Weather: 48 degrees, mud puddles
What I’m listening to: pouring rain

It was wet and windy on Labor Day. The new yellow leaves on the trees were blowing around outside and landing on the deck. The tide was high and the seas were raging. Although we ran some errands, we mostly spent the holiday indoors. When Pastor Alaska spied me starting something in the kitchen mid-afternoon, he raised his eyebrows curiously and asked what would be for dinner. “Chili,” I replied, but I barely got the word out of my mouth before he was hooting and hollering with excitement (read: doing a little jig around the kitchen). Chili is one of his all-time favorites.

Beef & Black Bean Chili via Alaska from Scratch

Beef & Black Bean Chili via Alaska from Scratch

Pair this with the fact that this week marks the beginning of NFL Football season and we’ve got one happy Pastor Alaska on our hands. Chili and football. Football and chili. Ah, the glories of fall. This new chili recipe was a touchdown with the whole family.

Black Bean Chili


Adapted from [Smells Like Home|] and [Kalyn’s Kitchen|]

Yields: 6-8 servings

  • 3 (15oz) cans black beans
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, chopped (more if you like your chili hot)
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2T chili powder
  • 2-1/2t cumin
  • 2T tomato paste
  • 1t salt
  • 1 (15oz) can beef broth
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1/4c cilantro, chopped
  • For Serving:
  • jack cheese, grated
  • corn chips (like Fritos)
  • avocado, chopped
  • red onion, chopped
  • cilantro, chopped

In a large pot (I used my dutch oven) over medium heat, begin to brown the ground beef.

Meanwhile, drain and rinse two cans of the black beans.

To a blender or large food processor, add the undrained can of black beans, the diced tomatoes (with juice), and the chipotle. Blend until smooth.

When beef is browned, add the onions and cook until opaque, 2-3 minutes. Add the spices, tomato paste, and salt. Cook, stirring, another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

To the pot, add the beef broth, drained black beans, and the contents of the blender. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 60-90 minutes (I did 90), stirring often to prevent chili from sticking. Chili will thicken as it simmers.

Add the lime juice and chopped cilantro. Taste chili and check for seasoning. Add more salt if needed. Serve with jack cheese, corn chips, avocado, red onion, and fresh cilantro on top.


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