Smoky Black Bean Chili Recipe

Smoky Black Bean Chili Recipe

Cook up a batch of this smoky black bean chili recipe on the weekend, and have a warm and comforting meal at your fingertips throughout the week.

Using Pantry Ingredients

Smoky black bean chili comes together quickly with simple pantry ingredients, and is a versatile recipe, depending on what is on hand. Use dry or black beans, meat is optional, and if you have frozen corn on hand, toss that in too! Smoked paprika (or another smoked dried chili powder) creates an incredible flavor, and is balanced by a spice mixture of sweet paprika, ground coriander, and earthy cumin. Use cayenne pepper to make it as mild or as spicy as you like, gather your favorite chili toppings, and cozy up to a bowl of smoky black bean chili for an easy weeknight meal.

Serving Suggestions

The smoky flavor of this black bean chili recipe is complemented terrifically by this Cabbage Salad with Sweet Poppyseed Dressing.

Smoky Black Bean Chili Recipe

Smoky Black Bean Chili Recipe

Smoky and sweet, satisfying and delicious, this Smoky Black Bean Chili makes a great weeknight dinner. It can also be made in the slow cooker. It freezes well.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Soups
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 370kcal
Author: Aliye Aydin


  • 1 cup dried black beans*
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 pound ground beef, turkey, or chicken (optional)**
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, red or green, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 cup frozen corn (optional)
  • cilantro, as topping
  • scallions, as topping
  • shredded cheese, as topping
  • sour cream, as topping


  • Soak black beans overnight, covered with water. Drain.
  • If using ground beef, heat a soup pot over medium-high heat, and add olive oil when hot. Add ground beef, and cook, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Once beef is no longer pink, turn down heat to medium and add onion, bell pepper, garlic, spices, and another 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Add soaked and drained black beans, water, and another 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, turn heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 50-60 minutes, until black beans are soft. If chili starts to stick, add a little bit more water.
  • When beans are soft, add tomatoes and corn, if using, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. Serve and garnish with your favorite toppings. 


*Canned black beans may be used in place of dry, use 2 15-oz. cans.
**If not using meat, substitute 1-2 cups frozen or fresh corn, or more beans.
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