This quick and easy black bean chili recipe is vegan-optional and only has four main ingredients – making it great for a weeknight meal, or a quick game day snack!
I love soup, but I usually don’t believe in eating soups or stews as entire meals and they’re not always my favorite thing to make at home. Not only do I feel like they take a lot of prep work, but I often feel like I’m hungry like an hour later. But not with this Easy Black Bean Chili!
Tomato salsa is the secret shortcut to this recipe, which serves as a base (along with some veggie stock) and brings along with it lots of aromatics like garlic and onions, and if you pick the right brand, some green chiles too! Then hearty black beans and sweet corn serve as the main stars of the show, providing lots of protein and fiber. When topped with melty shredded cheese, sour cream (omit if making vegan), tortilla strips, fresh lime juice and herbs like green onion and cilantro, this soup quickly becomes a tasty meal that allows you to choose-your-own adventure. I, personally, recommend all of the above.
Make a bubbling pot of this Easy Black Bean Chili in the cooler Fall and Winter months.
Not only is this a dump-and-go kind of chili, meaning there’s very minimal prep work involved, but it’s only got 4 main ingredients and comes together in about 20 minutes. This chili is perfect for meal prep for 1-2 people or for feeding a family.
These ingredients were carefully selected to make prep as easy as possible!
For the Black Bean Chili
- Olive oil – to prevent black beans and corn from sticking to the bottom of the pot
- Black beans – the star of the show for this chili. I use canned for easy and speed.
- Frozen corn kernels – I LOOVVEEE using the frozen roasted corn kernels from Trader Joe’s, but if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you *Ina Garten voice* un roasted is fine…
- Salsa – Tomato salsa is a must for this soup. I love Dessert Pepper’s salsa varieties. I use either the salsa with corn in it I use either the chipotle (medium) variety or the kind with corn (and if using the latter, I add half the amount of corn this recipe calls for).
- Veggie Stock – serves as the liquid for the Black bean chili. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use water. I prefer stock because it adds more flavor, and as I always say, more flavor, more better *wink*.
- Spices – I add a little salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic and onion powders to doctor it up a bit. Technically, you don’t need the extra spices if you prefer a blander flavor, but I do. see the above re: more flavor.
- Shredded cheese – I love cheddar or a “Mexican” cheese blend. When it gets all melty on top of the piping hot chili it’s a total game changer.
- Sour cream – Adds a little extra creaminess to make this soup more indulgent.
- Tortilla strips – Have an amazing crunch factor. Make your own while your soup cooks.
- Herbs – I add green onion and cilantro for a little extra freshness and flavor.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Easy Black Bean Chili
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1. Warm olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat.
2. Add main ingredients. Add black beans, corn and seasoning mix and stir to combine. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes stirring every so often.
3. Add salsa and vegetable broth or stock. Cover and bring soup to a boil over high heat. Once soup comes to a boil, allow to simmer for several more minutes. Total cook time should take 10-13 minutes.
4. Serve hot. Top with cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, lime wedges, green onions and cilantro as desired.
If you know how to make the recipe fit a certain diet, let the reader know here. Don’t fake it – only provide guidance on topics you have actual experience with.
- Corn – instead of using regular frozen corn, I love using roasted frozen corn (you can find it at Trader Joe’s
- Spice mix – if you don’t have all the spices for the spice mix, just use the ones you have, though the most important are the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Even if your reader doesn’t follow a specific diet (eg. gluten free), they may have friends or family that they’re cooking for that could use this. This is also a great idea to link out to another blogger with a similar recipe that fits a different diet.
Giving the visitor ideas on how they can change this recipe to better suit their dinner guests, or their cultural cuisine, is a great way to increase the chances they make the recipe
- Vegan – Omit the cheese and sour cream from this recipe, or you can swap cheese for vegan cheese shreds and sour cream for cashew cream or vegan sour cream.
- With meat – Looking to add a little extra protein? Consider adding in ground chicken, turkey or beef. Just be sure to make extra spice mix (about double the amount if using 1 pound of meat, but season to your liking – no need to actually use it all, especially being cautious of salt levels). Brown the meat first in the pot, after adding the olive oil, seasoning with the spice mix. Then, add your black beans, corn and salsa.
Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator, separate from toppings for 3-4 days.
Be sure to taste your soup before serving and add any more seasonings as you like. However, when adding seasonings, especially salt to soup, be sure to give it about 5 minutes to dissolve and stir with a separate spoon before tasting to get a better sense of the flavor.
Looking for other cozy recipes? Try these:
Black Bean Chili
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 15.5 oz can of black beans
- 1 cup frozen corn
- Seasoning mix (see below for ingredients)
- 1 16 oz jar of salsa
- 1 ½ cups of veggie stock (or broth)
- 1 bag shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Lime wedges
- 3 green onions (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup of cilantro (rough chopped, optional)
- Tortilla strips
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon mild chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat.
- Add black beans, corn and seasoning mix and stir. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Add salsa and vegetable broth or stock. Cover and allow to cook on high heat until soup begins to boil. Then bring to a simmer. Total cooking time should take 10-13 minutes.
- Serve soup hot. Add toppings as desired, starting with cheese (to allow to melt), sour cream, tortilla strips, lime wedges, chopped green onions and cilantro.
- Spices are optional. In a pinch, you can just use salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and chili powder. Or just salt and pepper (but the flavor won't be quite as complex)
- If making this vegan, omit the cheese and sour cream
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 1071mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 12gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove