Mexican Black Bean Chili

I tend to make chili in the middle of Winter, when I am in desparate need of warmth.  There is something comforting about chili; perhaps it's the array of spices, or the fiery color of the chili that transports me to a warmer place.  A warmer place was definitely needed when I looked out my window on the day I made this chili, it was sleeting, windy, and gray.  

I found this recipe nine years ago on the cover of Cooking Light magazine.  It looked so delish, I had to give it a try.  I did make some minor adjustments, but all in all, stayed true to the original.  I prefer my chili a little thicker, so I did not add as much water as the original recipe.  The first time Mike and I made this chili, we both misread the ingredient amount for the chipotle chiles.  It read "3 canned chiles"; we thought it said 3 cans vs. 3 chiles.  Needless to say, Mike and I had a 3 alarm fire on our taste buds.  I recommend only using 3 or 4 chipotle peppers, about 1/3 of a can.  That adds quite a bit of heat, but doesn't burn your lips.  

The flavors in the chili and the consistency improves the day after you make the chili, but be forewarned, the spiciness level does increase the second day, so leftovers may be hotter.  

I made a heart healthy chili, by selecting reduced sodium or no salt added canned beans, canned tomatoes, and stock.  If you can't find those options, rinse the beans and tomatoes to reduce the about of sodium in the chili.  To create a vegetarian meal, omit the meat and exchange vegetable stock for the chicken stock.  Then add in a variety of vegetables like green peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes.  

Hope you enjoy the chili.  Here's to good food and gladness!

CLICK HERE for a printer friendly recipe.  Serves 6 to 8. 

Ingredients for Mexican Black Bean Chili

  • 1.5 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic, about 2 cloves
  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 pound of lean ground pork, turkey or beef
  • 2 medium yellow or white onion, small dice
  • 3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (about 1/3 of a small can)
  • 2 cans of reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans of reduced sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans of no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
  • 32 oz container (4 cups) of fat-free, low sodium organic chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Directions for Mexican Black Bean Chili

  1. In a large stockpot, cook meat over medium heat until browned, about 8 minutes, stirring often.  Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add spices to the pot and stir together.  
  2. Place 1 cup of black beans, 3 chipotle chiles with 1 Tbsp of adobo sauce, and 1 can of tomatoes into a food processor.  Pulse until smooth.  Add to the stockpot.  
  3. Add  remaining ingredients and liquid.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.  Cook until chili thickens, about one hour, leaving stockpot partially covered.
  4. Garnish with finely sliced leeks and 1 Tbsp of shredded cheddar cheese.