Black Bean Chili Recipe

Recipe for “Chili” Days

Real Restaurant Chili Recipe

Black Bean Chili is probably not even considered "real" chili if you ask a Texan. It has beans and is not a traditional "Texas Red Chili."

But it is delicious and is one of those meals appreciated on a cold fall or winter day. It warms and comforts you. Add some cornbread and you'll have a wonderful meal you'll remember.

There is something else to appreciate about this hearty chili recipe. You can feed four people with one pound of beef or less.

I usually use lean ground beef, but occasionally I chop up some prime rib or steak left over from a previous meal. So, almost magically, four people are happily fed with "leftover" beef!

I usually start making this chili, or one of the other chilies in the restaurant recipe file, about the time football season begins. Chili is just something that seems to go well with a group of football fans.

This chili recipe also freezes well, so you can double or triple the ingredients, freeze it and pull it out of your "bag of tricks" when you need a meal quickly.

Black Bean Chili

Real Restaurant Chili Recipe

Preparation time: 2 1/2 hours. Serves 4


  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or chopped steak (prime rib) if you have some leftover
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup liquid from cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 each of chopped red and green bell pepper
  • 1/2 pound canned tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Ancho chili powder
  • 3/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/8 teaspoon oregano, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoons cayenne pepper



  • Cook the black beans until very soft, keeping water 1 inch above the beans by adding water as it cooks down
  • When beans are soft, save 1-2 cups of the liquid
  • Brown ground beef and chopped onion in 3/4 cup of water and drain (if using cooked steak, saute onions in a little olive oil until soft and then add the beef)
  • To the meat mixture, add the tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, peppers and spices and cook for 30 minutes
  • Add this mixture to the beans and cook another 10 minutes.
  • Correct seasoning
  • Use the saved liquid from the beans to thin the chili if needed
  • Garnish each bowl of chili with both shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese (about 1/4 cup of each) and a bit (1/4 cup) of cilantro (if desired)

Enjoy your Black Bean Chili (and cornbread) and the company of those you share it with!


"Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili."

Last words of Kit Carson, American frontiersman (1809-1868)