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Beef & Black Bean Chili with Chipotle & Avocado

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

The diced avocado topping makes a cool contrast to the thick, spicy chili.


  • 3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium chipotle plus 2 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut in a medium dice

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 670
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 260
  • Fat (g): 29
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16
  • Cholesterol (mg): 85
  • Sodium (mg): 1070
  • Carbohydrates (g): 64
  • Fiber (g): 18
  • Protein (g): 42


  • Put one-third of the beans into the bowl of a food processor, along with the tomatoes and their juices, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Process until smooth and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or similar heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering hot, about 2 min. Add the beef, season with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until it loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a large plate using a slotted spoon. Add half of the onion and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown and soften, about 3 min. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook for 20 seconds. Add the remaining black beans, the puréed bean mixture, and the beef to the pot and simmer for 10 min., stirring frequently. Add half of the lime juice, half of the cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. If the chili is thicker than you like, it may be thinned with water.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining lime juice and onion with the avocado. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve the chili topped with the avocado mixture and remaining cilantro.

Coarsely crumble about 3 handfuls of tortilla chips in a zip-top bag, and use them as an additional chili topping.


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Reviews (46 reviews)

  • DonBishop | 08/11/2019

    How could something so simple be so good? I was skeptical, but it's a Tony Rosenfeld recipe and there are 45 reviews saying how good it is, so I finally made it. And ... yeah. It's good. Real good.

  • Stasia | 01/06/2018

    I've made this a recipe a half-dozen times, and had hesitated to post a review as I've always substituted pinto or great northern beans (or a combination) for the black beans and white onion for the red. Finally decided someone else with picky kids such as mine (who only would previously eat Dennison's prepared canned chili) might appreciate hearing that with those substitutions, my kids love this chili! I also add a couple tablespoons of tomato paste after the blooming the spices, and saute for about a minute before adding the remaining ingredients. This makes a very thick chili, so I thin it with a cup or two of stock and let simmer for 30 to 60 minutes to let the flavors come together. I always double the recipe as the leftovers freeze well. One of these days, I'll plan ahead, be more frugal, and cook dried beans to use in this recipe. One day even sooner, I will forget about those picky kids, and try this recipe as it's meant to prepared - with black beans! I suspect it will be even tastier.

  • marblebomb | 12/08/2015

    My favourite chili recipe! I do not put alot of the chili powder. I find the chili in the sauce makes the chili hot enough!

  • user-4234754 | 11/01/2015

    Loved it. This recipe is simple and chockfull of flavor. Ready to eat in 30 minutes. I read some of the reviews and also increased the chipotle for more heat as one reviewer suggested. It is very thick and I did add some water to thin a bit. This is a recipe that I will make over and over and experiment with different ingredients, such as ground turkey, more tomatoes, less beans etc. Great as is, but you can easily have fun playing with alternate ingredients. This would be a great dish for a pot luck.

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