Growing up in Cincinnati, my definition of chili was different than everyone outside the city limits.
Cincinnati chili is a mix of ground beef, tomatoes and beans served over spaghetti. I think of it more as a heavy, chunky sauce topped with an excessive amount of electric orange shredded cheese.
While I absolutely love my hometown, I’ve never been into the local chili
And that’s why I think it took me years to discover the chili that I actually like. It’s the kind more familiar to everyone else. You eat it from a bowl with a spoon.
I like my chili in that form of a hearty soup.
It’s a no-brainer for me to use them as the base for black bean chili.
I don’t want to call the beans the star ingredient of this chili even though they get top billing.
Chipotle chilies add smoky flavor and plenty of heat.
Whenever I buy a can of chipotles en adobo, I freeze the leftover chipotles and sauce in an ice cube tray.
For most recipes you only use one chipotle or just a few spoonfuls of sauce because it is HOT! I can’t stand the thought of wasting them.
How To Make Black Bean Chili
The first step for this black bean chili is to sauté the onions. When they are soft, I stir in the fragrant ingredients: garlic, chipotles, cumin salt and pepper.
Then it’s time to add diced red peppers followed by corn, black beans and a big can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes.
Instead of rinsing and draining the black beans, I dump them straight from the can to the pot.
I also pour in some water to thin out the mixture and crank up the heat to bring the chili to a boil.
Once it’s really bubbling, I reduce the heat and let the chili simmer till it thickens and the flavors develop.
Toppings for chili are very important.
I garnish each bowl of black bean chili with crushed tortilla chips for crunch, sliced jalapeños for heat and shredded cheese.
Black Bean Chili
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
- Total Time: 35-45 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle, roughly chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from one 7-ounce can
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
2–15 ounce can black beans
1–15 ounce can corn, drained and rinsed
1–28 ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1–1/2 cups water
Crushed tortilla chips, sliced jalapeños and shredded Mexican blend cheese, for serving
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 4 minutes until they start to soften. Stir in the garlic, chipotles and adobo sauce, cumin, salt and pepper. Continue cooking for an additional 4 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the red peppers and sauté for 2 minutes. Then stir in the black beans, corn, tomatoes and water. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes letting the chili thicken.
Garnish each bowl with chips, jalapeños and cheese.