Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

This delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Chili is full of flavor and is just the thing when you’re looking for an easy meatless meal.

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

I love chili of all kinds, and enjoy making and eating chilies year round. I’ve shared some of my family’s favorite chilies, including Slow Cooker Guinness Steak and Black Bean Chili, Turkey Chili with White Beans, Crock Pot Chicken & Corn Chili and Slow Cooker Pork Chili Verde.

Today, I’m sharing another favorite, this delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Chili. I love that it is a vegetarian option, it is even suitable for vegans — just substitute or omit the optional shredded cheese and sour cream toppings. And, this Vegetarian Black Bean Chili is so flavorful and satisfying, even meat lovers won’t miss the meat, I promise!

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

The first time I was making this Vegetarian Black Bean Chili, years ago, my husband asked what was in it. I told him, and he gave me a skeptical look, meaning “Where’s the meat?” But after just one bite, he was sold, this chili is so flavorful and delicious, you don’t miss the meat. I now make this on a regular basis and my husband will now ask “Is that my favorite black bean chili?” Yes, it is!

Now for a brief aside about the weather — Last week we actually had some spring like weather here in Massachusetts, meaning temperatures in the low 50s°F, and I got all excited and shared a spring time recipe for Crock Pot Curried Carrot Soup.

This week, the cold temperatures are back, and right now as I’m typing this, it is hailing! Yes, little pellets of ice are pouring from the sky and I can watch them bounce off my front steps. That’s spring time in New England for you – anything can happen! So, this is perfect weather for a nice warm bowl of chili. However, this flavorful Vegetarian Black Bean Chili is wonderful anytime of year, I make it in the summer, I make it in the winter, anytime I want a delicious meatless meal.

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

This delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Chili is wonderful on it’s own, I also like it topped with some shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of green onions. Baked sweet potatoes and a green salad are also wonderful accompaniments.

Do you have a favorite chili? Please let me know in the comments below!

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

This delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Chili is full of flavor and is just the thing when you're looking for an easy meatless meal!


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained, ½ cup liquid reserved
  • 1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
  • shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese for topping (optional)
  • light sour cream for topping (optional)
  • sliced green onions for topping (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers and garlic; sauté until onions soften, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add chili powder, oregano, cumin and cayenne to pot, stir to combine, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in black beans, reserved liquid and tomato sauce, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors blend and chili thickens, about 15 minutes.
  4. Serve chili and top with shredded cheese, light sour cream and sliced green onions, if desired.

Adapted from

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili


  1. Margaret says:

    Just wondering how “hot” this is with 2 tbsp of chilli powder? It seems a lot – should it read 2 tsp ?

    • Joy says:

      Hi Margaret, 2 tablespoons of chili powder is correct. This chili does have a nice kick to it, I like to top if with shredded cheese and sour cream to balance out the heat. If you prefer a milder chili, then you could start with adding just 2 teaspoons of chili powder, allow the flavors to develop and then add more if you like. I hope you give the recipe a try and enjoy!

  2. Marjie @ Home Again Jiggety-jig! says:

    I’ve never had black bean chili and my family is not too crazy about beans, but this looks delish.

    A trick I discovered to help chili look meaty (and less “beany”) is to blend up about one third of the beans and return them to the chili pot. Yup, I’m a sneaky Mom!
    Marjie @ Home Again Jiggety-jig! recently posted…Tax Day Freebies 2015My Profile

  3. Nicole@ Family Table Treasures says:

    This sounds delicious Joy! We love chili in our home too. I’ll have to give this meatless version a try and see what the family thinks. We are all trying to eat a bit healthier so this would be a great recipe to start with. I also live in Massachusetts so I hear you on the crazy New England weather! Now they say will be in the 60’s nearing 70 next week! Bring it on!

  4. Kyra says:

    This looks great Joy – it’s getting cold here and I’ve been making loads of soups to warm us up. This chili looks perfect – black beans are a great substitute for meat 🙂
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