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This easy black bean chili recipe is fast and delicious! It makes fantastic leftovers, and the warm seasonings perfectly complement the ground beef and black beans.

You may also enjoy my Simple Chili Mac or Easy Black Bean Soup next.

close-up of beef and black bean chili in a white bowl topped with cilantro, sour cream, and tortilla chips

Why you’ll love it

This meaty, hearty ground beef chili with black beans is a great weeknight meal since it’s ready in just 40 minutes. There’s nothing complicated about it, and I always have the tasty seasonings in my pantry. It’s also great for Sunday football or for any game day!

I like how customizable this bean and beef chili is. You can change the heat level to suit your tastes, add as few or as many toppings as you like, etc. There’s nothing like the irresistible smell of this hearty and filling chili as it simmers. It also makes meal prep a breeze.

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Onion – I like using sweet (Vidalia) onion
  • Ground beef – we’re using lean
  • Garlic – for plenty of garlicky flavor
  • Tomato paste – it adds concentrated savory taste
  • Seasoning – we’re using a trio of chili powder, ground cumin, and smoked paprika
  • Canned goods – black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, and mild green chilies are pantry staples
  • Red bell pepper – for a pop of freshness
  • Beef broth – it makes up the base of the sauce and adds another layer of flavor
ingredients for black bean chili in prep bowls


Use some, all, or none of these suggested chili toppings! I like sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, tortilla strips, fresh tomatoes, crumbled Oven Cooked Bacon, cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend), avocado, scallions, cilantro, and chopped jalapeños.

How to make black bean chili

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

cooking onions and ground beef in a soup pot and adding in tomato paste and chili seasonings

In a large pot, sauté the onion in the oil, then add the beef and brown it, breaking it up with your spoon as you go along. Spoon out any excess fat. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, and spices.

a pot of black bean chili before and after cooking

Add the beans, tomatoes, chilies, red bell pepper, and beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, and top as desired.

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • I use this Dutch oven for making chili.
  • A garlic press makes it effortless to mince garlic without even peeling the cloves first, and here’s my fave can opener for opening up the canned goods.
  • This is a great ladle for dishing up chilis and soups.

Substitutions and variations

  • This chili is very flexible. You can skip an ingredient, add what’s in your fridge, use regular diced tomatoes instead, etc.
  • You don’t need to be super precise with the beef amount. Anything from 1 to 1.5 pounds of ground beef will work.
  • If you want to give this chili some kick, add some cayenne pepper or use spicy green chilies.

What to serve with black bean chili

  • Serve it with your favorite toppings (see my suggestions above)!
  • Or you can definitely eat it as-is or with a slice of cornbread.
  • Want a salad for a fresh pairing? Try my zesty Chipotle Ranch Dressing and spring mix.

Leftovers and storage

  • Store leftover black bean chili in a covered container for 3-4 days in the fridge. The flavors will meld even more over time.
  • Reheat over a low heat on the stove until warmed through.
  • This chili freezes well! Freeze for up to 3 months.
a pot of black bean chili with a ladle

If you made this simple black bean chili, please leave a star rating and review below! I’d love to hear from you. Tag me on Instagram if you made this or any of my recipes.

This beef and black bean chili recipe is quick, easy, and the whole family will love it. 
5 from 13 votes

Easy Black Bean Chili

This easy black bean chili recipe is fast and delicious! It makes fantastic leftovers, and the warm seasonings perfectly complement the ground beef and black beans.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans drained
  • 1 (28 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 (4 ounce) can mild green chilies with juices
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Toppings (optional, to taste): sour cream, avocado, tortilla strips, scallions, Mexican cheese blend or cheddar, etc.


  • In a soup pot/Dutch oven, add the oil and onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef and cook it until it's browned, breaking it up with your spoon as you go along. Spoon out some of the beef fat if there's a lot of excess, but don't worry about getting it all.
  • Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. 
  • Add the beans, diced tomatoes, green chilies, red bell pepper, and beef broth. Give it a good stir. 
  • Increase the heat and bring the chili to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and cover with the lid slightly open. Simmer for 15 minutes or so, giving it the occasional stir. You can definitely simmer it longer, but I recommend at least 15 minutes.
  • Season with salt & pepper as needed. Serve and top bowls as desired. 


  • Serves 4-6.
  • Want to make this chili spicy? Add a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  • Anything from 1 to 1.5 pounds ground beef will work fine.


Calories: 415kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 39g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 538mg, Potassium: 1310mg, Fiber: 16g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1462IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 119mg, Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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5 from 13 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. Ray Ellis says:

    5 stars
    Can I use pinto beans instead. Thanks

    1. Natasha says:

      Sure! Enjoy!

  2. Diana says:

    Delicious and nutritious! Quick and easy. Love the versatility to modify as suggested.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Diana!

  3. Diane says:

    5 stars
    Excellent! Thank you for a great recipe.

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome, Diane!

  4. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Really good chili recipe that is easy and quick. Always better the next day so be sure to double up the recipe if you are feeding two teens! I love that it has a good amount of protein but also a good amount of fiber from the beans. Yummy!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Lisa!!

  5. Colleen Wittlin says:

    Can I freeze this?

    1. Natasha says:


  6. Katie says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made Chilli soo many times,
    But never this GOOD
    Fabulous flavors with just a slight kick.
    This recipe is now a STAPLE.
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy you like it, Katie!! 🙂 Thanks for your glowing review!

  7. Sharon says:

    Thanks so much for saving the day. Just made the Black bean chili and it is so yummy. Told my husband that I will be making more of your delicious recipes.

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay!! That’s awesome. You’re very welcome. So happy it worked out! Let me know if you end up trying anything else. 🙂

  8. Laura S says:

    5 stars
    Chili is a regular at our house. I normally use a seasoning packet. This is delicious. I’ll be using my chili game going forward! Loaded it up with toppings. Looking forward to eating the leftovers!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy you tried this recipe, Laura!! Thank you!

  9. Jill says:

    This looks like the perfect combo of all the essentials for an amazing chili! The only other thing I usually like in chili is beer – do you think I could substitute the beef broth for a beer and just throw in a beef bouillon cube to still get the flavor without affecting fluid volume?

    1. Natasha says:

      I think that should work just fine! You can always cook it down a bit more if it seems like there’s too much liquid… and if there’s not enough, just add a little water. Let me know how it goes! 🙂