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Smoky Black Bean Chili

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Smoky Black Bean Chili |

This week I finally spent some long overdue time reorganizing my kitchen cabinets. As much as I love a beautifully organized pantry, the reality of my life is that:

a) I am one of the least naturally organized people I know.
b) I live in a loft and have extremely limited cabinet space.
c) I try to cram two kitchens’ worth of stuff into my little loft.

So needless to say, my cabinets can turn into a bit of a jungle.

However, they can also turn into a bit of a surprise treasure chest when it comes time for cleaning! My unexpected loot this time around was finding seven (yes 7!) cans of black beans in the cabinets. Not quite sure how that happened, but it gave me a great excuse to make a double batch of one of my favorite chilis — a simple Smoky Black Bean Chili.

This is definitely one of my favorite winter soups. It is quick, it can usually be made with simple staples I keep on hand, it is a really inexpensive meal, and it’s fresh and healthy. But more than that, it is SUPER delicious with the extra kick of chipotle and bottle of beer in there. I love topping mine with avocados and cheese and maybe a few crumbled tortilla chips. But you can also easily omit the cheese to make it vegan.

Definitely a yummy way to use up lots of black beans and enjoy some cozy comfort food in the process.

What would you make with a surplus of black beans?

Smoky Black Bean Chili |

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Smoky Black Bean Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 4 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


Chipotle and beer give this smoky black bean chili and extra kick!


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bottle beer (or chicken/vegetable broth)
  • 3 (15 oz. each) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • optional toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onlon and saute for 5 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and continue sauteing for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the beer (or broth), black beans, diced tomatoes and green chiles, chipotle in adobo, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm, garnished with optional toppings.

Smoky Black Bean Chili |

Smoky Black Bean Chili |

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63 comments on “Smoky Black Bean Chili”

  1. I never tire of more chili recipes! I love how quick yours are! This one sounds fabulous!! I’ll take chipotles and beer anytime. :)

  2. My black bean burgers area always my #1 choice with a surplus of black beans but this will be next. Love the smoky-ness!

  3. Ooh I love the sound of this! Black beans always seem to consume my cabinets as well! yum!

  4. oh mama mama MAMA I want to collapse into that.

  5. YUM. love the idea of adding adobo chipotle peppers…they make anything better!

  6. I may be too wimpy for adobo chipotle pepper. It’s the truth. But this looks so yum!

    • After looking at the comments, maybe we’re too wimpy for the chipotles! However, I’d look at using 1 chipotle (or even less) and substituting adobo sauce from the can of chipotles. That gives you the smokiness without the burn.

  7. I could eat chili every single day. YUM!!! Happy Friday!

  8. I can’t believe you aren’t organized… at all!
    This chili looks so good, Ali!

  9. It’s embarrassing how often this happens with me. I buy a massive bag of sugar then open the cabinet to see I already had a massive bag of sugar. It takes me no time at all to go through sugar though, so it’s not a problem aside from the immediate dilemma of where to store the aforementioned massive bags of sugar. I, too, have stuffed way too much kitchen stuff into way too limited cabinet space.

    Black beans are a fantastic thing to have too much of though! Chili is a great solution, as are black bean tacos or black bean soup. This looks delicious.

  10. Ali, I just did the exact same thing. I bought about 3 dozen glass jars and went through my entire “pantry” (or, big corner cabinet in my tiny kitchen) and discovered that it seems like instead of looking for the sliced almonds, I just buy more. I had 4 bags!
    And this chili looks fantastic, I love smoky chilis.

  11. Well I just happen to be eating chili as a sit here reading you post! I think I need some limes…

  12. This sounds like the perfect use for a surplus of black beans!

  13. this popped up on pinterest right when I was deciding what to make for dinner… and let me just say: it smells delicious !!

  14. My cupboards often surprise me with what I find in them. It is amazing to me all the things I am always forgetting I already purchased. Of course you always need 10 bags of chocolate chips at one time, right? This chili does look great. With all the cold weather, I am on the lookout for more soups and chilis to try.

  15. 7 cans of black beans?! That is quite the find! And what a perfect way to use them up int his chili!

  16. Looks perfect, I have a chili recipe which takes a bottle of beer and I love it!

  17. This looks fabulous, Ali! I love black beans. Going to give this a try!

  18. Ha, my cupboards are not dissimilar (and I so hear you on that squashing two kitchens into one thing…). What a perfect and delicious way to use up the leftovers!

  19. I absolutely love this, Ali!! I love black beans…we need to make this soon!

  20. Tried this last night with one can of black beans and one of kidney beans, one can of tomatoes and vegetable broth and it was delicious! It was just enough to serve two with a little extra.

  21. I have been coveting this recipe since I came across it last week! The black beans are in the slow cooker and I write this and hubs is on his way home with a bottle of beer ;) I love the idea of topping it with salsa… never thought of that! This is great because I love spicy but hubs can’t handle it, so I make and can two different versions. Now I can have my heat! And, you kept the recipe very “doable”. Thanks so much for this!

  22. The flavor and quickness of this recipe is excellent! I like that it can be vegetarian/vegan or you can add meat as well if desired. However, I did fine that mine was a little runny, and I think it needs twice the amount of beans than listed. That could be easily remedied though. Thanks for the great flavor combo!

  23. Made this today for a chili cook off at work. It came in last. :|
    If I were to make it again (unlikely, honestly), I’d use more beans and fewer tomatoes, and add more chipotle. It was very watery, to boot. 

    • We’re sorry you didn’t care for this one Melanie, we hope you can find another recipe you like better. Thanks for your feedback!

  24. I’m so hungry, :)))

  25. Awesome!! it look so yummy, Really interesting. I wanna try it. Thank for sharing!!!

  26. Super yummy. I love white onion and green chiles. Great recipe.Thank you!

  27. How many time to cooking smoky black bean chili? I look like delicious!

  28. I would try it someday. Thank you!

  29. I have made this Smoky Blackbean chili at least 5 times. I’ve added ground turkey and left it out I have used more chipotle to make it extra spicy. Love this recipe ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  30. Wow! This is spicy! I probably did get the 2 largest chipotles, and they may have been spicier than normal as well. I’d consider using 1 pepper and adding some of the adobo sauce to get the smokiness without the burn. As it was, I sauteed some more onion and added another can of black beans to adjust the chili to a more manageable level of heat.

    It’s as much a black bean soup as it is a chili, though. Still, I feel comfortable in recommending it to a wide variety of people with a little less of the chipotle. We’ll be making this again!

  31. Love this recipe! Great flavor, and easy to put together!