Vegan Chipotle Black Bean Chili

GFGluten FreeGRGrain FreeOFOil FreeVVegan

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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!

Two bowls of chipotle black bean chili topped with avocado and cilantro on white marble background


Ingredients for chili in small bowls on marble backrground. Clockwise text labels read onion, garlic, cumin, cacao powder, fire-roasted tomatoes, oil, chipotle pepper, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and black beans

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).


Large pot of black bean chili with wooden scoop scooping chili to show texture

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 🙂

  1. Sauté the onion, then add the cumin, cocoa powder, garlic, chipotle pepper, and tomato paste and continue to sauté.
  2. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, and veggie broth, then cover and boilUncover and simmer until thickened to your liking.
  3. 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.

Two bowls of black bean chili topped with avocado and cilantro with sliced avocados on the side


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!

bowl of chipotle black bean chili topped with avocado and cilantro

If you’re looking for more warm and cozy chili recipes, you’ll also love this Butternut Squash & White Bean Chili, this Cozy Vegan Pumpkin Chili, and this Hearty Vegan Chorizo Chili!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂


Vegan Chipotle Black Bean Chili

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.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serve
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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

Keywords: black bean chili, vegan chili, chipotle chili, vegan black bean chili, black bean soup vegan

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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  1. The brilliance of this recipe is that it combines the chili powder, fresh peppers, and smoked paprika in most vegan chilis in one ingredient that most of us have remainders going bad in our refrigerator: chipotle in adobo.

    If you’re inclined, as I am, to multiply most spices 1.5 or 2-fold, hold back on the cocoa. I just did my routine 1.5x flavoring multiplier my first try, and the cocoa was readily identifiable in the finished product and kind of overwhelming. Of course I ate all. 2nd try, I used 2 tsp cocoa (ie, 2/3 Tbsp), and 1.5 times the chipotle and cumin. That worked for me.

    Also, this chili, like a lot of bean-only chilis, doesn’t have an ingredient that adds “toothsomeness”. Something to chew on. Others commonly add bulgar wheat or other ingredients for this. Second try, I added some TVP marinated in mushroom seasoning in the last 30 minutes. I’m sure soy chorizo would work too.

  2. I’m not a vegan, but I’m trying really hard to cut back on animal products. I was skeptical at first because I’ve always eaten chili with meat, but this recipe is truly amazing. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

  3. Loved this chili! So simple. delicious and inexpensive to boot. Love the addition of cocoa powder! Can’t get enough of your amazing recipes, Caitlin!

    1. Glad you liked it, Steve! Thank you for the feedback and appreciate you adding it to your favorites. 🙂

  4. This chili looks incredible, so comforting! Love the addition of tomato paste and the chipotle chiles in adobo, I will definitely try this out if I manage to find the chiles in adobo in my country!