisiana

  50. I have made this many times in the slow cooker. So good! Tried the instant pot tonight and 38 minutes was not long enough…I put it in for an extra 10.