Zesty Black Bean Chili

Zesty Black Bean Chili

This is one of my favorite bowls of chili-a comforting, easy black bean chili with plenty of piquant spices and just the right amount of heat. Chop, pour, simmer, done.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 jalapeños, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ pounds of ground turkey, or use ground beef, ground chicken, or ground pork
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • Two 16-ounce cans of black beans, drained
  • 2 cups chicken stock or a good-flavored amber beer (I use a white ale)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Garnishes: crumbly white cheese (like cotija), spicy chili flakes,
  • chopped red onion, chopped fresh parsley, sliced jalapeños, lemon or lime wedges


Heat the oil in a large pot and add the jalapeños and onions. Cook them down for about 5 minutes, or until they become tender.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Add the ground turkey and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until the turkey is mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook another minute. 

Add in the beans, chicken stock (or beer), and all the seasonings, plus the hot sauce to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. You can easily let it simmer for 1 hour to let the flavors develop even further.

Serve with your desired garnishes!


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