This Chipotle Black Bean Chili is the ultimate comfort food—a hearty, wholesome, all-in-one meal made from simple, pantry-friendly ingredients! Vegan & Gluten-Free.
Say hello to your newest favorite comfort food: this Chipotle Black Bean Chili. In my opinion, homemade chili is one of the most underrated all-in-one meals for throwing together quickly—it’s full of fiber, loaded with flavor, and incredibly hearty and filling! Black beans give our chili a creamy texture, as well as a boost of plant-based protein.
I love making a BIG batch of this so I have a warm and cozy bowl ready to go whenever I need it 🙂 When the colder months begin to roll in, that’s my cue to fire up the stove and get a pot of chili going!
INGREDIENTS + INSPIRATION
This chili has a few key ingredients that give it a deeper, more rich flavor:
Tomato Paste adds umami and a bright, zesty kick, while Chipotle Chiles in Adobo bring a smoky, tangy flavor with the perfect amount of heat! Their rich flavor replaces the need for chili powder in this recipe. You can find cans of chipotle in adobo sauce in the Hispanic/Latin aisle of most grocery stores.
Last but not least, we’re going to add just a touch of Cacao Powder to this chili for extra depth and richness. If you’re thinking, “chocolate in chili?!?!,” you’re not alone 😉 But don’t be alarmed—it’s actually a quite common ingredient in chili! A little goes a long way for the perfect rich flavor (and I promise, you can’t taste the chocolate).
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CHILI
The best part of making chili is how easily customizable it is — you can use different beans, play with all types of spices, or add in different veggies like corn, celery, carrots, or bell peppers. Today is a black bean chili, but the next batch could be a white bean chipotle chili, or make it several different beans! The possibilities are endless 🙂
- Sauté the onion, then add the cumin, cocoa powder, garlic, chipotle pepper, and tomato paste and continue to sauté.
- Stir in the beans, tomatoes, and veggie broth, then cover and boil. Uncover and simmer until thickened to your liking.
- Season with salt, top as desired, and enjoy!
If you like more a soup-like consistency, you can blend a small portion of your chili for a creamier texture. I used my immersion blender, but you can also use a stand-up blender with a vent as well.
Depending on where you’re from or what type of chili you’ve had before, you may like your chili toppings a specific way! Personally, I love to serve this chili with fresh cilantro and a few creamy slices of avocado, plus a side of tortilla chips for dipping (and complementing the southwestern flavors). You could also top this with some shredded vegan cheddar cheese, a drizzle of plant-based sour cream, some sliced scallions, or even crumbled crackers or cornbread. This will store in the fridge for up to 5 days, so feel free to make a big enough batch to meal prep for the whole week!
This Chipotle Black Bean Chili is the ultimate comfort food—a hearty, wholesome, all-in-one meal made from simple, pantry-friendly ingredients! Gluten-Free.
- 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil (optional; see notes for oil-free)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon cacao or cocoa powder
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (60 g) tomato paste
- 5 cups (875 g) black beans, drained and rinsed; about 4 cans
- 28 ounces (793 g) fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups (590 ml) vegetable broth (or water)
- salt, to taste
- Serving suggestions: cilantro, avocado, vegan cheese, tortilla chips, etc
- Aromatics: Warm the oil on a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Then, add the cumin, cocoa powder, garlic, chipotle pepper, and tomato paste. Sauté for an additional 3 minutes, to toast the spices.
- Simmer: Add in the beans, tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Give the chili a good stir, then cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until thickened to your liking. Stir occasionally to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Optional: blend up ~1 cup of the chili using either an immersion blender or stand-up blender for a creamier consistency
- Serve: season with additional salt to taste, if necessary. Then serve warm, and top as desired (I love cilantro, avocado, and jalapeño) Leftovers can be store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to one month.
- Oil-Free: sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons water or vegetable broth instead of oil